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Katarina Build Guide by IcyFireKnight

This build has been archived and is for historical display only.

PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.


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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author IcyFireKnight

<Only if you really want some advice, otherwise don't>

IcyFireKnight Last updated on May 18, 2013
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Ability Sequence

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





Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
3/
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 21


Guide Top

Introduction


o filler
sinister steel
filler

filler
filler
filler


I WILL BE NO LONGER WORKING ON THIS GUIDE BECAUSE IT DIDN'T CATCH ON AND NOBODY EVER VIEWED IT. IF YOU ARE ON THIS PAGE THEN FEEL FREE TO RED MY ADVICE BUT I WILL NO LONGER BE UPDATING THIS GUIDE. Sorry :(

Hiya, I'm IcyFireKnight, and I am bringing you my first ever guide on MOBAFIRE, on Katarina - The Sinister Blade.

I put a lot of effort into this guide, so please, please, don't downvote until you read it, and if you still feel it could improve, leave a comment, whether it be bad presentation, faulty information or an outright bad setup. I would love to hear your feedback! :)

I warn you that this is an in-depth guide, as you see from the title. Forgive me if I start to ramble, but I try to assure you that what you are reading is quality information.

This is a personal preference for Katarina's playstyle. I'm not saying this is the best way to play her but it is certainly effective. I made this guide to guide people, not to tell people what to do. Feel free to do whatever you want. I don't care if you don't like it, but if some people do learn something, or do get better, then my time on making this guide has been time well spent.

I started playing Katarina pre-level 30, and she was very inconsistent so I dropped her. I wasn't used to her Shunpo and I never timed my ultimate correctly. I had seen other good Katarinas in the past, but then I didn't know how they could get so good. However recently I watched some videos and looked up some guides on her and that inspired me to restart playing with her and have been winning games ever since. Her playstyle is very elegant and unique, she is a mobile, sleek assassin that can escape the worst of situations almost unscathed. Enjoy.

Don't forget to vote! ;)

PS - Sorry for the lack of pictures, still working on that.



Legend - Noob friendly!



AD - Attack Damage or Physical Damage (how much damage your auto-attacks and physical abilities do).
AoE - Area of Effect (abilities that have a blast radius, or can affect more than one enemy).
AP - Ability Power (how much damage your magic abilities do).
Auto-attack - (Repeatedly) attacking with your standard melee attack, especially on minions in order to push your lane.
Baron - The jungle creep which gives 300 gold and a buff to whichever team kills it.
Buff - Something that makes your character stronger. Red buff makes your auto-attacks slow and do DoT to your target. Blue buff gives you increased mana regen and 20% CDR. Baron Buff gives your team increased AD and AP
CC - Crowd Control (stuns, snares, taunts, knock-ups).
CD - Cooldown (The amount of time an ability takes to cooldown).
CDR - Cooldown Reduction (Reducing the time it takes for an ability to cooldown, self explanatory).
DoT - Damage over time (self explanatory).
Dps - Damage per second (how much damage you can continuously put out).
Dragon - - The jungle creep which gives 190 gold to whichever team kills it.
ELO - League of Legends' way of matching you up against the same skill level, the higher the ELO the harder it is.
Feeding - Giving the opposing teams lots of kills putting your team at a disadvantage.
Ganking - Leaving your lane to ambush an opponent in a different lane. They should preferably be pushed.
Getting fed - Getting lots of kills putting your team at a disadvantage.
Hybrid - A build that uses AD and AP because your champion scales off both)
Juking - Entering a bush so the enemy loses vision of you, and as they walk into the bush you run out the same way. Useful when you are being chased by five people.
Jungler - A member of the team who farms jungle creeps, allowing more people of the team to get full farm and experience, and also allows an active ganker.
Kiting - Getting chased by an opponent so that they can be led into a trap.
Laning - The phase of the game where your team is split up into each lane.
Last-hitting - Dealing the final blow on a minion so you can get the money from it.
MPen - Magic Penetration (A mechanic that lowers how much magic resist the target has, thus increasing the amount of magic damage you do).
MR - Magic Resist (A mechanic that lowers how much magic damage you take).
OP - Over-powered (A champion considered to be unbalanced and can do well despite lack of skill, I'm not going to mention any names Tryndamere)
Pushing - Quickly killing all the opposing minions, thus pushing your lane to the opposing tower. Note: This isn't always a good thing, as it leaves you open to getting ganked.
Roaming - Leaving your lane to dedicatedly assist other lanes.
Scaling - How good your abilities get when you add more damage - bad scaling doesn't give you as much damage per AD/AP point.
Snowballing - Getting kills over and over again as you get stronger and stronger, hence "snowballing", getting larger and larger as it rolls down the hill.
Split-pushing - Putting pressure on/pushing to more than one of the opponents' towers so they cannot defend them all at once.
Zoning - Controlling your enemy's movement by marking areas where it is unsafe for them to go either by AoE lingering spells or simply being present there.


Guide Top

Pros and Cons

SPACE

Pros


+ No mana!
+ Ludicrously low cooldowns
+ Vicious chaser
+ Effective ganker
+ Mind-blowing juker
+ Instantaneous gap-closer
+ Unstoppable snowballer
+ Extremely mobile
+ Not reliant on blue buff
+ Fun to play
+ Sexy
SPACE



Sinister Steel


SPACE

Cons


- Generally squishy
- Bad early-game farmer
- Suffers without CDR
- No hard crowd control
- Easily countered in ranked play
- Somewhat expensive build
- Item-reliant
- Timing and positioning of ultimate is key
- Focused and CCed down first
- Hard to master
- No more tentacle hair T_T


Guide Top

Why does this build work

This build gives you damage, survivability and utility! I hear you ask "How in the world do you manage that?!"

Well, for damage we gather approximately 650 AP, 50 flat magic pen and 10% magic pen. Pretty deadly ehh? Now for defense, we get spell vamp from Hextech Gunblade, armour from Zhonya's Hourglass, magic resist from Abyssal Scepter and HP from Rylai's Crystal Scepter! A Katarina with such high defense yet high offense has never been heard of!

Already you can see that you can still maintain a deadly Katarina while being fairly survivable. But just as the cherry on top we have the infinite utilities of your offensive active, Hextech Gunblade, your defensive active, Zhonya's Hourglass, your passive slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter and your reduced healing from Death Lotus.

I hope you like my guide, if you want you can leave a comment and some feedback! Enjoy.


Guide Top

Runes

Runes

Greater Mark of Lethality
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3


Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - Your standard AP carry marks. They make you do noticeably more damage during early game harass, but are also good in late game. The point in Arcane Knowledge further increases your magic pen, as well as Sorcerer's Shoes meaning your opponents base magic resist should be pretty much shredded.

Greater Seal of Vitality Greater Seal of Vitality - As you all know, Katarina is veryyyyy squishy, so some extra health wouldn't hurt. These runes totally beat Greater Seal of Health because by level 6 you would've got more health, which, as a mid, you get very quickly (and the points in Awareness and Sage !) You know some extra health can go a long way.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist - I see some of the other Katarina guides have Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction, but for us, our cooldowns are already maxed! Pick up these to not die against LeBlanc, Morgana, Kassadin, you get ma drift. Also I use these runes because I have them for other champs, and you as well probably.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - An extra 15 ability power as you start the game? Don't mind if I do. But really, these give such a edge to your opponent (unless you're in ranked), it helps early game harass and the damage to kill pre-level 6.



Other Viable Runes



Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist - These do beat Greater Glyph of Magic Resist by about level 9 but you need the magic resist in super early game to lessen harass. If you really need the magic resist late game then get Abyssal Scepter.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power - These do give you some more AP late game, but I feel that having magic resist let's you not get bullied so hard early game. If you have a good early game then you shouldn't need these.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction - Only get these if you aren't following my build and you can't reached max CDR without these. They do give 8.1 CDR so it's not quite 10% which is really what would be perfect for Katarina.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed - Can't go wrong with these, they are great on Katarina, improves her overall gameplay and sometimes nets you a few kills. But once again a better early game for Katarina is vital for success, so more AP is better for me

Greater Quintessence of Health - Also good, more survivability early game, but more AP kills our opponent quicker than more HP that lets you survive longer. Nevertheless these quints do well in late game too.

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration - Not sure whether these beat Greater Quintessence of Ability Power but to be honest I think they do, due to the way armour works, so if you have these use them, otherwise don't bother, quintessences cost so much *_*

Greater Quintessence of Spell Vamp - The spell vamp is nice but the other runes improve your early game more and you are already getting spell vamp off Transmutation (deja vu?) already.


Guide Top

Masteries

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


Why do you go 9-0-21 you ask?



Firstly I'd like to say that 21-9-0 works really well too, but in my opinion it is more important to have the versatility than pure AP strength. Here's my reasoning:

From going 21-9-0 you get an extra:

+5% Ability Power
1 Ability Power per level
Increase damage dealt by 6% to enemies below 40%
6 magic resist
2 armour
6 Health per level
30 Health

So you get a bit more AP and a tiny amount of survivability.

Compare this going 9-0-21 where you get an extra:

15 secs off Flash's cooldown
10% less dead time
2% more movement speed
3% Spell vamp
20% longer buff durations
5% more experience gained
40 bonus experience on champion kills/assists
6% Cooldown Reduction
15% reduced cooldown on summoner spells

PRETTY OBVIOUS EH? I feel I don't need to explain this, the utility tree gives far more helpful bonuses to Kat than just a bit more AP. However, I will explain.

Not being dead all the time is always good.
Movement Speed is always good.
Spell Vamp is always good.
Longer buffs is always good.
She is reliant on her abilities so getting more experience means she levels up to become stronger quicker.
She uses Flash and Ignite more often than most.

Note - When using Flash with Summoner's Insight and Mastermind , Summoner's Insight reduces it first, then Mastermind . This reduces Flash's cooldown by 52.5 seconds, bringing it down to just 212.5 seconds!!!


Guide Top

Summoner Spells

Viable Choices





Flash is the best summoner spell. No doubt. Every single guide tells you this, and they aren't kidding. It is the single most versatile skill in the game, but is especially good on Katarina as, if you aren't in range of an ally with Shunpo, use Flash to get in range. Due to Katarina's playstyle, you already have a blink, and having another makes it all the more surprising. Katarina is always going to be focused so having this, don't forget your points in Summoner's Insight and Mastermind , you'll be blinking all around the place. And no-one likes a champion THAT ninja.



Ignite works wonders, especially on Katarina. Countless times I have secured kills with this spell. Whether it be 1v1, in a teamfight, or you are against Dr. Mundo,this spell should be on every Katarina player. The true damage really hurts. It's also extremely satisfying when they try to pull off a Flash at the last minute, only to realise they have been Ignited.



Less Viable Choices






Take it if you aren‘t getting Hextech Gunblade or even Rylai's Crystal Scepter,for the slow during your Death Lotus,otherwise Ignite would always be the better option. I don't see how this is good to be honest. Wouldn't you rather have true damage DoT than a slow? You should be able to catch up to enemies fine. Note: Don't get kited/baited. You may be a good chaser but you don't stand a chance when their enemy team engulfs you.



This will only ever be viable in ranked play if they have picked a lot of CC. Do not get it in normal games because you don't know how much CC they will have and even if they do have a lot just buy Quicksilver Sash. The active costs 900g but I promise you it will save your life many times.


Guide Top

Abilities

Sinister Steel



Voracity: Katarina's passive is what makes her so deadly. Because she doesn't use mana, it is only cooldowns that restrict her skills, and once you have a passive that refreshes your cooldowns whenever you get a kill or assist, you know you have turned into a deadly champion.

Tips and Tricks
  • Remember that as soon as one of the enemy champions go down, you can use your basic abilities straight away.
  • Tower-diving enemies has never been easier, because once you kill them, you can use Shunpo to get out, even if you had only used it moments before.
  • In teamfights you should focus all your abilities on the squishiest champion, so as once he goes down, you can focus on the others next.



Bouncing Blade: This ability is your farming and harassing tool. It has a low cooldown and you don't use mana so you can spam it as much as you want. The initial damage is a little low at early levels, so it isn't worth harassing with it until you get it to level 2 or 3. After the rework it also applies a mark on the target, a lot like Akali's Mark of the Assassin, so be sure to consume it during your combo.

Tips and Tricks
  • You can use this to last-hit as much as you want but remember that once you use it you don't have any way of farming from a range.
  • The range is higher than the range of Death Lotus so to get maximum damage you should throw it after you ultimate.
  • If you have a jungler then at the 1:55 minute mark help him out a bit by throwing a blade over the jungle wall. You shouldn't miss out on any minions.



Sinister Steel Sinister Steel: This is Katarina's new ability. It is a short range, spammable AoE ability that does damage in a circle around you. Katarina is now a very good farmer, and the damage from this ability makes up for the nerfs on damage to your other skills. It also makes her an even better duelist, and I consider her as a dps mage as well as a burst mage. Feel free to use this whenever you can. Also it provides you with a short burst of speed afterwards if you hit someone with it, which makes you all the more agile.

Tips and Tricks



Shunpo: Although it has lost the fame it used to have, it is still very much the foundation of Katarina's skillset. It has a very long range compared to other gap-closers, and is also a blink ability. This means that it is instant, and we all know an instant gap-closer is a deadly gap closer.

Tips and Tricks
  • If you are new to Katarina, remember that this can be used on allies, to either catch up to an enemy or flee from one.
  • Can be used on any entity, for example, Teemo's Noxious Traps, Heimerdinger's H-28G Evolution Turrets or Jarvan IV's Demacian Standards. There is always hope for a Shunpo sneaky getaway ;)
  • Using Shunpo along with Flash can make you extremely moblie and uncontrollable for your enemies.
  • Experienced Katarina players always carry around a few wards, so that you can place one down and Shunpo to them, removing the ability's only drawback of having a target to jump to. You're turning into a Kassadin, but obviously 10 times cooler.



Death Lotus: Your ultimate is a game-changer if used correctly. Yes, at first glance it does a ton of damage, but there are many flaws. One of them is that it is channeled, and can be interrupted very easily. To achieve its maximum potential in a teamfight requires expert timing and positioning. If the enemy team is smart and you jump in first, chances are you are going to get completely battered. Nevertheless, if you time it right and position yourself correctly your Death Lotus will do one single metric f*cking ton of damage. New Katarina players may find it hard to utilise this well, but as always, practice makes perfect.

Tips and Tricks
  • Death Lotus has a short cooldown, so you can use this to harass the opponent. As long as there isn't a teamfight brewing it should be up the next time you need it.
  • Sometimes it is better to Shunpo to the farthest champion and use Death Lotus, cutting of the enemy teams escape route.
  • You can use Death Lotus over small walls/ledges. This is invaluable in a teamfight for you will get the full two seconds of Death Lotus and they won't know where it came from.
  • The ability icon will light up when there are enemies nearby, visible or invisible. Use this to determine whether there are enemies in the nearby bush or there is a Teemo spying on you.
  • Death Lotus applies Grievous Wounds, causing 50% healing reduction. This is perfect against teams with multi-target heals like Soraka.



Ability Sequence




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

I begin by maxing Bouncing Blades as fast as possible because it is our main harassing and farming tool. If you leave it unlevelled it simply does too little damage and also has a very long cooldown.

I pick up Sinister Steel at level 2 so I can farm easier. I max this after Bouncing Blades for its very good damage and farming potential.

I take Shunpo at level 3 for utility. It may come in handy for escaping a gank, but mainly so you can begin to harass your opponent more effectively. I max this last because the damage got nerfed quite a bit during the rework. The damage has sort of "transferred" to Sinister Steel, so that Shunpo can be used for utility instead of a nuke.



Ability Combos




Guide Top

Items

Item Sequence











Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50

Health Potion
50

Hextech Revolver
1050

Sorcerer's Shoes
1100

Rabadon's Deathcap
3800

Chain Vest
800

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
2600

Zhonya's Hourglass
2900

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
900

Hextech Gunblade
3400

Abyssal Scepter
2750

This section will show you the preferred build for Katarina. Remember that this is just opinion, and any of your opinions are welcome to. No build should be for every match. You have to adapt to the situation, to find the best build.



Starting Items



There is no real alternative - I start off with Boots of Speed and 3 x Health Potions because the extra movement speed is vital for Katarina's early game farm and harass, and the potions makes you last longer than casters who bought Doran's Rings. The boots allow easy dodging of skillshots from Morgana, Lux, Ahri etc. and also allow you to get that last hit and retreat with ease. The potions are needed for sustain to keep in lane until you get at least enough money for a Kage's Lucky Pick.



First Recall


Sight Ward

In a normal game you should be getting these very quickly, within about the first 15 minutes. If I feel I am getting harassed a lot then I will go Hextech Revolver on the first recall, but if I feel I can harass a lot and maybe pick up an early kill I will go Sorcerer's Shoes and 1-2 Amplifying Tomes if I can afford it.

Note: Always buy at least one Sight ward every single time you recall, and up to 3 Health Potions depending on how much harass you're getting. Put the ward in the side of the river with the most action and hug that side. This saves having to buy two wards and also provides a safe escape route if you get ganked.

Why not Ionian Boots of Lucidity?
Sorcerer's Shoes allow for quite a lot more damage early game. You want this more than CDR because you are an assassin, so you need to kill your opponent in one round of spells, not lowering the wait time for the next round. These boots shred most base magic resistances, making you deal almost true damage. And late game, once you get Abyssal Scepter your flat MPen will be about 50. Remember the point in Arcane Knowledge is basically a mini- Void Staff, and usually I can't fit Void Staff into my build unless I'm fed, so even though MPen is important, I stick to that 10% penetration and Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. It probably does affect your damage output but other items are better for Katarina than Void Staff. Don't hesisate if two of them have Force of Nature, though.



Rush that Deathcap!



The reason why we're rushing this is because we need that damage early game to get an advantage. This will help you snowball, because early game, all we need to do is get kills. We aren't worried about survivability just yet, we already have sustainability from Hextech Revolver. There shouldn't be too many teamfights, so you won't be getting focused.


The First Defence


or

Now you may be thinking "I'm pretty powerful but still a little squishy", so you need some decent protection - Chain Vest or Negatron Cloak. At this moment you want to see which form of resistance you need the most. If you're taking a lot of magic damage, get Negatron Cloak If you aren't getting any action from anyone then you may wish to skip it for later, but don't forget about it, some protection is important.



Choose your path



After the resistance, there are many items you can get. What I like about Katarina is she works with a lot of different items so once you got Rabadon's Deathcap you can branch off into whatever you need.

Normally I go for Rylai's Crystal Scepter now but I quickly upgrade my armour/mr into Zhonya's Hourglass/ Abyssal Scepter if I really need the extra resistances/active from Zhonya's, if I'm getting focused. In rare cases where they have got a lot of magic resist then I go for Void Staff and then Ionian Boots of Lucidity, but this will make you super squishy and is not normally recommended.

If you didn't get Rylai's Crystal Scepter, then get it now. If you did get Rylai's Crystal Scepter then upgrade your armour/magic resist into the respective item. You have no idea how CRUCIAL it is to get at least some resistances and some HP on Katarina, so getting the HP from Rylai's and the armour or magic resist from Zhonya's or Abyssal respectively, you will to turn from a glass cannon to a stone cannon.

Where's Deathfire Grasp gone?
I like the item, but the active isn't a good as it used to be now that you have Sinister Steel into your burst, it simply isn't good enough. The CDR is tasty, but to compensate I take 9 Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction. The AP is decent but not high, so I feel the other items are better now, and more easily utilised by Katarina.



Turn your pistol into a sniper



This is the time I finish up your Gunblade, after getting Rylai's Crystal Scepter and either Zhonya's Hourglass or Abyssal Scepter. Just these two items will make you fairly survivable so now it's the perfect time to get more spell vamp and a useful active. This active synergises really well with your combo, which is mainly why we love it so much, but we don't get it early because it is simply too expensive. Rabadon's Deathcap is about the same price but you get much more damage from it, and that is what we want. Anyway Hextech Revolver provides all the sustain you need. Also, once you get that 20% spell vamp, you will become Olaf by hyper-spell-vamping at low health.



Finishing Touch



So you have one item slot left, if you need magic pen then go for Void Staff (and sell the Sorcerer's Shoes) but I hardly never get Void Staff if I have Abyssal Scepter, it's just not worth it.

If you need more survivability then go for the one that you haven't chosen - Zhonya's Hourglass if you picked Abyssal Scepter, vice versa.

If you are always focused down first before you get to do anything then Guardian Angel should be a good investment, but I personally have never used it unless with Mejai's Soustealer.



Elixirs




I really do love Elixir of Brilliance. It's actually really good. If I recalled, finished a big item but still have 300-400 gold I get one of these and a few Sight Wards. Always prioritise wards for this, but it is still really good. 4 minutes is surprisingly long and usually lasts through a death into the next life too. 10% is priceless in combat, you need your spells up constantly.

I also like Elixir of Fortitude, but I only get it late game, because Elixir of Brilliance are better. I've heard that TiensiNoAkuma uses this as like a summoner heal, pop it when you're dying and you suddenly have 200-400 more health. I don't know if that is true but pretty cool if it is. The AD and health from it both benefit you, but not as much as AP and CDR from its blue counterpart.

Don't get Elixir of Agility...you don't get any benefit from it whatsoever, come on let's be serious, you won't be auto-attacking to kill in the late game, it will always be your skills. It's a waste of money even if you've completed your build...it's that bad.

I'll also have a quick note on Oracle's Elixir, you shouldn't get it unless you have asked your tank to get it and he refuses to, either because he's not listening or because he's being a douchebag (pardon my french). Or you can always get it if you've finished your complete build AND got the two Elixirs.



Situational Items






This is a great item on Kat. Provides a heap of AP and armour, along with an awesome active. Use your active to get yourself unfocused in a teamfight, or, if you are playing with a friend, and you're getting 1v5'ed, Zhonya's Hourglass can buy you time so that your friend can get in range of a Flash -> Shunpo combo.



The alternative to Zhonya's, get this against an AP heavy team - it provides a decent sum of AP and magic resist, and also a passive which shouldn't be ignored. Make sure you tell your team that you're getting this beforehand, because you don't really need 2 in a team. If they want this item, getting Quicksilver Sash instead shouldn't be a problem.



I only get this item if their team is mainly offtanks, because I believe the other items Katarina has access to are simply much better than this. This may increase your damage output but it lacks any utility or defense.



I hardly ever get this, because you don't get that much more spell vamp and you sacrifice a lot of damage and utility. You should only be getting the aura to help teammates who love spell vamp too eg: Rumble. I also like this when you have an allied Akali. You have very similiar playstyles and it's just awesome to look at these two deadly girls dash into a fight with overkill spell vamp and maul the enemy team.



You have no idea how helpful this is. The active removes ALL debuffs, yes, you heard me, ALL, so Mordekaiser's Children of the Grave or Ignite! Make sure you time it right though, for it doesn't reduce cc's after it's used unlike Cleanse. Note: I suggest having a max of 3 actives otherwise your inventory hotkeys get clogged up. It is legit to brag that you actually have 8 abilities at your disposal, though.



It gives you SO much AP if you get stacks on it. Simple, but works wonders when combined with Guardian Angel. Do not expect to get this every match. It is simply too risky. Never do this in ranked - it's basically the same as waving a flourescent green neon sign saying "Focus me!"



As I said, pair this with Mejai's Soulstealer to become truly invincible. Replace this with your armour/magic resist item, so Zhonya's Hourglass or Abyssal Scepter. It has saved my life a lot of times, but the passive does have a looong cooldown :(


Guide Top

Gameplay

Laning, farming and ganking is what separates good players and bad players. A good player knows the balance between last-hitting, harassing and pushing. He/she also needs to assist the team with ganks, buff pulls and always participating in a nearby skirmish. This section will walk you through the very gameplay of Katarina. New players should pay specific attention to this section, as, in the end it isn't what champion you pick, but how you play them.



Early Game


So, the most likely situation is that you have given a leash on blue by throwing a Bouncing Blades over the wall, and is now coming up to your mid opponent, usually someone with skillshots ( Kennen, Morgana, Lux etc.) Because of your Boots of Speed, you should be able to easy dodge then. Your aim for now is to get as many last-hits as possible without getting harassed. Other guides say not to use your Bouncing Blades for farming too much because it will push the lane, but for me, it never pushes the lane and even if it does, you can go gank other lanes in the meantime. Use your Bouncing Blades to harass, NOT your Shunpo UNLESS they've pushed the lane and you are sure you won't get ganked/harassed after.

Do not try to kill your opponent before level 6, but you should be reaching level 6 pretty quickly. What I like to do is pull off a sneaky Shunpo -> Death Lotus as soon as I get it. They shouldn't have reached reached it yet because you got those points in Awareness and Sage , you see, those masteries do come in handy! Anyway, that combo should be fatal and will either kill them or force them to recall. Your ultimate should be back up by the time you next need it too.



Mid game



Mid game's starting point is most commonly defined as the point when the first turret goes down. Whether it be your's or their's, it doesn't matter. If it's their's then you can play more aggresive, and also do dragon if you can. If it's your's then don't be worried, you push back, you may want to split push or gather your team to take down an outer turret.

The Best Situation


You got all your core on your first recall, have 2 or more kills and you are dominating the lane, forcing the opponent to either tower-hug or abandon the lane. You have the best cs of all, and the other lanes are doing pretty well.

What to do:
Don't get cocky, because countless times I lost due to us throwing ourselves one by one at the enemy. Carry on getting kills but don't be stupid.

The Okay Situation


You've got slightly less cs than your ranged opponent, but have picked up at least 1 kill and have got your core within 15 minutes. You aren't having trouble sustaining yourself with the Hextech Revolver and is receiving a steady income from Kage's Lucky Pick. A tower is down and it should be their's.

What to do:
Play aggressive but safe, always help the team in fights, and remember to take dragon if possible! You may push your lane if you see the enemy team all bunched up in the other lanes, but retreat as soon as you see one fall back. Note:color] If you've nearly destroyed the tower and the enemy team is coming at you then you may retreat and hopefully the minions will finish it off.

The Bad Situation


You've died to your lane opponent a lot and the other lanes don't seem to be doing any good either...

What to do:
PULL IT TOGETHER MATEY!!! - Gangplank. This is crucial, you have to find patterns in your opponent's playstyle and exploit them, otherwise they will keep doing the same thing to you and effectively snowballing off of you. You have to play defensively. Never get too close. Stick with teammates - if they get cocky they will start to roam by themselves, and this is where you seize the advantage.

The Worst Situation


One of your team members is afk, the enemy team have over 10 kills more than yours, Taric is calling you gay for feeding and all team members are either feeders or flamers, and Tryndamere has his The Bloodthirster within 15 minutes.

What to do:
Although you may think it's lost, don't give up. Defend the base, picking up kills when they over extend and carry your team to victory. This doesn't usually work though. But you still have to work together. Defuse all the arguments in your team so you can actually work together and win.

The Fun Situation


You're flawless, they have 1 person who went afk or ragequitted, you've got a quadra-kill and your Mejai's Soulstealer is on 20 stacks.

What to do:
Tower dive squishies, worry about losing your Mejai stacks, laugh hysterically, get a penta, job done.



Late game



This is the time where all teamfights begin. You MUST be participating in EVERY single one from now on, because you are the AP carry, and is probably the one that is going to deal the most damage, and essensially, the more damage your team deals the more likely you are going to win.

You should be behind your team, waiting for the right time. Wait for a team to initiate, but stay back. Firstly use your Bouncing Blades, your Deathfire Grasp and your Hextech Gunblade from afar. This stops you from getting focused. After, they enemy team should be focusing on someone else. This is when you use Shunpo in and unleash your ultimate. Try to position yourself so your teammates gives good visual cover for you. This means targetting you will be harder for the enemy team.

If there are minions then remember you can Shunpo to them if needed. Also remember that some champions will be hindered by minions eg: Nidalee with her spears. If you're winning and you're about to take a turret, but their team is there, then you must wait for your tank to attract turret aggro. The enemy team will feel safe next to their turret which is the perfect time to assassinate them all. They certainly won't be expecting it.

If one of your lanes is getting mobbed by enemy minions then you can go and farm them but ONLY IF there isn't going to be a team fight. Your role in the teamfight is crucial - to deal as much damage as possible. And if there isn't someone in your team that can do as much damage as possible, then well, frankly, you've lost the teamfight.

Always, I repeat ALWAYS have wards at dragon and baron at this stage of the game. Teamfights will occur at these objectives and it is vital that your team has the upper hand in map awareness. Make the wards pink, too, so you know if they have it warded too. If they destroy your ward at dragon/baron then I suggest you gather your team and proceed for a full scale invasion, because normally this will catch the enemy team offguard.


Ganking



Whenever you can, push to the opponents tower and then go gank a lane. I don't have any pictures to show you but I'm sure you know how to gank. Use your ultimate if they're running through you, and save the Shunpo for when they're running away. You are a great chaser so you should secure the kill. This will help tremendously on the teams laning and will make your team respect you for being a boss. Remember to call ss!


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Laning Opponents

Work in Progress




Don't jump in and ulti until she's used her Charm.



You need to play passively, don't let her trigger her Mark of the Assassin or you will feel pain. Don't engage her until you look at her energy bar. Harass with Bouncing Blades all the time, because you are both melee, so you can melee to last-hit and harass with Bouncing Blades.Remember Death Lotus DOES still work against a stealthed Akali, it may not look like it but they have said that it hits. Once she reaches level 6 you want to be instantaneously using our ultimate when she uses hers. This should scare her away, otherwise it should kill her.



A fairly easy match-up due to your mobility. Basically dodge her Flash Frost every time and once that's on CD she's pretty defenseless, so you can just rape her after. Always be ready to dodge her Flash Frost, that's her combo starter. Her ultimate doesn't affect you that much, ignore it most of the time.











As long as you dodge her Qs you should be fine. Harass her as much as you can but keep up that minion count. Do not use Shunpo to harass her, she WILL poison you to death. When you Shunpo to her, your back will be facing away so using Death Lotus at this time should work.



It depends what skill level you are facing. You definitely have to dodge the harass from her Q's, otherwise you will be easy prey. Early game you want to get as much farm as possible without getting harassed. If she uses her Q you can choose to jump onto her and do your combo, she should get hurt from that. Try not to use Death Lotus straight away, because her E cancels it. Late game, if she's quite tanky then don't 1v1 her, she is deceptively strong.



It is vital that you dodge his skillshots. Stay behind your minoin wave for as long as possible (this will make him push the lane), and once he's pushed the lane ask your jungler for a gank. While being safe behind you minions keep last-hitting, with Bouncing Blades if you need. Remember to only use Bouncing Blades for harass if you know you aren't going to miss any cs. Once he pops his E Flash (I forget the name) unleash your combo upon the pesky explorer.



He has his fear and his silence which stop your ultimate, which is never a good thing. Using Shunpo to either get in or get away is the most important thing about laning with this scarecrow. If you aren't doing too badly then feel free to use Death Lotus if he starts Draining you. Your ultimate should be more effective that his Drain, so you win that way, and if he fears/silences you then he cancels both the abilities leaving him practically useless while you still have your Bouncing Bladess and Shunpo, meaning you win that way too. But if you don't win, then Shunpo the hell outta there.



This guys a pain to most, but not so much to Katarina



He shoulldn't be that hard







HOIMADINGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA















Play defensively, you don't want the other Katarina to be better than you. If she uses her Bouncing Blades to last hit then be a bit more aggressive for a few seconds. Let her push, and then get a gank from your jungler. If she decides to Shunpo on you make her play with Sinister Steel -> Bouncing Blades -> Shunpo, and your ultimate if you have it. Depending on what she is building, you have to have a certain priority on her. If she goes glass cannon then you will have to focus "you" so that she gets shut down early.






The infamous anti-mage...although you aren't really a mage her silences f*** you over and you can't do anything to stop it. Her burst is better than yours, but a Zhonya's Hourglass works wonders, because although it doesn't give MR the active can be used as soon as you see the first Sigil fly out to save you from her combo. Play passively and don't let your health get dropped below 50%, because she WILL burst you down, and this will keep on going until you literally scream your eyeballs out <<- happens to many innocent casters.



A fairly innocent but strong caster. Always dodge the skillshots. If she lands one Light Binding on you then half your health is automatically gone...you have to avoid that. Luckily you are more vicious than her, but do not chase her when she is low, it is likely she will snare you and slow you for the rest of her team to eat you alive.



Avoid his Call of the Void, try to harass a bit but once he hits level 6 you don't want to get close, Nether Grasp WILL guarantee a kill 99% of the time. If you know it's on cooldown Malzahar is easy as long as you don't get silenced during your ultimate.



You can't harass this guy. Just last-hit, stay away from his abilities, and unless you are somewhat fed don't engage in a 1v1 with him.



She does have a snare but it won't stop your ultimate. Shunpo away to a minion if you are gonna get caught in her snare or ultimate.



Not too much of a problem, use Shunpo to dodge whatever she throws at you. Luckily she has no real escape, but dodge those spears!



Depending on the skill, she can be a pain or a breeze. Luckily I've only been against the latter, but you have to be careful around her, she is very underestimated. Be aware where the ball is, she has amazing zoning capabilities. As always farm with your Q, use wards and you should be safe to go and combo her.



The master of ability spamming and ridiculous mana-pools. NEVER get too close for his Rune Prison otherwise you are very screwed. He has a lot of free harass with his Q, but early on he doesn't have as much mana regen, so do mini combos to weaken him. He doesn't have a silence so you should be able to 1v1 him as long as he doesn't snare you first.



Don't get snared. Just don't do it. Use Shunpo if you need to get out of it. His ultimate does give him HP-levelling quirks but your ultimate should overpower him if he isn't fed. Other than that he is a pretty ordinary/easy laner.



The AD counterpart to Katarina, I like to say, he has his blink a lot like yours, but he is much a burst AD champion. If you build a bit of armour early on then you should be safe. If he Cutthroats you then don't panic, try to dodge the Rake and once the silence has finished then you can counter attack. He is pretty weak after his initial burst. The damage over time from Noxian Diplomacy can be solved with either a Quicksilver Sash or a Elixir of Fortitude (pop it and it heals you).



Can be annoying pre-level 6, just play passive as normal, avoid getting harassed too much (remember getting a little bit harassed for one minion kill is worth it) and once you get level 6 you can go in for the kill. He has no escape, and can't stop your ultimate. He's really squishy, so assassinate him whenever possible, basically.






























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When to pick Katarina

Work in progress


Knowing when to pick Katarina is vital to your success. Your team needs to have these things to completely work well along with Katarina:

- Knock-ups
- Stuns
- Snares/roots
- Taunts
- Tanks
- Offtanks
- Large people (to visibly shield you)
- Stealth

Katarina should not be picked when two or more of the things listed are present in the enemy team:

Knock-ups
Stuns
Silences
Sustain

Champions that syngerise perfectly with Katarina

Champions that work well with Katarina

Champions that counter Katarina:


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Blue Buff

You are Katarina. You are not here for the mana regen, you are here for the cooldown reduction.

It gives you 20% cooldown reduction, so get it when you're on 25% reduction (10% from masteries and 15% from a CDR item). Getting blue buff maxes your CDR when it isn't already. Normally I don't get blue buff unless I kill someone with it, however, if no-one else needs it, you can grab it. Remember none of your abilities are exactly suited for jungling, so it WILL take you some time to kill it, but MAKE SURE YOU WARD the area before going for it. Countless times my teammates have gone for blue not knowing they were about to be assassinated by 3 members of the enemy team...

Conditions for getting the blue buff


- No-one else on your team needs it
- You haven't reached max cooldown reduction yet
- You have warded the area


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Scores

Post me your scores! :D


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Summary

Thank you for reading my awesome guide! If you do follow this and faceroll people (which you should) then feel free to send me a pic of your beastly scores! This was my first guide on Mobafire so any tips or feedback would be great ^^ Thanks!

PS - It would be helpful if you point out any errors like spelling mistakes or info mistakes - tyvm!


Guide Top

Changelog

27.07.12
- Completed Guide

30.07.12
- Improved the "Runes" chapter

01.08.12
- Improved the cheat sheet
- Improved "Masteries" chapter

04.08.12
- Added "Why not to get Rylai's Crystal Scepter first"
- Added "How to achieve maximum cooldown reduction"
- Improved "Pros and Cons"

06.08.12
- Added "Laning Opponents"
- Added "When to pick Katarina"

12.08.12
- Improved "Introduction"

14.08.12
- Improved "Items"
- Improved "Summoner Spells"
- Improved "Situational Items"
- Improved "Gameplay"
- Deleted "Alternative Builds"

16.08.12
- Added "What you get from this build"

23.08.12
- Improved the cheat sheet
- Improved "Items" chapter
- Improved "Laning Opponents"
- Improved "Situational Items"
- Improved "Oooh I wonder wonder which shoes to buy?"

24.08.12
- Added "Skill Sequence"
- Improved "Skill Explanation"
- Improved "Introduction"

27.08.12
- Incorporated "Ability Sequence" into "Abilities"
- Incorporated "Ability Combos" into "Abilities"
- Incorporated "Situational Items" into "Items"
- Deleted "Cooldown Reduction"
- Deleted "Oooh I wonder which shoes to buy!"
- Deleted "Why not to rush Rylai's Crystal Scepter"

7.09.12
- 10,000 views! Thank you all!

25.010.12
- Terminated the development of this guide.


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Upcoming Updates

- Pictures
- Ranked Play
- My own Katarina line dividers
- Videos
- Scores


Guide Top

Credits

Credits to jhoijoi for the line dividers, templates and showing me how to make a guide! Her guide can be found here: Jhoijhoi's Guide to making a Guide

Credits to my Casio(peia) calculator for help on the "What you get from this build" section :P