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Katarina Build Guide by Pinks

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Pinks

[Master]Katarina Pre-S7 Mid Lane Guide (Post-Rework)(In-Prog

Pinks Last updated on October 18, 2016
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Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
2
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
3
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

Fury
 
 
5/
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
5/
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Bounty Hunter
Oppressor
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Ferocity: 12

5/
Wanderer
 
 
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Merciless
 
 
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
1/
Dangerous Game
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Cunning: 18

Recovery
 
 
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
Explorer
Tough Skin
 
 
 
 
 
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
Insight
Perseverance
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Resolve: 0



Threats to Katarina with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
1
Karthus
1
Vel'Koz
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UPDATE LOG

Spoiler: Click to view


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Imporant

THIS GUIDE IS THE PRE-REWORK KATARINA. I WAS STILL IN PROGRESS OF FINISHING THIS GUIDE, BUT THE CHANGES HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED, SO I AM JUST RELEASING THIS GUIDE FOR CURRENT PLAYERS TO FIND MATCH-UPS, RUNES, MASTERIES, AND BUILD PATHS. I WILL REDO THIS GUIDE AFTER THE REWORK


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Introduction



About Me:

Hi, my name is Roar on the NA League of Legends Server. I was a former ADC main in season 4 known as Pinks. I'm a 19-year old korean that lives in the United States. I was platinum in season 3, diamond 1 season 4, diamond 2 season 5, and master season 6! I have been playing League of Legends for around 4 years now ,and I main mid lane.

Currently I have 2 accounts in Master, and I want to make it clear that I am not a Katarina one-trick-pony; I just enjoy playing her.



What's in this guide?
In this guide I will explain basic combos for katarina, tips for roaming, how to play certain match-ups, itemization, and just general tips.

Let me know if you want a guide on a different mid-lane champion.


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Basics about Katarina

As Katarina you should primarily focus on farming and poking during the lane phase. It is perfectly fine to give up your lane pressure and allow your lane to be pushed into your tower. Your goal during laning phase is to stay healthy and just gather as much farm by using your Bouncing Blades and sinister steel.

I would recommend using your Bouncing Blades for poke almost every time it is up and just last hitting with your auto attacks and sinister steel. You generally never want to use Shunpo for trading unless you know where the jungler is and/or the enemy laner has a few skills on cooldown and you are certain that you can out trade them.

Katarina's laning phase is insanely safe and you are almost ungankable if you have a trinket ward and your Shunpo is available. The only way to really "lose" lane as Katarina is if you take bad trades and get zoned off from CS and fall behind in gold and experience.

Honestly, the only way you can really get a solo kill early on as Katarina is if you opponent messes up. If they greed too hard and just get poked down by your Bouncing Blades and never recall, that is pretty much the only way you will get a solo kill.

Katarina is more about macro play and roaming rather than mechanics and outplaying during the laning phase. To win as Katarina you generally want to focus on ganking your side lanes or gaining enemy jungle pressure with your jungler's assistance.


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Summoner Spells

Generally you want to take Ignite into any match-ups that you feel has some form of kill pressure. Example would be against Ahri, LeBlanc, Syndra.

Any mages/assassins that are squishy and usually run Ghost, Teleport, or Ignite are good choices to run Ignite against.

I would run Teleport against lanes where there is next to no solo kill pressure. Lanes such as Lulu, Morgana, Galio.

Run exhaust only into high burst assassins such as Akali, Zed, Talon. I still would not recommend exhaust on Katarina because it's not really a summoner spell that helps with early game snowballing or lane control.


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Starting Items

I will generally always start The Dark Seal with 3 Health Potions. The extra AP, sustain, and snowball potential makes this item the best choice as a starter for Katarina.

I will build Cloth Armor into champions like Zed, Talon, and Yasuo. Basically any AD champion that I feel has a lot of kill pressure.

I only start Boots of Speed into Cassiopeia and Aurelion Sol.


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Runes

The rune setup I use is pretty defensive and it helps a lot with Katarina's laning phase and scaling into the mid game.
Runes

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9
Rune Explanation and Alternatives


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Masteries


This is the page I will always run on Katarina.
Nothing really abnormal here in comparison to a standard mid-lane thunderlord's page.

I run Wanderer instead of Savagery because you will be roaming a lot and you will most likely be last hitting with your Bouncing Blades or sinister steel so the bonus damage for single-target attacks from Savagery won't apply to your skills.

Precision over Intelligence because Katarina's passive will make CDR less effective on her compared to flat penetration.

Feast instead of Double Edged Sword to help sustain during your laning phase.

Bounty Hunter instead of Oppressor because you will likely kill everyone on the enemy team at least once, and the bonus damage from Oppressor means that you will need someone else on your team with a CC with you to help apply the bonus damage. (Unless you buy gunblade/rylais/or a slowing item)


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Abilities

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Pretty basic skill order with maxing Q first, leveling ultimate when you can, and maxing W second and E last.

The only time I would max Sinister Steel over Bouncing Blades first is when:
  • I'm building AD
  • I'm going CDR Tank Katarina
  • I'm building first item Hextech Gunblade
  • When I'm against a melee top laner and I feel that I can outtrade the enemy in melee range


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Pros and Cons

Pros
+ Not banned in mid to high elo
+ Not much mechanics required
+ Very safe laning phase
+ High movement speed build for easy roaming
+ Can solo carry a game if ahead
+ 40% Healing debuff on ultimate
Katarina excels in snowballing a lead once ahead. She can roam down to the side lanes and apply lots of pressure and zoning. She has a very safe laning phase because you can always just use your Shunpo to a ward. She also has the potential to clean up an entire team fight if you are fast enough with your reactions.

Cons
- Can be easily countered with CC and Exhaust
- Good enemy laner will bully and zone you
- Falls off hard into late game
- Weak if you can't get any successful roams off
- Banned in low elo
- Low sustain
Katarina is generally a very weak pick into confident enemy mid laners and high CC team comps. She does not really allow for much solo kill pressure and strong laners will zone you away from CS and make you very weak into mid game. She also falls off very hard into late game when the enemy starts buying defensive items such as Banshee's Veil and Guardian Angel. As the average elo increases, so do the wards on the map, and the effectiveness of Katarina roams decreases.


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Gameplay

Lane Phase:

During laning phase, you primarily want to focus on keeping your CS up and harassing your opponent with Bouncing Blades at the same time. You want to keep your lane shoved or in the middle of the lane after level 3 so you can react to any jungle skirmishes or so you can roam down to the side lanes.

You are generally pretty safe to shove after level 3 because you will most likely always have your Shunpo available for getting away from ganks. Keep applying pressure by harassing with Bouncing Blades and you may get the enemy laner low enough that you can Flash, Shunpo, Bouncing Blades, sinister steel, Ignite for an easy and free kill.

EXAMPLE

Team Fighting:

Your role during team fights is to stay out of the fight until you see either low health enemies or enemy CCs on cooldown. Your objective is to clean up the fight rather than initiate the fight. If you have Zhonya's Hourglass you could start the fight and get everyone low and then use zhonya's and hope your team cleans up at least 1 kill for your passive to trigger.

After lane phase you generally want to always stay with the team and not be split-pushing or farming side lanes. You can farm side lanes if there are no objectives to take, the enemy is recalling, or your team is recalling/farming mid.


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Media/Helpful Links

If you want to learn more about Katarina or watch some montages.
Katlife

Flyerbek

Thalies

My Twitch


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Conclusion

Overall, I wanted to keep my guide pretty short and just give the general build path, rune setup, mastery setup, and skill order.

I did provide some explanations for why I run these setups and I also explained a little bit about how to play the game as Katarina. However, I wanted to stay away from just making walls of text that are too boring to read.

If there is anything more that you want me to add, feel free to leave a comment.


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Special Thanks

Thanks to MissMaw for the Art