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Katarina Build Guide by Toxic Vibe

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Toxic Vibe

[REWORKED] You Ready for Trouble? (IN-DEPTH)

Toxic Vibe Last updated on November 21, 2016
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3 DIFFERENT KATARINA BUILDS

Ability Sequence

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

Masteries

Fury
 
 
5/
Sorcery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Vampirism
 
 
5/
Natural Talent
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Battering Blows
 
 
Piercing Thoughts
 
 
 
 

Offense: 12

Wanderer
 
 
5/
Savagery
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Merciless
 
 
Meditation
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
5/
Precision
 
 
Intelligence
 
 
 
 

Defense: 18

Recovery
 
 
Unyielding
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Runic Armor
 
 
Veteran's Scars
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Swiftness
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 
 
 

Utility: 0



Threats to Katarina with this build

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Threat Champion Notes
3
Karthus This guy is easy...His Q's are predictable and easy to dodge however if you don't get boots you're gonna have a hard time playing. Start Boots of course with MS Quints if you want. You also beat him late game. Just a tip is that when he ults you, you can shunpo to anything and it reduces it's damage! He is super squishy. Don't be afraid to burst him down but don't go too far!!! Rush whatever you want though, I would go for Abyssal.

UPDATE IN PROGRESS FOR KATARINA REWORK









Hi guys and welcome to my Katarina guide. My name is Mike and Katarina is by far one of my favorite champions to play. Katarina is a champion that is A LOT of fun to play and very rewarding if played right. In this guide, you will know exactly how to play Katarina or basically everything you need to know about this killing machine. Good luck and I hope you enjoy the guide! ^^


AD Katarina Build Info

The AD build is mainly for matchups against top lane melee matchups. Your early game will be very weak but once you get a few kills your mid game is incredible but your late game scales off very badly as you will bursted down easily. You can go a full CDR build so you constantly apply your AAs. If you do this then Fervor of the Battle is much better.

Because your laning phase will be super weak you have to play very smart. Harrass the opponent a little less and just farm up with your abilities. You can also run Ignite+TP but Flash is just so good!


About Me

Although, I am not willing to give my Summoner name and so on, I have had a lot of experience with Katarina and started playing her when the 'healthy' Katarina got nerfed which was back in early 2015. Ever since, I have loved her so much and I think she suits my play style a lot! I just wanted to create this guide to give a full in-depth SEASON 6 guide for Katarina and you may think, what's so important about Season 6's changes that affect Katarina? Well, once you read the guide, you'll realise that the changes to the season are actually very significant nerfing her at times but buffing her too.

Other champions I like to play include Zyra, LeBlanc, Ahri, Cassiopeia, Riven and Irelia! I just think those champions are super fun and engaging. And of course, most of them have the best skins but in my opinion, Katarina honestly has the best splash arts and in game models.






Katarina is a super fun champion to play and played for many reasons. Although she is a risky pick in ranked, she is always a team fight winner if you play her right. I will tell you why I love playing this champion.

Honestly, the main reason I play her is because of how she looks like as a champion. Ok, I understand that is super weird but I seriously think she is like the most beautiful champion with the best skins. I like Ahri too but she isn't human so it'd be weird loving a fox. Her personality is also what I love. Confidence, viciousness, determinations; it means that when she does something, she will do it with no hesitation and complete the task.

For my second reason why I play her is because of her amazing passive Voracity. Not only is it one of the best in the game but when you pull off cool combos really quick, it makes you look super skilful. I understand some people think she is a face-roll champion and how Siv-HD can play her using a guitar but that is because he had a lot of experience with her. Also, if you think Katarina is super easy, then have a game in ranked with her in higher tie and you will suffer.

Her passive makes her incredibly strong in teamfights and ganking. It means that all of your abilities except for R can be activated once you have a kill or an assist and this is helpful for escaping a fight or re-engaging to catch out runners. This is basically why she can kind of 1 v 5 the whole enemy team late game if they aren't paying attention. With her jumping to each target, she is like The Flash and no one can keep track of her movements except for the Katarina player themselves.

Now for my last reasons as to why I play her is because of her wondrous mobility with her high base movement speed, Luden's Echo and Shunpo and because she scales so well into late game with her ultimate Death Lotus. Her base movement speed is 345 which is very good for a mage in my opinion. The standard movement for mages are around 325-335. Her mobility is also insane is because of her Shunpo. With this gap closer ability, you can blink to any object including wards meaning she has a somewhat safe laning phase or a free Flash. Her ultimate are one of the highest AOE damage dealers and probably the ability with the most best scaling for both AD and AP. With a 375% AD scaling and 250% AP scaling, she is an absolute monster late game and probably can one shot someone easily.

However, she does have her downfalls. Because Katarina is all about mid game and late game where she shines bright; in order to reach these stages, she has to go through her weakest stage which is early game. She does very less damage and her cooldowns except for her W are very high. Also, her ult is cancelled by stuns, knock ups, suppressions and so on including using your actives such as Hextech Gunblade or Zhonya's Hourglass! She is also often focused and her health and health regen is very low therefore forcing her to buy health pots.

So whether you player her or not is entirely up to your choice but there are Katarina mains for a reason! :)

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Sinister Steel




Voracity (Passive)
Reduces the cooldown on all of her abilities by 15 seconds whenever an enemy champion dies within 3 seconds of being damaged by her.

This is one of the best passives in the game. Basically, when you kill or get an assist, you can use your whole burst combo again without waiting and this passive is extremely useful in team fights as long as you don't get caught.

This passive has many uses; not just for aggressive purposes. Once you kill or grab an assist off a designated target, you can easily use your shunpo to disengage by shunpoing onto a minion, ward or another champion (basically nearly everything you can shunpo on, even Thresh's lantern). This will save you when you are going to die and the shunpo reduces the damage you take by 15% for 1.5 seconds which is very useful to avoid the last damage of turret shots that may have killed you!

Once this passive activates and you want to use it aggressively, your usual 'combo' is Shunpo then Sinister Steel. Of course you can use your Bouncing Blades in between but it is risky as the time you save from just shunpoing to other targets can be helpful to dodge abilities and so on and is the fastest way for a clean up. You usually want to kill the easiest targets such as the mid laner, support or ADC as they are usually squishy allowing you to deny the enemy team most of their damage and allowing you to quickly disengage or re-engage.




Bouncing Blades (Q)
RANGE: 675
COOLDOWN: 10 / 9.5 / 9 / 8.5 / 8

Katarina throws a dagger that bounces from enemy to enemy, dealing 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160 (+ 45% AP) 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.
Striking a marked target with an ability or basic attack will consume the mark on the target and deal an additional
15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 (+ 20% AP) magic damage.






Max first if versing a RANGED champion. This is basically your main harass tool especially used in the laning phase. It is a non skill shot ability therefore allowing effective poke. This ability is also your main last-hit ability to secure farm. Don't be greedy to pop the mark as it is risky unless you are sure it is worth it. Finally, it is the ability that gives you the burst in your 'combos'.

Just a few things to keep in mind when using this ability is that the blades will only bounce five times and only to the NEAREST target! This ability also will damage stealthed champions so don't be afraid to hit enemy minions to catch off an enemy with stealth with very low health! This ability however does a low amount of damage early game and the cool down + scaling of this isn't very good because Katarina has no mana. Just a reminder that the blades do FULL damage with every hit, that means, you can hit any minion that the opponent is standing next to and make it bounce to them for even safer harass. Also remember that this ability now pushes VERY HARD so be careful!

Don't be afraid to constantly use this ability because it costs no mana! The blade cannot pass through Yasuo's Wind Wall so you may walk up to the enemy and bait out their Wall. This includes for champions with shield such as Lulu. Once the Shield/Wall dissipates, feel free to throw a blade because they cannot retaliate. Like before, don't get too greedy to pop the mark. If you're versing a melee champion, a great way to proc it is with your W or AA's. You can run away freely because of the MS buff after the trade!




Sinister Steel
Sinister Steel (W)
RANGE: 375
COOLDOWN: 4
BONUS MOVEMENT SPEED: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35%

Katarina whirls her daggers, instantly dealing 40 / 75 / 110 / 145 / 180 (+ 25% AP) (+ 60% bonus AD) magic damage to all nearby enemies. If she damages an enemy champion, she gains movement speed for 1 second.





Max first if versing a MELEE champion. This ability is your fast wave clear and kiting tool. Although this ability is usually maxed if you are versing a melee champion, you can also max it against any matchup which is what I like doing. Hoewever, by looking at the logical side, you can put some points into it or just max your Q and use your W just for last hitting but not for 'proper' kiting or fast wave clearing.

This ability is probably my favorite from Katarina. It just gives so much and is only 4 seconds which is really short! It can be used for kiting, trading, last hitting, wave clearing and so on effectively. However, early game, this ability literally does no damage so be careful when last hitting and you overestimate the damage.

When you are running away from a champion, simply W them but make sure you hit them to get the movement speed buff. Your W is also great for trading or disengaging because once you E + W an enemy, you can quickly run away - dodging abilities and so on. If you max W first, I suggest you building a Hextech Gunblade and later on in the 'Items' section I will tell you why but it is not compulsory!




Shunpo (E)
RANGE: 700
COOLDOWN: 12 / 10.5 / 9 / 7.5 / 6

Katarina teleports to target unit and gains 15% damage reduction for 1.5 seconds. If the target is an enemy, the target takes 40 / 70 / 100 / 130 / 160 (+ 25% AP) magic damage.






Max this ability last. ALWAYS! This is basically your gap-closer than let's you pull off most of your burst 'combo' upfront and safely. It's cooldown is fairly long and does very little damage so be sure to watch out when trading as it is your only mobility spell. Don't forget that you appear 'behind' your designated target, not in front or what not. It can be either used to your advantage because you stand in the enemies way of running or it may ruin your positioning.

Before, your shunpo can be used for last hitting or can atleast be maxed second but due to nerfs in scaling and early damage, it is ABSOLUTELY not worth at all to max out any more. It can't be used properly to last hit any more because its damage is just too low. You must E onto the minion then quickly AA them.

This is what lets trade in lane with your W effectively and ward jump. See in the 'Gameplay' section for tips and tricks on ward jumping! Be aware that your reset combo in a team fight is just E + W and only try to include a Q if the champions are that high on health.

You can easily use your shunpo to disengage or enganging by shunpoing onto a minion, ward or another champion (basically nearly everything you can shunpo on, even Thresh's lantern). This will save you when you are going to die and the shunpo reduces the damage you take by 15% for 1.5 seconds which is very useful to avoid the last damage of turret shots that may have killed you. If you want to get close to a person but you can't seem to reach them, you can ward jump closest to them, W, then AA along the way!




Death Lotus (R)
RANGE: 550
COOLDOWN: 90 / 60 / 45

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 35 / 55 / 75 (+ 25% AP) (+ 37.5% bonus AD) magic damage and applies Grievous Wounds for 3 seconds, reducing regeneration and incoming healing by 40%.
The maximum amount of damage that Death Lotus can deal to each enemy is
350 / 550 / 750 (+ 250% AP) (+ 375% bonus AD) magic damage






Max your ultimate WHENEVER YOU CAN! Her ultimate is one of her core damage abilities, the main team fight winner and the hardest ability to pull off. You should ONLY use it when the enemy team has used most of their crowd control (knockups, stuns, silences) and by doing this, you can Shunpo in and unleash your deadly ultimate without any interruption.

Katarina's Death Lotus is exactly what makes her burst so strong. Its scaling in the game is probably the highest and is probably the ability that does the most AOE damage. However, like I said it is VERY hard to fully channel your ult and that is exactly why Katarina is hard to master. You can cancel your ult by just moving, using an active or by using another ability of yours.

Unfortunately there are downfalls to her ultimate apart from the ones that have already been explained. If she uses an active (not Summoner Spells except for Teleport) like Zhonya's Hourglass or even Hextech Gunblade, it will immediately cancel the ult. Just some tips is that you can use it with other ultimate combinations such as Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy or Leona's Solar Flare. That way you can unleash your ult with no disruptions.
Remember that your ult CAN ONLY be activated if enemies are around so if there are no enemies around you then the icon will not light up. However, if you don't see an enemy but the icon lights up, that means there is an enemy around you but are stealthed by ability or are hiding in the bush! Use this to your advantage by surprising them.


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Now you may be thinking, don't most champions have the same skill sequence all the time like Ahri? Shouldn't Katarina's be exactly the same all the time too? Well, to be honest, it really depends on what match up you are against. All you need to know is to max your Q or W (I prefer W but other players prefer Q) if you're versing a ranged champion like Zyra, max your W against a melee champion like Yasuo and put a point into your ultimate WHENEVER YOU CAN! Your shunpo should be maxed last ALL THE TIME! After the nerfs to Shunpo, it honestly isn't worth putting any points to after the first rank until last but always get Shunpo at or before level 3!


Verses a MELEE champion



This is my basic skill sequence when I'm versing a melee champion like Yasuo where maxing your Sinister Steel is superior in every way than your Bouncing Blades. Maxing out your W first will help you with farming, trading, kiting on so on and is your constant damage output due to it's short cooldown (4 seconds). When the enemy is farming, constantly poke them with your W and run because they will probably deal more damage than you in trades. The movement speed buff will help you run away.

You get Q at level one just for that safe harass and farming, Shunpo at level two to dodge abilities such as Zed's Razor Shuriken and to assist you a little more in farming. Try not to trade at level two because you deal less damage in trades and you can't escape well once you have used your Shunpo. Once you reach level 3 where you put a point in your W, feel free to trade and run! You don't want them to retaliate!

However, you don't have to put a point into your Q first or even get E second. You can always put a point in your W first for that constant level 1 poke and help with farming. You can also put a point in E third so you can push your wave a little more or trade more often with your Q and W but getting Shunpo at level 3 is a little risky because it is your only gap closer but your W movement speed buff should be fine. Level 3 is the latest stage you can put a Shunpo into otherwise, getting it later on is far too risky and it will be hard trading with your enemy.


Verses a RANGED champion (mostly)




This is my basic skill sequence when I'm versing a ranged champion like Ahri where maxing your Bouncing Blades is a little safer than maxing your Sinister Steel however, I like maxing W in every single match up but it all depends on your preferences. Maxing out your Q first will help you with last hitting, poking, bursting down the enemy on so on and is your constant poke output due to it's high range and non-skill shot factor. Just constantly whittle your enemy down with your Q as it is a safe harassing tool.

You get Q at level one just for that safe harass and farming, Shunpo at level two to dodge abilities such as LeBlanc's Distortion and to assist you a little more in last hitting. Try not to trade at level two because you deal less damage in trades and you can't escape well once you have used your Shunpo. Once you reach level 3 where you put a point in your W, feel free to trade and run! You don't want them to retaliate!

Putting an early point into your Shunpo is mandatory because it just helps so much in dodging abilities early game minimising harass. When you verse a ranged champion, try to play passive and only trade if you feel it's safe or they have used their spells on you already. Ranged champions will always poke you with their AA so watch out and try to minimise their AA's by farming with your Q and so on.


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Runes are very expensive but a compulsory for all champions especially Katarina because her laning phase is very weak and she is very squishy. With the buff that the runes give, she should be able to survive her match up a little more and deal more damage. Having separate runes for Katarina should be done as having magic resist glyphs against an AD champion is mostly useless.

Over here, I have set up 3 runes pages that can be used against their respectable usage. The first one is the Standard Rune Page which is for any match up (mostly for versing AP), the second one is if you're versing an AD champion and the last one is if you're versing an AP but high skill-shot usage champion.


Standard Rune Page

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

This is basically my go-to rune page for any single match up. This rune page should be the standard one and should be used in every normal game. Even though it is the standard rune page for Katarina, it is mostly used if versing against an AP champion like Nidalee.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is a must for Katarina against any single matchup. It is just too good to have as every one of Katarina's spells deal magic damage even if you go with an AD build. You will do more damage throughout the whole game with these marks.

Greater Seal of Scaling Health is optional for Katarina but can be used against any single match up. It gives her a little health early game but gives her a total bonus of 216 health at level 18 and this makes you more tanky so you last longer in team fights. You can also go Greater Seal of Health if you are really struggling with staying in the lane early game.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is a optional for Katarina players against any AP matchup. It helps her survive the early game poke from AP champion spells and therefore improves her laning phase quality for lessening the magic damage of her enemies. If you are really experienced with her, you can go Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration but it is not recommended because Kat's early game is far too weak only if you're a beginner. If you are experienced with her, I would suggest that.

Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration is great for Katarina against any matchup. It helps her do more damage in the laning phase and helps shred through some of the magic resist during mid to late game. I would only recommend this if you are experienced with her. If you are, I recommend these glyphs.

Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration is an optional Quintessence for Katarina. Because of Katarina's low early game damage output, having extra magic penetration in the lane phase would help her more with poking and last hitting. However, it is even more useful late game. Usually, I would get one of these along with two Quintessence of Ability Power!

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power is an optional Quintessence for Katarina. Because of Katarina's low early game damage output, having extra ability power in the lane phase would help her more with poking and last hitting. And, of course, it helps with her burst to kill an enemy. Get these Quintessence for an extra advantage in damage in the laning phase.



Verse AD

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

This is rune page is set to deal with AD mid-laners such as Zed, Yasuo or Talon to survive a lot of their physical damage early game.

Greater Seal of Armor is mandatory for Katarina if she is facing an AD enemy. These Seals will help you survive the strong early physical damage from your enemy and will help you trade easier. Her early game is far too weak to run offensive seals against an AD champion. This rune page is especially for Zed or any ranged AD champion like Quinn as it lowers their damage output a lot!

Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration is a very good option for Katarina against an AD enemy. It gives her a little more early game damage and a lot of extra damage late game because the magic penetration helps you deal more damage by lowering the enemy's magic resist. You can go for more armor with Greater Glyph of Armor or you can go Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power for that extra ability power late game.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power is optional for Katarina against an AD enemy. It gives her a little more early game damage and a lot of extra damage late game. You can go for more armor with Greater Glyph of Armor or you can go Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration for that extra magic penetration to kill of enemies stacking magic resist.



Verse AP Skillshot Champion

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
3

This is rune page is set to deal with AP mid-laners who require landing a lot of skill shots such as Anivia, Zyra or Cassiopeia to survive a lot of their magical damage early game.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed is an optional Quintessence for Katarina. To survive AP champions that are based around skill shots, dodging is very important. With these you should have less trouble dodging skill shots minimising the enemies poke. You can also get back to lane faster, gank faster and escape situations faster however, they do not provide the early game damage that you need.


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Apart from runes, another very important aspect of the game are Masteries. They help Katarina even more in the laning phase by providing more damage, sustain, tankiness and so on which will benefit her in every way. There are however two ways to go with Katarina. You can go 18/12/0 or 12/18/0 depending on which you like better. Getting Deathfire Touch is better in team fights and scales a little better late game but Thunderlord's Decree is very superior in the laning phase so it's up to you.


Ferocity Tree



Tier 1 - Fury vs Sorcery

You must go for Sorcery because you don't need attack speed on Katarina unless your going AD. Also your Shunpo resets your AA already.

Tier 2 - Double Edged Sword vs Feast

Between these two it is completely your preference. You can got Feast which gives you the sustain you need during the laning phase or Double-Edged Sword for that extra 3% damage output you need. I prefer Double-Edged Sword because it scales well throughout the whole game while Feast doesn't.

Tier 3 - Vampirism vs Natural Talent

99% of the time I would go Natural Talent because not only does it help me early game with farming or poking, but it scales fine into late game. The Attack Damage that you get from this is actually A LOT at level 18! It is basically a Long Sword but for free and requires no extra slot.
Don't forget that your ultimate and W also scale on AD so it's pretty good for more burst, pushing, consistent damage and so on! Especially with the red dragon buff, you'll get extra AD which is really helpful whereas the bonus to the AD would not be utilized as you didn't buy any items with AD.

Tier 4 - Bounty Hunter vs Oppressor

Does Katarina have any type of crowd control? No. Even if she did have CC, if Katarina kills 3 different enemies; this already out scales Oppressor by 0.5%! So therefore Bounty Hunter is a MUST and should ALWAYS be used on Katarina NO MATTER WHAT!


Cunning Tree

Tier 1 - Wanderer vs Savagery

These two all come down to preference. Would you rather get to lane, gank, run and so on faster than having an easier time farming? If yes, then choose Wanderer. Other than that, you can pick Savagery which helps you farming a lot with AA's and Shunpo. I personally prefer Savagery because farming in the beginning is very important especially for Katarina and the reason I don't get Wanderer is because she already has a high base movement speed.

Tier 2 - Runic Affinity vs Secret Stash vs Assassin

The first one (Runic Affinity) is obviously a terrible choice for Katarina as she isn't meant for jungler and the Blue Buff mana regeneration is useless so it is between Secret Stash and Assassin. Against these two, it is again your choice. Would you rather have extra sustain in lane and an extra duration in elixirs or do more damage to your lane opponent or when ganking by yourself. I prefer Assassin because it helps you with the early game damage and trading that you need but by all means, you can pick Secret Stash.

Tier 3 - Merciless vs Meditation

Katarina has no mana so therefore Merciless is your only choice. Merciless is actually very beneficial for Katarina to execute enemies faster and deal more damage to enemies if they are low on health. This basically synergies with Katarina a lot because she is a clean up champion and this mastery is exactly what helps with her clean ups.


Tier 4 - Bandit vs Dangerous Game

Look, I hear and see people saying that Bandit is only for support champions but honestly it helps with the gold generation that Katarina needs however, 99% of the time I take Dangerous Game because when you are resetting, it helps you survive more and it can save you with the last ticking of ignite or some damage over time thing.

Tier 5 - Precision vs Intelligence

Between these two masteries, either is actually fine. Depends if you want to deal more damage or use your abilities more often. I go for Precision most of the time because it helps me to penetrate the enemies magic resist and Katarina gets free 15 seconds cool downs any ways because of her passive Voracity but you can go for Intelligence just so you can poke more often with your abilities and use them more often.


Tier 6 (Keystone) - Thunderlord's Decree

For Katarina, there are only two choices between Keystone masteries. It's either you get Deathfire Touch or Thunderlord's Decree and personally, I think it is your opinion to choose which one is better but I like to go Thunderlord's. No other Keystone mastery is viable for Katarina because it just does not synergies with her kit or provide somewhat offensive stats.

Deathfire Touch is a fine mastery on Katarina but it does have some downfalls. It is meant for champions with high poke which is Katarina however, involves prolonged engages which enemies and Katatarina is meant for quick clean ups so therefore, it is only just 'fine' on Kat. This mastery does provide more DPS and scales a little better late game than Thunderlord's so it's up to you.

Thunderlord's Decree is a great mastery on Katarina as it synergises greatly with her kit. I prefer Thunderlord's than Deatfire because it is mainly for burst mages such as Katarina and is much more superior in the laning phase.


Thunderlord's also scales a lot with AD so if you build a Hextech Gunblade, it will be able to deal crazy burst! Her usual 'combos' is Bouncing Blades + Shunpo + AA + Sinister Steel + Run/Dodge and that already utilises three spells. Because of this, the Thunderlord's will proc and deal more damage during trading in lane or just killing someone off. Anyways, this mastery is now used for like nearly every single champion in Season 6 obviously because it is good!


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Summoner spells can actually be varied all the time and be used according to the player's choice but the standard spells for Katarina are Ignite and Flash. Later on, there will be an explanation when you choose Teleport or Exhaust and why Flash is mandatory.

Main Summoner Spells

Flash is the most mandatory on Katarina and must be used for EVERY SINGLE game! Not only is Flash the most common Summoner Spell that is used, but it synergises with Katarina's kit a lot. Some people may think that Flash's cooldown is way too long (300 seconds) and that Katarina already has a gapcloser ( Shunpo) so Flash is not that good on Katarina but they are wrong!

The reason I take Flash is because I can escape early ganks, troublesome situations when I don't have shunpo or a ward available. I also take Flash to catch off people who are running away and then usually finish them off with a Bouncing Blades or a whole 'combo'. You also get flash so you can pull off your Death Lotus expectantly and let the enemy team be surprised and watch their health melt while they don't know what's happening but until they know, it's already too late.

I put my Flash in the 'F' section instead of the 'D' because it starts with 'F' and it feels more comfortable in my opinion but this is completely with your choice!



Ignite is another very important skill on Katarina. This summoner spell deals TRUE damage, reveals the enemy and reduces incoming healing by 40% over 5 seconds. This is very helpful in the laning phase when you want to kill someone and is a nice source of damage out put when all of your abilities are on cooldown. The Grevious Wounds really help to destory ADC's with Heal and whittle down champions with sustain such as Nidalee with her Primal Surge. It is especially very good against Vladimir or Swain as it kills them off really quick without them healing much.

For Katarina, you can Ignite the target without channelling your Death Lotus so it's pretty good. Just a note that Death Lotus' Grevious Wounds and Ignite's don't stack! You may also think that Ignite deals far too less damage but it deals TRUE damage meaning it surpasses all the magic resist the target has and therefore is useful for tanks building resist.


Alternate Summoner Spells

Teleport is a fine choice on Katarina as it helps with her ganking and the fact that she can get back to lane faster. Getting to lane faster means you don't miss as many minions and this is very important especially for Katarina as she usually has trouble farming.

Honestly, if you're mid, you can gank pretty fast because you are close to bottom lane and top lane and you get to lane pretty fast because mid lane has the shortest distance for the minion path to reach your turret. So, it isn't that good on her but if you are going Top, feel free to pop in a Teleport within your summoner spells.



Exhaust is another fine choice on Katarina as it decreases the burst of the enemy champion and can be caught more easily due to it's movement speed de buff. It it useful against most melee champions because you can always catch them out within the ranged of Exhaust and so you whittle down their damage while you can chase them down! Some examples are Zed or Talon.

This summoner spell is often underestimated for midlaners but honestly, it is actually pretty good. You can set up ganks easier, lower the damage output of an enemy and increase your damage output against them due to their MR and ARMOR shred. Most people prefer Ignite so it's your choice!


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Items on Katarina are actually quite hard to find which is best. In Season 5, items such as Hextech Gunblade was never viable on Katarina but due to the gold generation ingame increased, it has ever since been a very viable item on her. She has three core items Rabadon's Deathcap, Void Staff and Sorcerer's Shoes. These items must be built in every game while her other items should be fairly situational.





Starting Items



Boots of Speed is the usual start for Katarina against every matchup. This item early on can help you dodge abilities, especially those champions with skill shots such as Javelin Toss, Dark Binding, Charm, Razor Shuriken and so on. By dodging them, you of course avoid most of the enemies poke during the laning phase. But by all means, you can also use your Shunpo to dodge but the Boots movement speed buffs are on you forever until you sell them.

Boots are also great because they help you escape early ganks and help with your roaming by getting to the designated area faster. Any ways, whether you start with boots or not is your choice but remember that Boots are compulsory for Katarina and should be built at least on your first back.


If you ever needed sustain in lane then a Health Potion your best friend. By starting Boots, you can get a total of 4 health pots which is equivalent to 600 health (if you didn't put a point into your Secret Stash ). 600 health is a lot of health! This way is probably the highest sustain start for Katarina along with Cloth Armor and 4 Health Potions.

Just a reminder, please do not start a lane without at least one health potion! Katarina is squishy and melee so she will get poked to death by any champion including melee ones. Therefore, having a health potion to start with is mandatory!



A Warding Totem is a must throughout the whole game and the most common Trinket starter for every champion. Not only can you place it in the mid bushes for protection and vision but you can use those cheeky flowers to ward jump to!

Basically in the 'Gameplay' section I'll tell you how to do that but ward-jumping is just placing down your ward to the furthest distance it can go in the direction you want to go and using Shunpo on it. Consider it as a free flash. That is exactly why wards are just so good for Katarina and should be used every time as a starting item!





Cloth Armor is your usual start if you're versing any AD champion. I would always start this item when I'm facing a Zed, Talon or Yasuo. It gives you 15 armor which is a lot and helps you survive a lot of the physical damage early on from those attack damage based champions. If you're versing a ranged AD champion, then I suggest you building a Doran's Shield but it's up to you!

Other than that, I would later build it into a Seeker's Armguard and then build that into Zhonya's Hourglass after I have completed around 3 items because it is too expensive. Rush Zhonya's if you're versing a Zed as it counters his ultimate.





Doran's Shield is your usual start if you're versing a ranged AD champion. It lowers the damage of their annoying auto attacks and abilities meaning you can stay in lane for longer. You also get more health and more health regen which is really helpful for Katarina due to her weak laning phase.

I usually build this if I'm versing a Teemo, Quinn and so on, basically a ranged champion who relies on a lot of AA's. However, you can also build it against pokey or tanky champions such as Diana. After all, it is preference! Sell this item later on, probably after you completed your 2nd or 3rd item.





The Dark Seal is often referred to as the to as the 'unsafe' starting item however with the fact that you can now buy three health pots and the fact that you gain extra healing from them makes this item viable anywhere. I would mostly use this item aggressively.

I have tried this out a lot and it seems to work really well. You get 3 health pots, a great passive, AP and extra healing from pots. Biscuits synergises well with this. Usually, I get it if I'm versing an easy lane. Although it gives you mana, don't think that this item is trash because it gives you extra healing, something a Kat needs. Also, its passive is fantastic for snowballing. I wouldn't suggest building it into Mejai's however.


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Build Paths (VS AP + AD)



VS Ability Power (AP)


Negatron Cloak is usually the first back item for Katarina if she verses any ability power mage. Unfortunately, this item offers no offensive stats for Katarina but it is necessary to purchase this item because it helps with Katarina's laning phase a lot! It reduces the damage output of mages especially those with burst like LeBlanc and those with poke like Syndra.

By buying this item, you can stay in lane longer, invest less in Health Potions and trade better. Once you buy this item, you can start trading with the enemy as buying magic resist early game is more helpful than buying AP because of the huge magic damage reduction it deals. I honestly just love this item because it is just so cheap.

Just a reminder that you can either rush Negatron Cloak first or Fiendish Codex if you're ahead but it is necessary to rush Abyssal Scepter 99% of the time when you verse an AP mage or when the enemy team has a lot of AP utilisers.






With the gold reduction for the Vision Ward (100 Gold to 70 Gold), it is now a very viable item for Kat. Not only does it provide vision throughout the whole game in a large area and reveal stealth champions until it gets destroyed but you can place it in lane so you can constantly ward jump onto it.

I would usually buy them if I'm versing a champion with a stealth ability such as Evelynn or Rengar or just for vision. I would also buy it purely for vision and if the enemy jungler keeps camping me. What I do is place the ward near your turret as long as it is a good place where you can Shunpo onto and run away. Obviously if the enemy laner pushes, they will most likely destroy your ward and get 30 Gold back but would you rather give kills or stay safe?





VS Attack Damage (AD)


Seeker's Armguard is a fantastic early game item for Katarina. It gives everything that Kat needs to survive the laning phase and nothing extra which is perfect! The item is also very cheap (1200 Gold) and gives her a lot of armor to cut down the physical damage caused by AD champions such as Zed.

You can rush Zhonya's Hourglass later but honestly, I'd keep the Armguard for a while maybe after like 3 items and then finish it. This is because Zhonya's provides medicore stats and costs a huge chunk of 3500 Gold! Katarina can't really keep up with farm early game and can't afford items that don't give her a proper power spike. It takes forever to build Zhonya's and you'll realise that other items are such better.

However, you can rush a Zhonya's if you're versing a Zed as it counters his ultimate Death Mark. Either way, the Seeker's Armguard rush against any AD champion is a must because it is too good to avoid in your build.





Core Items





The items above are the core items on Katarina and therefore must be built in every single matchup no matter when. The orders of the items that I build are usually situational but the earlier you get your Sorcerer's Shoes the better. I will explain later on when to build that items. You should usually build Rabadon's Deathcap later on in the game now because it is too expensive for Katarina (3800 Gold).

Usually, you'd get a Needlessly Large Rod, Blasting Wand or a Amplifying Tome somewhere between your game. The good thing about this is that they all build into your Deathcap and the latter two build into your Void Staff. The build paths in my opinion for the items are fine but could have been better.

After the core items, I'll be telling you about the semi-core items. You should get those items but are not compulsory in every build and are mainly situational or if they suit your playstyle. An example is Luden's Echo. It's great for Kat but it is a luxury item for her!





Boots are compulsory for every single champion. I repeat, compulsory! The best boot for Katarina is Sorcerer's Shoes because it gives Kat exactly what she needs - magic penetration to do more damage. Now you may think that if enemy isn't building magic resist this item isn't worth buying but don't forget that champions all have a base magic resist and with those boots, you'll do much more burst!

Sure, you can go for other boots such as Mercury's Treads, Boots of Mobility or Ionian Boots of Lucidity but over all, Sorcerer's Shoes are the best for her. I usually finish the boot build path after completing my first big item such as Abyssal Scepter because it is way too good to build later on. Finish your boots at the latest of completing your third item because it just gives you much more damage and mobility that you can't miss out!





Here we go. The strongest AP item in the whole game, Rabadon's Deathcap and that is exactly why it is one of the most expensive items in the game at 3800 Gold! Mostly all AP champions would get this with an exception for some like Elise or Evelynn but this item is a core for Kat.

The reason why it's so good on Kat is because of it's raw damage. It gives her an extra 35% of all her AP and a high amount of 120 base AP. Like I said before, Katarina's ultimate Death Lotus is probably the best scaling in the whole game and that is exactly why raw AP stats are so important on her. Once you build this item you'll realise a huge power spike as you do so much more damage than before.

However, this item is super expensive. That is why I suggest you building this item at the earliest the third item. Please don't rush this item because it isn't cost efficient early game. There's so many more items to buy early game than this item.





Void Staff is the last core item for Katarina. It gives her pure AP and a lot of magic resist. The whole point of this item is to ensure that you shred through the enemies magic resist. This is mostly useful when you are really fed or your team is mostly AP and the enemy team is stacking a lot of magic resist. This is when this item comes in handy because you deal more damage with your spells. Void Staff is also a really cheap item to grab and go so it's great for Katarina.

Even though it is a must for Katarina, I would only build it later into the game or maybe even as my last item because it is only useful when an enemy surpasses 100 MR. But, you still can build it in the middle of the game but please don't rush it! You may think that MR isn't important or whatnot but it is! If you feel like you're doing no damage, buy this item and trust me, you'll see your damage sky rocketing unless you did very bad early game. A good point to remember is that the effect comes into place before your magic penetration making this item more efficient!


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Semi-core Items





The items above are the semi-core items on Katarina. That means, you should get those items but are not compulsory in every build and are mainly situational or bought if they suit your playstyle. An example is Luden's Echo. It's great for Kat but it bought as a luxury item for her! Below, I will tell why those items are awesome and why should be built!




Abyssal Scepter is a fantastic item on Katarina and should be rushed against every AP matchup for many reasons! It is necessary to purchase this item because it helps with Katarina's laning phase a lot! It reduces the damage output of mages especially those with burst like LeBlanc and those with poke like Syndra.

This item is like as if it was made just for Katarina. It gives you 60 AP, 60 MR and a unique passive which reduces the magic resist of nearby enemy champions increasing with each level ups therefore scaling into late game with a range of 700. Amazingly, every spells of Kat's is at or within the 700 range with Shunpo exactly at 700! Most people think this item is not that good because it isn't really offensive. I mean yea, it's build path isn't really because you have to rush Negatron Cloak but you get magic penetration with this item and loads of AP!

The 10% CDR is also very useful when trading, poking and so on and will help you dominate the laning phase a little more. Buy this item if you're behind your AP laner or if the opponent has a lot of AP champions.





Have you ever wanted an item that gives you sustain but burst like Deathfire Grasp once gave? Fear not, Hextech Gunblade is here to make your dream come true! So why was Hextech a bad item in Season 5? Before in Season 5, the gold generation was lower than Season 6 and ever since the nerfs to AP items by decreasing their AP amount and by increasing their price, Hextech has ever become a great item! Not only that but the buffs to the AD ratios for Thunderlord's Decree made this item even more reliable for Katarina!

But of course, the major reason you would buy this item is because it heals you for all the damage you deal by 15%! I repeat, ALL DAMAGE! This item even gets better because not only does it give you awesome raw stats (80 AP and 40 AD) but it has an amazing passive that does insane burst. The fact that the passive scales on AP and slows the target by 40% for 2 seconds, this is the perfect assassination tool for Kat and now, Kat basically has a CC ability! ^^ I love this item too!





Ever felt so slow while walking on the map? That's why Luden's Echo exists! Basically the item where nearly every AP mage gets because it gives you great raw stats and a fine passive. My favourite part of this item is that it gives you 10% bonus movement speed. This helps Katarina gank, get to lane, participate in team fights, chase down and so on so much faster.

Another good part is that this item gives you a unqiue passive called 'Echo' that scales on AP. It does exactly what the passive's name does. Instead of hitting 5 different targets with your Bouncing Blades, it now hits 9 different targets! The passive also synergises with Kat because it charges on cast or movement. Because of Kat constantly needs to position herself to unleash her deadly ultimate, that means it's already charged. Also because of her passive Voracity, it means that the passive will come active even faster! Now, how much do you love this item?





Zhonya's Hourglass is the last semi-core item. You'd usually rush this item after you purchase your Seeker's Armguard to deal with annoying AD champions but you can always rush this item later on except when you're facing Zed. This is because Zhonya's provides medicore stats while costing 2900 Gold!

This item is super good on Katarina. Once you pick off a kill in a team fight with your 'combos' and you ultimate to deal a huge chunk of damage, the enemy team will obviously want to kill you but once you click Zhonya's, they can't do anything and they'll probably even waste abilities on you. Once the active is over, you can then catch out the squishiest target, combo them, and then use your passive to re-engage or dis-engage!

This item is also good because it gives you a nice amount of raw stats and extra tankiness with 70 AP and 45 ARMOR & 10% CDR (which isn't that good but it will be useful to deal more consistent damage).


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Situational Items





The last section for the items will be 'Situational Items' which means you only build those items for certain reasons. They can also be considered as a luxury item but are less important. For example, you build Rylai's Crystal Scepter if the enemy team has a champion like Evelynn or Ezreal to ensure they stay in your ultimate longer. For these items, I'd usually replace Abyssal Scepter or Zhonya's Hourglass with them.




Banshee's Veil is a very situational item on Kat and built only if it suits your play style. If you feel like your ultimate is always cancelled in a team fight because of crowd control, this item should do the trick. It blocks the first spell that targets you meaning you can ult longer. Banshee's also gives you a huge chunk of 500 health, 70 magic resistance and 100% health regen which helps you stay in a fight longer.

The passive is only 40 seconds so it's often always used once you get back to a team fight. Banshee's is good against combo champions such as Ahri because it stops her Charm from working so she can't burst you down with her combo any more. I'd usually build this as my last item if I am building it.





Ever wanted to revive? Well, there's a Guardian Angel item to protect you! Guardian's Angel is usually only good as a last item if you are the carry or one of the most valuable assets to the team. If you realise you die too early meaning you don't have enough time to pull off your burst or if you just want more all rounder tankiness, then purchase this item. It gives a huge amount of 60 MR and 60 ARMOR.

Once you die, you can use your burst again to assassinate or clean-up targets and probably win the game but remember that the cool down of this passive is 5 minutes which is a lot so don't just die for no reason please! It even has a longer cool down than Flash! I'd usually build this as my last item if I am building it.





Liandry's Torment gives you poison damage just like Teemo! It's not exactly 'poison' but it's more like Ignite. It burns 6% of the target's current health over 3 seconds and does extra damage if the target impaired. This item also gives you a nice health and AP amount (300 and 80 respectively). Liandry's also gives you an extra of 15 magic penetration so this item is viable if the enemy builds a lot of magic resist.

I would generally only build this item if I'm versing a lot of tanks especially Garen or if I built Rylai's Crystal Scepter somewhere in my build. Other than that, I could rush a Haunting Guise early in the game if I'm ahead and then build it into Liandry's once I get my Rylai's. This is because Rylai's slows the target and once you slow them, Liandry's passive deals double the damage.

But, to be honest, just don't build this item. It's not 'good' enough on Kat. I would build a Haunting Guise but sell it later on but I wouldn't really want to build it into this item.





The main reason you'd purchase a Rylai's Crystal Scepter is for it's passive which slows down any target that you hit an ability with. It is alright for Katarina because it provides 400 health and 100 AP also. One reason to build this item is because her Sinister Steel movement speed buff synergises quite well with the passive as you can kite or chase down enemies easier. Another reason why you build this is because of your Bouncing Blades poke is non skill shot and a really good engage spell paired with this item. Once you slow an enemy, your team can engage on that target easier.

You'd also buy this item so that the enemies can stay in your ultimate for a longer period of time. This is really good against an Ezreal because once he blinks out of your ultimate with his Arcane Shift, your ult still has contact with him and slows him down causing him to stay in your ult for longer.





Hextech Protobelt-01 is a really fun and unexpected item. It provides some good health (300), 10% CDR, 60 AP (which isn't that good but..) and a good passive. This item is just if you aren't confident enough with chasing people down with your shunpo and you want another mobility spell. The unique passive is AOE so it adds extra AOE damage to your kit.

Overall, I would buy this item to survive a little more and to ensure that you can lockdown a target. The item is also very cheap at 2500 gold so that's pretty cool too!


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Early-Game (Laning Phase)

The early-game is about laning against your enemy and trying to some what win lane. Basically in the laning phase, your most important priority is to farm. Farming is so important in League because when you accumulate your gold, you can buy more items. However, unfortunately for Katarina, she has one of the weakest laning phases early game therefore acquiring a fine number of farm is very hard for her therefore, considerations much be taken place. Your other objectives include trading in lane with your abilities and trying to avoid as much poke as possible. The worse thing about this phase is that Katarina is melee and gets bullied very hard by ranged champions especially those with long ranged poke like Syndra.

Because of Kat's weak laning phase, she has play very passively in the beginning especially if she is versing a ranged champion. While you play passive you still can farm effectively due to her Bouncing Blades. Farming with Kat's AA's are also great because her AA animations are one of the best in the whole game but then you will receive a lot of poke in return. Her health melts while her health regens increases like glue because she is super squishy and has a terrible health regen rate. In lane, try to focus on farming more but with your Q, you should be able to also poke effectively because it is an unavoidable (non skill shot based) spell.


Farming In Lane

Farming is a very significant part for every champion to do in League of Legends. It is especially important for Katarina because her early game is very weak and therefore she may not acquire a satisfactory amount of farm. You can farm effectively with all her abilities especially with her Bouncing Blades but has to watch out when she uses Shunpo because it is her only mobility spell. The good thing about Kat is that she has no mana so you can spam your skills while farming, especially your Sinister Steel as it only has a 4 second cooldown. Another good thing about Katarina is her AA (auto attack) animation. It is one of the best in the whole game meaning your AA happens fast and smoothly making last hitting much more easier.

Although she has a great AA animation, her AA's do very less damage because she is a mage and mages don't build AD but AP so ensure you don't over estimate her AA dmaage. But, that is when Savagery comes into use. Now because her AA damage is low, Savagery increases her basic attacks or single target spells (only her Shunpo) against minions or monsters by 5! This helps her so much more in lane especially when all spells do very less damage. That's why I like to take this mastery over Wanderer .


The only way I think you can improve with last hitting is by practising whether it is a normal or custom game and so on because farming is just too vital for a Katarina player. Other issues that Kat faces in lane when she is last hitting is the fact that the enemy can trade with her with their AA's or abilities. This is especially evident when she is versing a high range champion with a high base attack damage such as Zyra. Her range of her abilities are super long and her auto attack range is 575 which is higher than the average ranged champion. Because of this, it is better for Katarina to play passively and last hit only with her Q or W to avoid most poke.


The reason why Bouncing Blades is such a good farming tool is because it is guaranteed to hit, has a huge range (675) and does nice damage. However, just because it is good, it has a long cool down (10 seconds at rank 1) therefore, if you don't have to use your Q for the farm but you can AA or use your W instead then do that. Use Q only to reach those minions that are too far to last hit or to poke the enemy champion. Although you will not exactly know where the other 4 blades will hit, you should have a rough estimate. Because they hit to the closest target, that means that if there is are a group of minions next to each other all on low health, you may be able to also last hit those together.


Don't forget that once you Q a minion but it doesn't die, it has the mark on it so you can always proc that for extra damage while last hitting. Sinister Steel is by far the best AOE farm clearer for Katarina and two of them when maxed out can clear a whole wave. That's why I like to max my W first over my Q and it only has a 4 second cooldown, half of that a maxed Q (8 seconds). If you want to spam your abilities more with farming, you can also get cooldown reduction but it isn't recommended because Kat's passive already provides an insane 15 second cooldown reduction when she kills or assists with a kill of a champion.


Trading In Lane/Combos

Trading and melting the enemy laner's health is another important aspect during Katarina's early game. She has consistent and safe poke her Bouncing Blades and usually has only two combos that she can use to trade in lane for maximum efficiency. Usually when you Q the enemy, they are not able to retaliate because they have already used their spells to farm with.

At level one is usually when you put a point in your Q and it is a super good trading tool especially when you are against a melee catchup. During this time, find all the opportunity you can to hit the enemy with your Q and try not use it to last hit the minions because it pushes your lane. Sometimes, enemies know that you will go for that Q poke at level one so they will try as much as possible to avoid you so just walk up to them and Q them then run. Against melee match up, a thing you can do is to Q them then AA them to proc the mark to deal extra damage! If you AA them again, Thunderlord's Decree will proc causing even more damage. It's good to do this is the enemy isn't paying attention however, this is very risky as the melee enemies are usually AD and deal more damage than you early.

Then at level two, you would usually take a point into your Shunpo or Sinister Steel. You would usually take Shunpo at level two but if you're against a melee match up, putting a point into Shunpo wouldn't be as necessary so Sinister Steel is a fine alternative because it helps you more with farming and trading. A cool thing you could do is to Q the enemy and try to hit your W to proc the Q mark. This is a safe way of trading because of the W movement speed bonus you get later on. This trade is especially good against melee champion such as Yasuo because they cannot retaliate. If you're versing a ranged matchup, you wouldn't able to reach them with your W so you can E to them instead. After you E them, your AA animation resets automatically proccing Thunderlord's. This method is ok when trading but very risky because after you do that, you can't run away effectively.

Combos
At level three is when you have all your three abilities. You can say this is your power-spike but with these three abilities, you are superior at trading and now, you can combo properly and effectively. There are usually only two combos you can do using all your abilities at this point. Also, don't be afraid to turret dive because you underestimate the dmagae of your abilities with with Thunderlord's Decree, you'll do a tonne more dmagae. Once you pick up the kill, don't forget that your passive Voracity triggers meaning you can use all your abilities again. If you want to dis-engage, Shunpo back out onto a ward or minion

Standard Combo

AA Sinister Steel RUN


This is the usual combo that you would be using on Katarina every single time whether you want to harass or kill someone off. Basically, you start it off by chucking Bouncing Blades then quickly blink behind the enemy using Shunpo to detonate the mark. After you are behind them, Shunpo auto resets your AA so AA them then you Sinister Steel out using the movement speed buff to run away quickly or to dodge abilities. Don't forget that your Shunpo also gives you 15% damage reduction for 1.5 seconds so this combo is great for trading without the enemy retaliating. Using this whole combo will guarantee a proc of Thunderlord's Decree !

You don't have to AA after Shunpo but it's better to do so. If you kill the person your passive Voracity triggers meaning you can use all your abilities again. If you want to kill off another enemy, use the same combo but this time without your Q to ensure you lock them down. After you E + W them, feel free to Q them. If you want to dis-engage, Shunpo back out onto a ward or minion.

Can't Reach Combo

AA Sinister Steel RUN


This is your combo to catch off the enemy off guard or the most effective way to chase down an enemy. This is because your Shunpo has a slightly larger range than your Bouncing Blades and in lane, the enemy is prepared for you to land your standard combo Q + E + W but by using E first, it may be unexpected for them causing them to retaliate less. Basically this combo is self-explanatory but if you're chasing down someone, you can E them, then Q and use W to detonate the mark and use the MS buff to AA the champion you are chasing.


Security


So, during the laning phase, one of the most obvious things that will happen are ganks. That is why to you have to avoid pushing early in the game so the jungler will have more trouble ganking you because you are closer to your turret. But if you do push because you are winning lane, then make sure you place wards around your area. Purchase a Vision Ward early game to counter stealth junglers such as Evelynn. Wards can be placed anywhere around the map because no matter where you place them, they will always be useful.

The best places are in the mid lanes left and right bushes as most jungler gank from there. Although warding are very important for immobile champions, it isn't that vital for Katarina. This is because she can ward jump easily and smoothly helping a lot with ganks. I would buy the Vision Ward if the enemy jungler keeps camping me. What I do is place the ward near your turret as long as it is a good place where you can Shunpo onto and run away.

Even though it isn't as important for Katarina, there are situations where she cannot ward jump to escape to safety because she is cc'ed. That is why warding should still be done to avoid ganks before they happen. Another reason why you ward is so that you keep track of the enemy team. If you mid laner is missing but you see them scuttle through the river because of your ward placement, then you can easily ping your team. Always keep a Warding Totem in your inventory for its utility and for the awesome vision it provides.


Predicting Ganks


Because you may not place wards in the lane because you can use them to ward jump on, you can always predict ganks. Usually ganks from the enemy can always be predicted if observed carefully but if they are good, they will be hard to detect. It is especially easy to determine if someone is coming to gank if the champion you're versing has cc and is short ranged. For example, if Swain comes closer to you aggressively and won't stop and uses Nevermove on you; that probably means that there is a champion that is going to help him kill you. The only thing I can tell you to do is to run when the enemy you're facing starts walking to you aggresively even on low health as they will probably kill you with help from his team mates. That's why you try to run away even if you think nothing is going to happen. But like I said, you can always ward jump or Shunpo onto a minion to your turret.

A good example of junglers who usually flash to combo or knock you up for a more effective gank include Xin Zhao or Rek'Sai as they would sometimes flash to knock you up with their abilities enabling the cc to activate to lock you down. You can however prevent those ganks by not pushing lane but you shouldn't be able to push any ways. Another tip is if the enemy is a champion who can push very well like Ahri with her Orb of Deception but decide not to push and farm only with AA's. This can be a sign that they want a teammate to come to their lane to gank you or they just don't want to push. Usually when a champion does not push, it means that they ping the team mate for assistance. So, be wary of these instances.

You team mates should usually ping if their enemy laner is missing and so on so always have map awareness because if the bot lane has a Blitzcrank as an enemy and he had left to the river, it probably means that he is coming to your lane to pull you in. So, always have map awareness as this will also help you prevent ganks. Just make sure that when you're trading in lane, always have map awareness as your trades usually involve a Shunpo - your only gap closer and without it, the enemy team can easily engage onto you while you have no escapes leading to a quick death that could have been easily avoided if you took enough care. That's why you always have to be careful when you are trading in lane.



Dodging & Baiting Abilities


The good thing about Kat's laning phase is the fact that she has the ability to dodge abilities with ease. Because of the high base movement speed she has (345), it is easier to dodge abilities. The key is to dodge projectiles or abilities that are are non-targeted by side-stepping them, not by walking forward or backwards. Trust me, people always struggle especially when dodging Nidalee's Javelin Toss (even happens to me a lot) because they are so fustrated and don't know what to do. Just calm down and remember it's a game! Just always run in a diagonal direction if you have to as it makes aiming skill shots much harder. Not only does she have a high base movement speed (345), but she has a blink ability which is fantastic for dodging abilities. The ability is Shunpo as explained before, it is not only used offensively but can be used defensively to dis-engage by shunpoing onto a minion or ward and so on but it can be used to dodge abilities. However, like always, you cannot dodge targeted abilities such as LeBlanc's Sigil of Malice but you can decrease the damage you take from the ability.

Don't forget that Shunpo decreases all the damage you take by 15% for 1.5 seconds so it is a great ability to minimise harass in lane. What you basically do to dodge a skill shot such as Xerath's Arcanopulse is to observe the abilities direction when it is travelling and hit box and then, utilise your Shunpo onto a minion or opponent to blink out of the ability. Even if you do get hit, you take 15% less damage from the ability so it's a great trick you can use. On the negative side, using this ability for dodging all the time may mean that you cannot escape any more or trading as much.

Another good thing about Kat is that she can easily bait out the abilities of opponents. This is especially useful when versing a champion utilising mana as they run out of mana quickly but this method can only be done a few times. What you do is walk up to them straight on like as if you want to assassinate them and then your enemy will retaliate by using their abilities. Use this opportunity to dodge them with your movement speed or Shunpo by carefully looking at the direction the ability is going and the hit box. Dodge accordingly and you should be able to waste a lot of their mana. Of course this method is risky because if you try to dodge Light Binding or a Charm but you accidently get caught, then you'll probably receive a lot of free harass from the enemies combos and you don't want that. So, pay attention if you want to dodge or bait the abilities out.

Don't forget that Shunpo is a blink ability meaning you directly teleport to the designated target without actually moving to the area. Basically, you can easily Q + E + W + run when you want to dodge an ability. So what I mean is that if Leblanc Distortions Ahri's Charm, it won't work because you can actually see Leblanc moving to the area but if Kat Shunpos onto the Ahri to dodge the Charm, Kat won't get affected because she teleports to the location automatically without travelling the actual distance. However, if your enemy is smart, because the Shunpo teleports you to the back of the champion, they will quickly turn around and use their abilities to where your Shunpo lands on so it is very risky!


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Mid-Game (Roaming & Team Fighting)


Roaming

After the weak laning-phase of Katarina, now it comes to time where she shines - mid game! Even though her early game ganks (before level 6) are very good due to her passive Voracity which resets all her abilities, her level 6 ganking potential is even better because of her ultimate Death Lotus. The reason you roam is so that you get ahead with gold and help your other team mates also by making them win lane. After you gank, you can complete other objectives such as the slaying Dragon or pushing. Also, because enemies do not immediately spawn after they die, they will lose experience and gold. There are downsides to roaming as Katarina as she only has one gap closer if she doesn't get a kill or assist unlike Ahri who has three gap closers. This makes her time roaming much more difficult especially when the enemy laner has placed wards to track your movement.

Roaming isn't always the best thing to do especially if your enemy is pushing towards your tower. If you turret loses half of its health every time you roam, it isn't very worth it because turrets are your protection barriers and without them you lose map pressure. Unfortunately for Kat, she is often bullied in lane and pushed towards her tower. This makes roaming super hard to do so as the player so when you roam, make sure the enemy laner has recalled and you have pushed out your lane as much as possible. That's why I max my Sinister Steel because it clears waves super quickly! If you really can't roam because your enemy is always pushing, ask your jungler for help and once you kill your opponent after you have pushed your wave, you can start roaming.

The good thing Katarina's roaming is that she has high best movement speed (345) which means she can get to a lane quicker and without losing much time. Another good thing is that she can cancel her ult by just moving, using an active or by using another ability of yours so if the victim runs, you can stop and still chase them down. You can also utilise your summoner spells during this ult such as Ignite to kill or reveal survivors of your ganks and it won't stop the channel. Another good thing about her roams is because of her passive Voracity which reduces the cooldown of all her abilities by 15 seconds after a kill or assist meaning, if you roam bot lane and you pick up a kill but the other enemy has run away, you can still chase them because your abilities are up again.

When you start roaming, ensure that the enemy team does not know you are coming. Because you won't grab a Sweeping Lens when you're Kat, you can ask your team if the enemy laners have placed a ward in the direction you are going. You can also tell if they know you're coming if the enemy laners start backing away. You still can engage at this point but it is risky because it means that they are prepared for you to come. A neat trick you can do while roaming is ward jumping very close to enemies to unleash your deadly ult so you catch them faster. Use your combos when you're roaming. Any combo is fine as long as you don't die while you're roaming.

After you finished roaming, it's a good idea to push the lane you have helped by destroyed the enemies turret. You can also take a dragon if you must because most of the enemy team is now if the Death Timer. However, it isn't always good to roam because you may be winning your lane super hard and you can constantly get fed off your opponent or you're always pushed. To be honest, Katarina is known for her roams and that's how she gets fed. I usually always roam the bot side but if you're team is pushing, then roam top. But, if top is pushing then just stay in lane.

Just remember to only roam if the enemy lane is overextending to your side of the map so they can't escape, if you're lane is pushed, if the your team has a decent amount of health and mana, if your opponent has backed and if the enemy team does not see you leaving.




Team Fighting

Now, during mid-game, team fights may erupt. I will explaining the fights more in detail for 'Late Game' because that's where most of the fights will happen. Other than that, I will provide a summary on what to do.

Team fights often occur in the mid lane or in significant places such as the Dragon Pit. Your goal is to pick of the carries (AP carry or AD carry) and to unleash a huge amount of damage. It is not your job to engage a fight and I highly do not recommend starting a team fight because you will die in a few seconds. What you have to do is hide away from the team fight and try not to expose yourself. Other than that, it is your job is to to clean-up and kill the carries.

What I like to do is to hide in the bush or just walk crazily around as long as the enemy team cannot see my properly. Then what I do is see if a teamfight has erupted. I stand back and watch the enemies. I ask myself these questions. Have they most of their abilities? Have they used all of their crowd control? If the answers to both of those are yes, then here is the fun part. You can Flash and Shunpo into the whole teamfight to unleash your devastating Death Lotus or just Shunpo in and pick off people to get resets. The reason why you see if the enemy team is tired is so your ultimate or yourself doesn't get cancelled. Using your passive Voracity efficiently and effectively is therefore super important for a Kat player.

Don't forget that crowd control involves any kind of thing that will decrease Kat's potential and this includes a summoner spell like Exhaust. It is best to jump in when the enemy team is somewhat low and try to aim for the squishiest targets (usually the mid-laner, ADC or support) to kill off first so you pick up a reset faster. You can also jump it by throwing your Q then unleashing your ult. Be aware that your reset combo in a team fight is just E + W and only try to include a Q if the champions are that high on health. This is so the enemy team cannot track you down fast enough as your crazily jump everywhere and killing everyone off.

The main reason why your goal is to kill the carries of the team is because they are the most valuable asset to the enemy team. This is because they do the most damage and without them, you should be able to win every single team fight. It is also because they are usually squishy and don't have much mobility so they are the easiest targets to kill giving you a reset to re-engage or dis-engage. Just watch out also because the carries will mostly be protected by the tanks and you don't want to die without even touching the carries. That's why you wait for the whole enemy to use most of her abilities and then surprise them with your ult.


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Late-Game (Team Fighting & Objectives)


Team Fighting

Team fighting in late game is very similar to that of mid games but the differences are that the fights are more intense, important and somewhat harder for you to engage in. Late game is when you have built your core item Rabadon's Deathcap and it is the time when you deal tonnes of damage. It is also when you have built most of your items and you're ready to rock! Lastly, the reason why late game is a little harder for Katarina even though you have your nearly finished build and have a lot of AP is because the enemy team will know instantly to focus you (because you kind of deal the most damage in a team fight) meaning that they will save their cc abilities for you. If you're fed, it also means they'll start building health or MR so you will deal less damage even with the help from magic penetration items. Catching off the carries of the team are also harder because they are usually protected.

Winning or losing a late game fight is basically the difference between winning or losing the game so because you should dish out the main damage for the team, you have to stay uncovered and pop up only when everyone is tired as explained in the 'Mid Game' section. The cool part about this is when you can use your items such as Zhonya's Hourglass to do extra combos. Once you engage with your Q + E + W + ULT, you then can press Zhonya if the enemy team has finally realised that you have popped out of nowhere so they start using their abilities on you. Once they waste their abilities on you, you have an even easier to time reset. Once your active fades, use your combo on the squishiest target to pick up a reset and continue to the next squishiest target and so on. It looks super skilful and fast if you pull it off right and once you get a 'Penta Kill', you'll feel super good.




Objectives

To finish this game off what we have to focus on is now the objectives. Like I said in the 'Mid Game' section where you take Dragon or push, it is more intense late game. This is because you can take the Baron now which is a powerful asset to your whole team if you slay it. It can also mean the difference between winning and losing. Not only that but pushing is one of your main jobs now with the rest of your team. Try not to push alone as it will most likely get you killed. Once you have got one of the enemies inhibitors, you and your team should usually back off. You need to get objectives in order to win the game! Always remember this!

Usually, your team should push effectively when most of the enemy team is dead and that's why you have got to do well in a team fight in order to complete objectives!


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This section will be explaining the ways on how you can use Katarina's kit to the most effective state although it may require some practice. This section will also gives you tips on ward placements, extra combos, things you should be aware of when playing Kat and basically what you should not do when playing her.



General Tips & Advice

Ward Jumping

Ward jumping on Katarina is a mandatory technique that every player should use because it is just so beneficial. A ward jump is utilising a ward to perform a gap close. So basically, what happens is that the player places their ward to a designated target that they want to blink to and then they can Shunpo onto it so you can pass that distance without walking there. It is basically a flash and it can be used to run away, engage, pass over terrain or walls and so on.

Keep in mind that Kat can virtually jump onto mostly anything that seems to be jumpable on including Rek'Sai's Burrow but she cannot jump on Bard's Chimes and so on because these things themselves cannot be clicked on. Basically, anything that can be clicked on can be jumped on. Also, many Kat's forget that they can jump onto enemy objects too so don't forget to use other people's wards, objects and so to your advantage!

So a lot of Katarina players can do this but they however cannot do it smoothly or fast enough. It isn't because they are bad at ward jumping or what not but it is because of the amount of practice taken into ward jumping and the positions of where you put your ward. It actually takes at least 50 games or more to fully master the art of ward jumping. What I did was to play Kat in normals and constantly try to ward jump.

When you start you may feel hopeless, just all messed up and you wouldn't even ward jump or forget to because you struggle with placing the wards on the map quickly and highlighting E over it and using it but don't give up please. Everyone starts off bad and if you keep on doing it; it will basically become muscle memory and you will ward jump automatically.

Positioning of the wards can be important and which key you use it on it also important. Because your Shunpo is used by using the 'E' key, I like to place my ward in slot 4 and Quick-cast All my abilities, wards, actives and so on. It should be done for every champion any ways. The reason why I choose '4' is because 'E' is right beneath it allowing you do ward jump more smoothly and quicker. However, by all means you can place your ward slot in other places as long as it works for you.

There are two ways to actually place the ward. You can either just hover over the designated area and press on your ward slot or you can hold onto your ward slot key and then see the range it has - then you click onto the designated area and the ward should come out. Which method you use is up to you but the second one is a little more harder and slower but it should be less clumsy. I usually use the first method but when you are jumping over terrain or walls, the second method is much better because you see the full range of your ward and the limitations of your placement. I usually use my rude finger I think to place the ward then click on Shunpo with my index finger.

Detailed Ward Jumping

Now, we are going to talk about walls and terrains and more detailed information on 'ward jumping'. As some of you already know, wards can be placed over walls and terrain such as the 'red buff' wall. This is when you can use this technique to 'ward jump' over the walls or terrain. This is very useful for running away and you may burn someone's flash or engaging by ward jumping, unleashing you ultimate Death Lotus or using your Sinister Steel to have that extra movement onto the target so you can chase them down.

You can use the positioning of your wards to cross over a certain skinny terrain without actually putting the ward there. When you find a right spot on the terrain, if you Shunpo and hover over the ward you will go to the other side of the wall. However, you need to position yourself so that your Shunpo's range indicator is behind the terrain. This is because like I said before, the Shunpo takes you behind the target so make sure you keep this in mind! There are a few places you can use this trick as shown in the video below.




Clearing Wards Without Sweeper

Katarina has many uses with her Shunpo but did you know that it could be also used to clear wards that just have been placed without it disappearing before you destroy it with your auto-attacks? What you do is firstly attack the ward placed once, then you 'Shunpo' onto it then auto-attack if two more times. The 'Shunpo' refreshes the appearance time of the enemy ward that had just been placed so it's a good trick to use to deny the enemies' vision.

However, of course there are risks because it means that the enemy can see you clearing the ward and once you use your only gap-closer ability, you can get ambushed and probably die. This technique are only for the warding totems, the pink wards also known as the 'vision wards' are visible everywhere so it isn't necessary to use this method to destroy the ward. Also, it isn't necessary to destroy a ward that is placed near your turret because it reveals all true sight including invisible things such as the ward.

Surviving Damage

This is another part for the usage of your 'Shunpo' ability. Because it provides 15% damage reduction for 1.5 seconds, this can be used effectively when diving, surviving the last ticks of poision or Ignite and so on and to reduce the damage taken from abilities such as the Karthus Requiem. What you do if try to find anything to Shunpo on except for jungle camps as they will drive aggro and may kill you.

In lane, if you decide to take a reduction in damage from your laner's targeted/unavoidable ability such as the LeBlanc Sigil of Malice, just try Shunpo away from her onto a friendly or enemy minion. If you tower dive and you want to survive that last turret shot, ward jump or Shunpo onto anything nearby even a jungle camp if you know you are not going to die from them but you will from the turret shot. This technique is super useful this way to avoid a lot of damage especially the ticking damage of Liandry's Torment or Ignite and so on. Use this technique and it will save you countless times!



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Ward Placements

General Ward Placement

Deeper Ward Placement

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Issues

Proccing That Q Mark

A lot of times when I play Kat and see other people play her, many do not proc that Q mark. By not proccing that mark, players will lose some damage during trades, will not be able to kill someone and then instead getting killed especially when turret diving and so on. The reason for this is because some players combo too qiuck however, by comboing quick, it is good as your cooldowns come up faster. However, you will not be able to proc that Q.

If you want a more precise Q proc, you can Q then wait until you see the mark and then E + W and this should be a efficient damage output without wasting 'a lot' of time. The reason why the Q proc is so important is because it deals a decent amount of FREE damage and I always see players saying: "Oh if I only procced that Q mark you would have died" and so on.
Making Bad Decisions

Been Too Aggressive/Overestimating

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So thank you so much for reading my super long guide that took me ages to make. It is my first guide and it was published in 2016! Over all, I just love Katarina and I think you should play her too. However, I think her Shunpo nerfs deserve to be reverted and ever since, I haven't seen many Katarina players. :/


If you're asking for my favorite skin of Katarina's, I don't have one. But, I can tell you my favourite splash art is 'Warring Kingdoms', my favourite in game model is again 'Warring Kingdoms', my favourite blade design is 'High Command' and my favourite particle animations is 'Slaybelle (if they improved it, it would even be better)'. Anyways, I will just recommend the 'Warring Kingdoms' skin or 'Slaybelle'. The other skins aren't worth it unless you buy the 520 RP or 750 RP skins.


Thanks to:

Elusive Ferret for permission to use his lovely layout from his beautiful Ahri Guide! =)

jhoijhoi for her 'How to Make a Guide' article! :D

Also, people who helped improved my guide included: 'jokersprank'! :3
MILESTONES: 19/04/2016 - Thank you guys so much for 500 K views! :D