Katarina Vs. Ranged (Scaling S
Starting Items Options
Threats to Katarina with this build
|Karthus||Easy Peazy, just remember to dodge his Qs, use your resets to get out of his passive, and your E to get the dmg reduction from his Ulti.|
|Ezreal||Pretty easy since you can dodge all of this abilities when then E in to combo.|
Hello and welcome to this in depth guide for Katarina the Mid lane Assassin :D
I don't expect this guide to be perfect by any means, but I would appreciate to receive constructive criticism in the comments.
This is the way I build Katarina and reflects my play style, if you disagree with anything in this guide then remember this; You can build her how you like, but you came here for guidance, right? So let me guide you.
Read this guide thoroughly to benefit fully and revisit it for updates that I make as I learn new things about my favorite champion (it's rare but I may find a new way to tell you something and thus include it in the guide.)
Katarina is a mid lane assassin with high mobility and amazing burst potential, it takes time to get a feel with her way of playing and the punishments of failing, but it is very rewarding to be able to play her at a decent level.
As I said, I will be updating this guide often and will always be with the current patch.
Please read, test and Up-vote
Before we begin, here are a couple of little compilations I put together, that will show you that I know what I'm talking about:
Pros / Cons
+Very High Mobility
+Easy to Roam
+Great Mid Game
+Can Solo Carry
+Counters Pretty Much Every Skill Shot Champion Due To Her Huge Mobility
-Can Be Killed Easily If CC Locked
-Hard to Master
-Has Very Hard Counters
The best Runes are MPen Reds, Scaling HP Yellows, MR Blues And AP/MS Quints.
(MS Quints can be used if you want to roam a lot or you're against a skill shot champion like Lux or Ziggs)
The best Runes are MPen Reds, Armour Yellows, Scaling AP Blues And AP/MS Quints.
The best Runes are AD Reds, Scaling HP Yellows, MPen Blues and 1 Mpen Quint with 2 AD Quints
Pick and Choose between the vs. AD and the Vs. Melee page as sometimes they overlap
Items and Their Reasons
This allows you to survive the laning phase and maybe get some kills.
Boots of Speed
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Tips and Tricks
If the enemy places a ward auto attack it, then Shunpo into it. This reveals the ward for 2 more seconds, allowing you to get 2 more auto attacks off and ultimately killing the ward :)
You can Shunpo to the Following:
Visible Plants (Not in the Fog Of War)
Illaoi's Tentacles (None-Ult Form)
Rek'sai's Tunnel entrance/exit
Zac's Blobs (passive)
You do NOT need vision of the enemies to cast your ult, this means you can hit stealthed champions, and you can check if someone is near you because your ult's icon will show up if they are.
Your Q, W and E grant the Enemies vision of you if you cast them from a bush, however your ult will not, this can be great for that extra damage you need to win a fight.
Use Flash to pick off a high priority target in a dance around mid or baron, this can lead to a 5v4 in your favour with all your basic abilities up. You can use Shunpo to jump abck to your team if you need to escape, or use zhonyas to stop the burst coming from the opposing team after you bursted their carry. This allows your team time to follow up after you gave them a significant advantage, when zhonyas ends the enemy team will be low due to your teams damage and the Queen can set off on clean up duty once more.
If you need to Surprise your opponent then Instead of a Q>E>W>R>ZH you can do E>W>R>Q>E this allows your opponent little to no reaction time. The Q tacked on the end allows that little extra dmg if they flash or use an ability to escape your ulti.
If you're being chased, remember to spam W as it does not interrupt your movement and will give you a speed buff, as well as the opportunity to turn the fight if they walk over it.
If you need to Flash or Shunpo(E) away, then remember to W first for that extra MS bonus and therefore a further distance overall from your pursuer.
You can use your Shunpo(E) to jump over abilities E.g. Lux's snare or Ahri's E+Q Engage combo and then engage when that ability is down, putting you at an advantage as you can deal damage with 4 abilities when they only have 3 or less left.
Flash + E can cover a lot of distance in an instant, taking your opponent off guard, this can turn the tide of battle to your favour or get you in range to finish off that last 200hp before Shunpoing away.
Max Q first against raged poke targets, like Ziggs, Xerath, Syndra e.t.c.
If you are having trouble CSing then Get W at level 2
If not then you can take E at level 2 to dodge even more and make use of your daggers!
Max W last as it doesn't prove any damage as your other abilities do and you will usually be getting resets when using it, so the CD wont matter as much. Also the speed buff isn't that noticeably different when maxed early (late game you have more Move speed, so it's more valuable)
Useful for getting that reset if your combo just doesn't cut it, and if you ignite at the start of your combo, it also kills them faster (More burst)
Useful for Escaping, Initiating, repositioning, duking, dodging, gap closing... You need this spell.
+ + autoattack + to safety.
If They're Under Turret:
+ Proc Dagger + away
+++ (Pre Items)
+ + prepartion + + Zhonya's Hourglass (Post Items)
+ + + Zhonya's Hourglass or (Less reaction time for enemy)
In Ranked, do not be afraid to first pick Katarina, she has many counters, yes, but all of these can be dealt with nicely and if you force your opponent onto a champion they're not comfortable on, then you will have the advantage of knowing what your doing, and you should have an easy time laning.
If you're very wary of your opponent
Avoid fights, poke with Q and dodge their skill shots until they run out of mana.
Roam bot or top in order to get kills after shoving the lane with Q+W so that your opponent cannot take your tower while you're gone.
Early Game your goal is to NOT DIE. If you do this and get as much farm as you can, then you are all set for the mid game, which is Kat's Strongest point.
If your Enemy has ranged abilities, then they will be looking to use them on you when you go into melee range to cs, bare this is mind, so you can E to a minion, or E to them and counter harass.
If you get lvl 2 first then take E, a Q then E will do a lot of damage to your lvl 1 opponent, and the dmg reduction from your E will negate their only abilities' damage, letting you chunk them without much retaliation.
If you get shoved under turret by someone like Azir then take W second for easier CSing.
If your enemy is Melee like a Fizz or an Akali then you can CS Trade. This term is mainly used in bot lane but can be applied here.
CS Trading is where you stand next to the minion that your opponent wants to last hit and if they come near you can use your abilities on them when they are in the auto attack animation.
This is especially effective with Katarina as she can Q her lane opponent and stand near the CS, waiting for them to come near and auto attack it. When this happens she can E to it and maybe put in a few auto attacks if she's feeling confident. This allows for an easier laning phase :D
If you feel confident in lane, then start to constantly shove your lane after 5 mins and then look for roaming opportunities. If there are none, go and farm wraiths or wolves, if there is an opportunity, then go ahead, even if it does not work out, you are adding pressure to the map and you do not lose anything as you pushed the wave before you left, and will be back before you miss any CS.
Remember You do NOT need your ult in order to do damage
Pre-Roaming, watch for your opponent making irregular moves, like walking past your melee minions, or the outline around them goes yellow, this tends to mean you are getting ganked, or you're about to be all-ined by them. Obviously not favourable, as they must have some advantage over you in order to prompt them to go in.
You can either ward one of the lane bushes, ward the ramp near wraiths, or keep hold of your trinket. If you ward a bush, keep to that side of the lane, as it will give you more reaction time to junglers and overall, a greater chance f survival. If you ward near wraiths, then do the same but be more careful, as this does not protect you from junglers that go the long way around.
Not pushing allows you to farm safely near your turret, which practically nullifies you from ganks and decreases the chance that your enemy will kill you, however, it does allow them to roam, so once you hit 6, start shoving to their turret and go roam.
If Roaming isn't favourable as your lane opponent follows you and can nullify or turn the tide of your roam, then fake a roam next time. This means you go into the fog of war as if you are roaming, but then you hide in a brush that isn't warded that they will walk past or through when they try to follow, this normally leads to a kill as they are focusing on the lane they think you are roaming to instead of what they're doing and where their champion is thus, you have an advantage. In this situation remember you can start with ult as it doesn't give them vision of you and you can save E for when they realise and try to escape, or retaliate.
If you are in a favourable match-up, then remember to keep your eye on the jungler and only go in when you know where he is: For instance, they're top, bot, or dead alreaedy, or it's around 7mins and they're taking their buffs. A jungler can really screw you over if they appear unexpactantly.
Remember: If you can't see the jungler, he's most likely where you want him least.
During the early levels, this is what you'll be concentrating on the most, Katarina has a weak-ish laning phases and you need to get to the mid game (where you shine) in one piece and with maybe a few kills under your belt. But farming is key as you need the gold in order to roam in the first place and actually get something out of it.
Melee Minions: 2 tower attacks and then auto for the last hit.
Caster Minions: Auto, tower hit, and then another auto for the last hit.
Remember minion dmg will change this and take it into consideration when timing your AAs.
If you're pushed up to the enemies' tower then go to wolves or Crimson Raptor and farm them until the creeps have pushed back to the centre. This will give you CS advantage.
In the mid game, participate in as many skirmishes as you can, Katarina snowballs HARD and a couple of kills can lead to many, many more in the future.
The mentality you should have in the mid and late game is:
"How can I get resets, how can I not die."
If/When you see your allies pushing a defended turret, hide in a brush you think isn't warded close to them and tell them to push, when they are, tell them to dive, you can come in and help with the dive, remember to wait 0.5-1s so you'll be safer and more likely to clean up.
When pushing a tower as a group in a deserted lane. Allow your team to push and then move into the jungle where you think your enemies will walk through in order to defend the tower (you are not the best turret pusher and you will be of more use getting rid of the people who can contest your pushers). When they walk past, pounce on them. Ask for help from one of your team members if you don't think you can solo them. But make sure at least one person is pushing the turret as hard as they can!
Get a turret when you kill it's laner, and get drag afterwards if you can, then if you and your allies are not too low stay in your group and go and get another turret, and another, and another, and get a pick because you are grouped up and the enemy isn't etc.
Just remember to go back when you have 1500g+ because that's when the enemy will be stronger than you as you haven't shopped in a while and they have.
If you have a nasus, Trydamere, zed, shaco or someone who can split-push well, then pressure another lane, this will drag the enemy to that lane and your split-pusher will have free rein to push as hard as they can, just keep the enemies in your lane and they can get so much from it. When they finally DO go to stop the split pusher, then you have an opportunity to take the towers in the lane you are pressuring and/or get drag. You basically give them an Ultimatum: Lose your top turrets, or lose this one and dragon. It's a WIN-WIN situation for you if you can pull it off. I see way to often when the top laner is pressuring, but the rest of their team isn't and they just die because 3-4 people go top and kill them, not only that but their team doesn't get any objectives while the enemy is top lane!
Ugh, it makes me sick.
Otherwise, make sure you remember to pop your blue pot before fights and contestions.
Okay, Good Job. You made it this far.
Now comes the tricky part:
Stay to the side of fights, wait until All CC has been blown. Trust me, it will happen, they will use it eventually if your front line does it's job.
After this, look for the back line and try to get on them ASAP, their peel should have already been used, so its and easy time for you, kill the damage ( APC, ADC...) and then move on to the others, this should be easy as they will all have taken at least some damage and hey now, here comes Le Clean-up Queen.
Common mistakes are that most Katarinas see their allies In trouble and they think "OMG I need to help" then they go in and die.... this is not the right way to play.
You need to have almost a KSing Mindset. ALMOST I say, not exactly (someone will misconstrue this...) You need to wait to go in until you are 100% sure of a reset. This can also be achieved by throwing a Q into the enemy team just as the fight starts, to do dmg to all and thus getting an assist if someone dies ( reset ) and then BACK OFF. You DO NOT want any part of the fight in the next few seconds until there is no more CC or abilities that can be used on you.
Katarina works best when she gets her resets, she does the most damage and has the biggest impact. If this means you need to wait for your team to do damage first as you care not in the position to instantly burst their whole team, then so be it.
Kill their team from back to front. Don't waste your ult on that 5k hp malphite just to kill him faster... he doesn't do dmg... you don't NEED to kill him... see what I mean...
Also, if you see that their 20/2/15 Rengar is bot lane because you pushed it earlier, SPAM PING BARON!! Their main damage is more than half way across the map, you can get it before they can get there even if they recall with homeguard if you do it instantly.
Another time you can get baron is just when the enemy has got your mid inhib, normally there is a fight and they all recall on low Hp, whereas you are all full and have just shopped because you are right in your base, this is a good time to do baron as they wont be expecting it. It's a disastrous mistake in almost all Elos (Mid for Baron).
Obviously no 1 is the nexus...
2. Inhib (3 inhibs down basicly means mininos will win the game for you XD )
3. Nexus turrets (risky business if you can just get all of the inhibs safely)
4. Inhib Turret (opens the gates)
5. Baron (can allow you to get huge objective advantages)
6. Inner Turret
8. Outer Turret
11. Lane Minions
12. Jungle Minions
Use this to know what you should take next.
When To Go In
Go all in as Katarina in 3 situations:
2.Your Opponent is low and you can burst them before they can react - remember to have an escape route (mainly with Shunpo(E)
3.You need to gain pressure in your lane, in this instance use your ult, as it's on a very short cooldown and CAN be used for harass, this will make your lane opponent much more wary of you as they will be on low hp and may have used a summoner to escape you if you waited for them to use an escape spell before going in. (Beware of the jungler)
Only go in after ALL the CC that can stop your ult has been blown. e.g. Leona kit, Amumu Q e.t.c.
This will allow for maximum reset potential and because the fight will have gone on for some time, the enemy team will be low and prime targets for the clean up queen.
Come in from the side of teamfights, think like a fiddle almost, try to keep out of sight so that you cannot be engaged upon and you will have the elemet of surprise, as well as having easy access to the enemy carries and squishy targets. If you were to stay at the back of your team like your AD Carry, then you will get focused by the enemy anti carries, you will die and be useless in the rest of the fight.
The Differences between good Katarinas and a great ones are their positioning, when they go in and how they manage their resets.
Katarinas that are extremely fast with their resets and movements are very intimidating and can cause the enemy to play less aggressively which allows you to capitalise on their mistakes.
Roam whenever you can, your extra MS should help a lot with this as lower ELO players usually stick around too long after a kill, this allows for easy clean up by the clean up queen herself.
Try not to waste time going bot for nothing and end up losing CS, shove to the opponent's tower before roaming so that you have longer before the minions get to yours.
Match-Ups (In Progress)
There are several categories to Opponents for Katarina:
Skill shot type - Kat is one of the best Juking champs during laning phase, and will have an easier time, these include:
Karthus Lux Nidalee Zyra Ahri Twisted Fate Morgana Ezreal
Long range type These can CC and Poke you from afar which can cause a lot of problems, these include:
Ziggs Zilean Brand Annie Anivia Orianna Veigar Vel'Koz Swain Viktor
Invisa-burst This type can are a skill match-up, however you do have an advantage as 2.5 of your skills can hit invis targets (your sinister steel, Death Lotus and a bounce from your Bouncing Blades). These include:
The Deniers This type focus on stopping you when you engage before you can do a decent amount of dmg, and then proceed to kick the living snot out of you - use cauting when fighting them. These include:
Diana Malzahar Cassiopeia Xerath Syndra Lissandra Gragas Kassadin Fiddlesticks
The heavy Bursters This type will usually win in an all out fight, so you'll either need to poke them down first, or out-play them. These include:
Zed Yasuo LeBlanc Riven Fizz
Ahri Will tend to start Orb of Deception and Good Ahris will harass you with it and auto attacks when you go for CS.
Depending on if they do this or not then you should get Shunpo At level 2 instead of sinister steel as you can use it to Dodge her Orb of Deception and render her mana wasted. If she's not being aggressive, then feel free to take sinister steel for easier CSing.
Keep behind your minions when her Charm is up, and when a jungler comes in to gank, walk towards her until she throws her Charm , then jump behind her with your E, Dodging it, and do your combo.
Annie should take every opportunity to Harass you with auto attacks. Good Annies should CS with her Disintegrate at level 1 to charge her passive stun ( Pyromania ), then hold it and Auto attack to harass and CS. Be careful of this stun, do NOT go in when it's up and ALWAYS keep up her portrait so you can see if she's on 3 stacks, as she can stun you just as easily on 3 stacks, it just keeps you unaware that she can.
At level 6 she will always be looking to Combo you, so don't get close to her unless she just used her stun and you think you can kill her before she can kill you.
Brand will harass you with all of his abilities, but mainly his Pillar of Flame. Just remember that he can stun you and unload his full combo on you if you have his passive burn on you( Blaze ). Boots of Speed and all your bonus MS should help you easily walk out of his Pillar of Flame, but if you feel threatened then don't be afraid to use Shunpo to escape.
A favourable fight for you would be away from your minions, as his ult will bounce to them and back to you, dealing way more damage.
TL;DR Dodge his Sear, stay away if he applies his Blaze and fight him away from creeps to avoid extra damage from his Pyroclasm.
Dodge her Noxious Blast and stay out of her Miasma and you should be good, if you get caught by them, then back off so she can't repeatedly Twin Fang for Tons of Damage.
When going in, take a brief second to turn away from her after you Shunpo in, as then her ult will not stun you (Kat's ult doesn't actually maker her model spin, so cass cannot stun you instantly).
Don't Fight her after level 3. At level one and 2 it's a little safer to harass with all of your abilities, however after you're both level 3, the risk out ways the reward. At this point you need to stay back, farm and harass with Q.
Dodge Every Crescent Strike you can and bait out her Pale Cascade as often as you can without taking the damage from the balls. If you do this Diana will run our of mana quickly and not be able to do anything against you. Dianas that are not experienced are really easy to predict and can be taken advantage of (e.g. Shunpoing a split-second BEFORE she can Crescent Strike because she makes it so obvious that shes going to Q.)
If you get hit by Crescent Strike after level 5, then you must back off as she will most likely go for an all in. If she does go in, instantly shunpo to your tower (minions or wards will help) this is where you have the advantage and most Dianas won't follow you under it.
Lastly, bear In mind that Crescent Strike is an arc and can be dodged more easily than mkost skill shots.
Boots will help you sustain against his harass and negate some of it, as you are able to move out of the range of his Dark Wind's bounce, his Drain's range and, heaven forbid, his ult.
In lane, you need to focus on farming, dodging harass and attacking his mana.
These can be done by Using your Bouncing Blades to last hit and harass at the same time, this may seem pointless as fiddle can just drain his HP back, but this reduces his mana and fiddle is useless without mana. When fiddle throws his Dark Wind move away from minions to prevent bounces and more damage.. a triple bounce onto you will be DEVASTATING!
Never push against fiddle.
Firstly, it allows their jungler to gank, and fiddle is so easy to gank for due to his vast amount of CC, you'll be spamming Flash for years and nothing will happen. Trust me, I've been there, it's really frustrating.
Secondly, it allows him to move out of the lane, into a side brush or over a wall and just Crowstorm and kill you. The distance he can cover with Ult and flash is pretty insane.
After you go back and hit level 6 or so, then go roam, yes fiddle is likely to follow, but with your huge movement speed, by the time he gets there, it'll all be over.
Fizz's lvl 1 and two are weaker than yours, abuse this, especially since he's melee too.
Q him before he goes for CS and then stand next to the CS he's about to auto attack, this gives him an ultimatum: Get the CS and take loads of damage from your Bouncing Blades, sinister steel and maybe a few auto attacks, or fall behind in CS.
When Fizz gets all of his abilities (level 3 or 4 depending on their play style) then fizz is more dangerous and can out-trade you in a straight fight.
Fizz has a huge power spike at level 6, but on one condition: He lands his Chum the Waters, and as Kat, is your job to **** him off as much as you can by dodging every single one with movement Jukes or shunpo, It's quite easy to do after some practise, if you're worried, go into a custom with a friend and try it. I'm sure after a couple of times, you'll be able to do it almost without thinking, as even good Fizz players show signs when they're about to ult.
Other than that, don't try to kill him as he can dodge most of your damage with his Playful / Trickster, so you should push the wave and go roam.
Boots will help with out-roaming the roam-master and the potions will help with sustain.
Do NOT trade a Q for a Q as Kass' Null Sphere gives him a shield that will negate your Q's damage entirely. Instead, try to Q him when it's on CD or he's going for CS.
Basic combos work well against squishy kass when his Q is on CoolDown but not so much when it's up. Try to time your attacks with this.
Level 6 kass has two options when you go all in on him:
1. Riftwalk away and laugh as only a couple of blades from your Death Lotus hit him and it's now on cooldown.
2. Or he can Null Sphere to stop your CHANNELED ult and to give him a shield, and then proceed to do as much damage as he can, which will include Riftwalking ontop of you. You can take advantage of this aggressive kassadin, by having a jungler waiting nearby who comes in after kassadin has used his only escape :)
In this matchup LeBlanc will be very aggressive after level 2 as she will Sigil of Malice you and try to Distortion you to pop the mark for a huge chunk of dmg. This is where your Shunpo comes in. If you get Qed or she walks up out of her normal behaviour then you should be ready to E to a minion as she tries to go for the W pop. Bear in mind not to get baited into using your Shunpo early, as she will then get a free W on you.
For all-ins remember that due to her high damage, she is VERY squishy, and her passive can be easily popped, and she may panic. Your ult is unaffected by her passive, as it will hit both versions of her even though they are both invis, as will your Q and your W.
If you're unsure as to if you'll be able to kill her, igite her as the start of the combo, this DeBuff will show which LeBlanc is the real one, as only the real one will have it.
These Boots will help you dodge all her spells pretty easily as her projectiles have a decently slow speed and allow you time to react and move out of the way. If you are unsure that you'll be able to dodge it, then Shunpo out.
If you get hit by a Light Binding after level 6 then It could be all over for you , so always make sure you're topped up on HP.
When roaming and skirmishing, most Lux tend to panic when they see you and instantly throw out their QE combo, this means you can easily Shunpo over them both and unleash your devastating combo onto her.
Dodge all her Balls, this should be easy enough due to your 398 lvl 1 MS. Remember don't line yourself up with her Orbs after level 3 or 4 as she can get a free stun off. Also, [[Shunpo when she throws things at you, as its slow moving and easy to predict, however you should NOT underestimate the range of it.
Your E will reduce the dmg of her ult and combo, so keep it up as often as you can.
If She missed a Scatter the Weak then that's your time to go in, as she will not be able to to interrupt your ult and only has flash to escape it, carefull that she doesn't kill you first in this instance, however it will be unlikely as most Syndras will fully combo if they cast out Scatter the Weak but will only ult if the rest hit. This means you can [[shunpo out of it all and then go in when she only has Her Ult up, which isn't enough to kill you on its own.
398 MS means he should never hit a Q. You can all in him at any time as you will out burst him and you can Shunpo out of his passive as well as reduce his ult dmg by 15% with your Shunpo if you haven't used it already.
He will Auto attack you a lot if you get close and he's good. He shouldn't put his Malefic Visions straight on you so, be aware where it is so it doesn't jump to you from minions. You should be able to dodge his Q with some practice and his W wont do much to you as you can just walk around it.
Be very aware in this match-up as his combo CAN kill you before you can do anything due to the suppression, however you can also kill him if you kill him when his ult is on CD.
Bear in mind that he can only kill you if he gets ALL this abilities off, his ult alone doesn't do much dmg.
Try to roam, as you can do it better and you can practically ignore him. Don't care about your first mid turret as this will mean you can roam more, and if he tries to take the second one, then your team can collapse and you can kill him and take turrets or dragon in return.
If you REALLY wanna learn and improve as Katarina.. Rush Mejais...It's a great item that teaches you how to play Katarina. You'll actually think about your situation and make the best possible decision because you don't wanna lose your stacks..... so yeah :) Rush Mejai's Soulstealer.
Katarina is one of my favourite all time champions and I love to play her.
All you need to do is practise and you'll be a master of the Legendary Assassin of Noxus
Edit: 25/03/2016 - Wooo! 100k Views - Thanks to everyone who's taken a peek at my guide! <3
Edit: 22/09/2016 - 250k Views - Wow guys, that's a Quarter of a Million views! Thanks to everyone!