Katarina Build Guide by Czerkthejerk
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
such a creature. Born the daughter of the feared Noxian General Du Couteau, the girl was always more interested in her father's knives than in the dresses, jewelry, and other trifles that her sisters spent so much time fussing over. A childhood dispute soon unveiled her uncanny knack for bloodshed, and her father, ever the opportunist, happily fostered her killer instincts. After training under the tutelage of the finest assassins the mighty city-state had to offer, Katarina first cut her teeth performing assassinations in the Ionian War. There, her ruthless mastery of the knife and dagger combined with her sadistic temperament to earn her the title Sinister Blade, a moniker that would follow her for the remainder of her career. She is most famous, however, for her exploits in the campaigns against Demacia, especially those surrounding her engagements with the nation's champion, Garen; a rivalry that began when she recovered the remains of Sion from a vanguard under his protection.
With the demand for warfare somewhat arrested by the tenuous peace settling over Valoran, Katarina sought the allure of violence in its last remaining haven: The League of Legends. Some might say it was an inevitability that Katarina's chosen path would draw her to become a champion of the League, continuing to enforce the will of Noxus and bring prestige of war to her noble family. There, she continues to perform her bloody work - esteemed and reviled, feared and adored.
Ok, Katarina is a champion that most people play as a nuke/carry. She scales off of ability power and attack damage. She isn't the sqishiest character in the game, but she is definitely not the tankiest, so she must be carefully applied in a team fight to be the most effective. I will explain that after my Pros/ Cons section of the build. KEEP IN MIND THAT THIS CHAMP WILL TAKE PRACTICE BUT CAN DO EVERYTHING I SAY IT CAN DO IN THIS GUIDE.
Pros / Cons
Pros: Katarina is one of the heaviest damage dealers in the game.
She can easily escape chases if needed, just as well as chase champs who are low on health or mana.
If you get good enough, you can almost double her range for damage.
Bouncing blades.........bounces. Big suprise
Easy to get fed or catch up if you're down
Scales off of two stats
Kills are almost guarranteed
Momentum off of assists and kills
Extremely good farmer
Can dive very well
Cooldown reduction passive
Top 10 mid pick I believe. Not for certain
Cons: Squishy and susceptible to crowd control
Semi dependant on spell vamp
No crowd control
Easy to whiff ult because of flash
Gankable if you aren't careful
People focus you
Not the best choice in some team lineups
Can be easy to shut down (Rammus, Fiddle, Taric, ect)
Cannot take a lot of damage
Easily overpushed early game
I always always always take Bouncing blades as my first skill.
While shunpo does more damage, it's single minion farming and leaves you open after you use it. I hardly ever shunpo early game.
Bouncing blades will allow you to harrass and farm confidently, kiting your way through the lane. Keep leveling your blades until you have level 3. When your blades are level 3, you can hit 4 targets, almost always giving you a harrass. It also does some sexy damage.
After this, then you might want to star using shunpo to get some kills. If you hit the squishies right early game you should be able to take a kill.
Now, after you take your ultimate, try and do some aggressive play unless you're way overmatched. Half health is when you should go for the squishy ones (Teemo, Vayne, Ryze. You might want to wear the big boys down abit though before you pounce.
You'll get killer instincts at level 7 and use it to do your full bouncing blades damage to all four targets and to give you some survivability in case you want to shunpo in and pop your ult. This makes for a terrifying harrass and, if you have spell vamp, very hard to harrass in return. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF BOUNCING BLADES!!
Level 8 you'll make that shunpo level 3 so you can hurt some jokers and get some cooldown out of the way. Level 3 is also where you really see shunpo's damage come into play.
The levels after 8 is where you try and even out your bouncing blades and shunpo skill levels until they're level 5. REMEMBER: NO ONE SAYS THIS IS SET IN STONE. IF YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR PRESCENCE MORE KNOWN IN TEAM FIGHTS, RANK SHUNPO, IF YOU ARE GETTING SHUT DOWN OR TAKING TOO MUCH CC, STAY BACK AND RANK UP BOUNCING BLADES.
I don't put much stock in instincts until I'm done ranking up those two core skills, so I usually leave 14-18 for Killer instincts and Death Lotus.
Your attitude for playing Katarina lol.
Ok It's really simple.
Levels 1-4 you should be farming and harrassing any chance you can with your blades and auto attack.
Level 5 you COULD shunpo on a squishy laning opponent and throw your blades if he's low enough on health and you're CERTAIN you can kill him/her.
Level 6 continue harrassing carries to and when you're ready and there's at most 2 people who could attack you (4 with tower), shunpo in, pop Death Lotus but save your blades for any runners that try to escape you during your ult or after. Your blades do more damage than your ult by themselves, so don't underestimate them.
Just don't forget to gank when needed and be smart when fighting CC and you should be good ^^
AP or Hybrid?
Let me be blunt... AD Katarina has no future. Without a healthy shunpo, Kat's main source of burst before her ult is nonexistent, also you're just denying so much damage for yourself that it's crazy. Also AD builds are expensive, so we'll just skip AD altogether.
AP Katarina: AP Kat is great for people who know what they're doing so well that they don't need items, or people just learing to play Kat who can't handle items yet. For this build, you're probably going to use a Will of The ancients. It has 5% more vamp than a gunblade and a cool aura thats pretty op. You'll be very strong on you're shunpo with this build, probably hitting around 800 burst damage in a shot. The problem with this build is that you give yourself much variety in your skills, although they all scale off AP, and once you shunpo, you're vulnerable. You're probably going to end up building a Zhonya's Hourglass to protect you after your ult is through, or trick people and pop the item before your ult. I honestly don't see much appeal to AP Kat other than the crazy shunpo damage.
Hybrid: This is what I play, and is the build described in this guide. Hybrid is better for me because AD items give more power to Kat's ult and bouncing blades, also I don't have to put out shunpo and still do a nasty 500 damage on a good game. The blades are your main source of damage in this build for both harrassing and teamfights, so be sure to use it. Also, this build incorporates the hextech gunblade which has an 300 damage single target active that also slows for 50%, making it the staple for this build, just as WOTA would be for a full AP build.
There's definitely more than one way to build Katarina for masteries. I take 19 Defense because I find Katarina very focused and very vulnerable, it's negotiable how many points to put in defense, but I like to cover all the bases. 11 points in Utility to get more money, and have shorter respawn times, not that I plan on dying. Not to mention the spellvamp passive is a must have for Katarina.
There are, however, other new mastery builds focusing on a more glass-cannon-y steamroller type of gameplay. This is sort of new to my version of play and seems dangerous because if you can stop Katarina's momentum when she's going all out in the damage department and not really paying attention to utility, you can get shut down pretty easily.
I'll experiment with these new builds more when I get the chance and change this one accordingly to make it the best I can.
Summoner spells I use for playing Kat are Ignite and Teleport. I use ignite because of the inescapable true damage that you can activate while using your ultimate and the cooldown effect giving you bonus ap and ad once used. I almost always take tele to get quick, last minute ganks.
Example: If your teammates are getting pushed back to their turret 2v2 or 2v3 and the enemy chars push past the minions, wait a sec and then tele in making it a fair 3v2 or 3v3 with you as a fresh new player in the fight. Just make sure you can handle whatever you can tele into.
Subs I use include Heal, Flash, Exhaust, and surge.
Heal is great when using your ult expecially since it's buff. If used right, you'll be next to unkillable.
Flash is good for escaping, but I honestly don't see the point if you build like a good boy and use your shunpo right.
Exhaust is very good for Kat also because it keeps people in your ult and lowers their Magic resist. It's also good for chasing or escaping.
Surge is just an all out superbuff giving you a giant increas in attack speed and AP. If you pop surge before your ult it can give you a much needed boost. Can be useless though if you aren't doing so hot.
I pick the runes I do because: A. It gives me an early game advantage that will help me harrass much harder than I would otherwise. B. Because of the magic penetration, I am able to do more damage, meaning I can recieve more health back from spell vamp and killing the target earlier. duh. Substitutions for glyphs would be AP over time. Less harrassment, but if the game drags on you have a lot more kick. There's really not much you can do with the runes for this champ :/
Subs might be cooldown runes or spellvamp if you're brave. Just remember the AP.
You should always start with an Amplifying tome going straight into a Hextech Revolver to get some vamp, damage, and survivability. Grab some Sorcerer's shoes for magic penetration and then rush build up to a gunblade. If the game is smooth and you're getting fed, see if you can rush it. If not, buy a kage first and ride the free money. Also DON'T BE AFRAID TO USE INTELLIGENCE POTIONS.
Now you can use your ult and actually make a difference. Having your first spell vamp item and your bank item you should be on your way to a gunblade, which will be the foundation of this build.
You should notice a giant pickup in damage once you get your gunblade. It's pretty scary with all of those stats in one item. But don't forget to use the amazing effect as well.
300 damage single target missile that slows 50%. What more could you ask for? It's also the same range as your shunpo.
Buy a blasting wand or a giants belt depending on if you want damage or health. I go for the wand most of the time, but that's just me.
Buy the rest of the rylais and you'll be able to add a constant slow from abilities to keep foes in place once you use your ult. It's also quite nasty when used with gunblade's active. Focus damage dealers and you will have a very nice streak going.
After this, buy a negatron cloak so you have some defense against other carries now. Farm up to get your abyssal scepter and you should be a very scary carry. Don't forget: it's never too late to buy a intelligence potion.
This is my usual combo: Killer instinct- gunblade active on target- shunpo to target- Death lotus- Bouncing blade at the last second if they have a little health left, otherwise just bounce around with shunpo and blades.
Now I mentioned before that you can double your attack range using shunpo. Say a champ has about 200 or 300 health left, but he still wants to lane against you. He stays very far away from you behind his minions. Silly goose lol. What you do is you shunpo to a minion on his side and then immediately toss your bouncing blades to either a minion or the champion itself. If you toss it to a minion, use killer instincts to ensure the kill.
Gunblade's active: Gunblade's active lets you slow the target by 50% for 3 seconds and do 300 magic damage. It has the same range as your shunpo also ^^ can you say sitting duck? It's a staple for chasers.
This active can also be used if youre getting chased along with your shunpo to outdistance your attackers. Also, use it when you are getting turret dived by some unlucky soul and they're sure to fall.
Hey you guys!!
Yo! This is my first Mobafire build for my main: Katarina. Please do use constructive criticism. I may have made some mistakes or not copied something right, but please bear with me. I assure you that I have won and lost games with kat and have sent people ragequitting. This is the build I use. If you guys think it's worth it , comment on it :)