Katarina Build Guide by DexterMaster
Not Updated For Current Season
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.
hAP vs AD
Although AD is viable for the larger bonus damage ratio on your Bouncing Blade and ulti, Shunpo in my opinion is a much worthier ability to improve. Also, think of this: With a full build for Kat, AP vs AD, you can get around double the amount of AP than AD for a similar gold cost.
Here's the math to that. I took my build, total gold cost around 17000 (everything minus the pots), which, NOT including masteries, adds 624 bonus AP. With my mastery setup, you will get around 650 bonus AP, and with flat AP quints, around 675 AP. If you include the random blue elixirs, you will be hitting over 700 AP.
Then I took a full on AD build for Kat, courtesy of HeAt (Katarina - Attack Damage Style). Since stacking items are not very reliable, I replaced his Sword of the Occult with a more stable item, another Bloodthirster. Not including pots, the total gold cost is around 17200. Without the masteries, around 400 bonus AD is gained with full Bloodthirster bonus AD (max 40 per Bloodthirster). This is, keeping in mind, you can keep ALL of those stacks up.
That's almost double the amount of AP than AD for slightly less gold, and the AP:AD bonus damage ratio for both Bouncing Blade and her ulti is 1:2 (double the amount of bonus damage from total AD than from total AP) (exception for Bouncing Blades, AD adds slightly more than double AP: 0.35:0.8) (+0.35 of total AP and +0.8 of total AD for Bouncing Blade and +0.25 of total AP and +0.5 of total AD for Death Lotus). This means that in the same amount of time, since one unit of AP is cheaper than one unit of AD, you will get around the same bonus damage add-on with both your Bouncing Blade and ulti. So, although people think AD will make your Bouncing Blade and ulti more powerful than AP, in essence, you are gaining the same amount of bonus damage, only difference being your standard attack and only a little less damage on your Bouncing Blades. Think about it: with 800 AP it would deal +280 damage, with 400 AD +320. That means you are ditching Shunpo's nuking ability for around 40 more damage on the INITIAL hit of the Bouncing Blade, which has a higher cooldown than Shunpo and less range. Cmon.
Which leaves Shunpo . If you are building Kat AD, you are not adding any damage to your Shunpo. And, as explained above, you get around the same bonus damage on your Q and ulti in the same time frame with both AD and AP. So, why leave Shunpo all alone? Below you will find a whole section on Shunpo, one of my favorite abilites in League of Legends.
And in case you are curious as to why I am not talking about Kat's W, Killer Instincts, in this section, it is because AP and AD both have no effect on it. It only adds a base benefit, which will be described below.
Oh Shunpo, how much I love you. This ability is a teleport, to both allies and enemies, as well as a nuke, all on a measly 4 second cooldown with this build. The casting range of it is larger than Bouncing Blade, and the cooldown is shorter. WHY AD BUILDERS, WHY WOULD YOU LEAVE THIS POOR ABILITY ALONE?
Anyway, enough of my drama. Shunpo is amazing. No other words could describe it. It has saved the lives of Katarina players worldwide many times, as well as get an unthinkable amount of kills.
With this build, Shunpo gets to around a 4.5 second cooldown, and deals approximately 750 damage to enemies on hit. What does this mean? This means if you are getting screwed, and you are near an ally, tell them to get in range of your Shunpo if they aren't already...and BOOM you're gone. This is if there aren't any minions nearby to Shunpo to. This is almost as annoying as Kassadin's ulti, and it deals more damage. The only difference, really, between this and Kassadin's teleport is that Kat requires a target to TP to, and Kass's ulti has LESS range than Kat's Shunpo.
This means that you can use Shunpo through walls (if it is passable within the 700 range). You can Shunpo to teammates taking dragon or baron, and shunpo through walls if you are low health to deceive your enemies and lure them to your teammates.
Here is where the damage and chasing potential of this ability comes in. Shunpo adds 0.75 of your ability power in bonus damage. With a lot of AP, this is a lot of damage. I mean a LOT. The range on this ability, as described above, is 700; not bad. Not only is this a great damage dealer for ganking, teamfights, you name it, since it has range, you can also chase enemies who are escaping with it. So many times have I shunpo'd to a Twitch about to go into stealth with low health and take him out instantly. Is Nidalee pouncing away? Your teleport is twice the range and only 1 more second cooldown. Sorry Xaioli, Katarina counters you :)
When used with Kat's W, Killer Instincts (see skills part of "Skills, Skill Sequence, and Skill Combo" section for more info), in conjunction with the mastery setup and item purchases, you will take a LOT less damage after you Shunpo for a few seconds as long as you activate Killer Instincts right before you Shunpo. This helps if you are getting chased (Killer Instincts + Shunpo to ally to escape and take reduced damage if you are almost dead and getting pursued), as well as for turret diving with Shunpo, chasing with Shunpo, and initiating ganks with Shunpo. See the section titled "Laning/Ganking" as well as the skills part of the "Skills, Skill Sequence, and Skill Combo" section to see why I learn and max out this ability first.