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Katarina Build Guide by Nyrolol

Middle [13.18] Nyro's Challenger EUW Build & Guide (ALWAYS UPDATED)

Middle [13.18] Nyro's Challenger EUW Build & Guide (ALWAYS UPDATED)

Updated on September 15, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Nyrolol Build Guide By Nyrolol 1572 72 1,831,313 Views 51 Comments
1572 72 1,831,313 Views 51 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Nyrolol Katarina Build Guide By Nyrolol Updated on September 15, 2023
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Nyrolol's Featured Video


1 2 3 4 5 6
Dark Harvest
Sudden Impact
Eyeball Collection
Relentless Hunter

Legend: Tenacity

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist


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for surviability
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport




Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

[13.18] Nyro's Challenger EUW Build & Guide (ALWAYS UPDATED)

By Nyrolol
Table of Contents
Guide Details
x Introduction
x Abilites
x Pros & Cons
x Gameplan
x Summoner Spells
x Runes
x Starting Items & Boots
x Fullbuilds
x Skill Order
x Matchups
x Skin Tierlist

yo, I am Nyro, a EUW Challenger Katarina OTP, peaking around 1200LP and Rank 16.
I've been maining her since the rework and over the years have become the best Katarina on EUW. Katarina has the most diverse buildpaths and a different build for almost any scenario and this Guide will help you choose the right one

I stream regularly on Twitch, so if you have any question, feel free to ask.

Important: Most of the time I dont pick specific Build/Runes against my lane opponent, but rather take the whole enemy comp into consideration
Tricks & Tipps with Abilities
Voracity (Passive)

Dagger's grant sight of their radius and will disappear after being on the ground for 4 seconds.

You can Shunpo to any direction of the Dagger's, if its close to a wall, you can even go over them.

Dagger's apply on-hits and Sheen

Bouncing Blade (Q)

Bouncing Blades always lands opposite from the first target struck

Since Bouncing Blades always bounces 3 times, try to Q 2 Minions into a Champion, this does not draw Aggro and makes the Dagger land closer and faster next to the Enemy.

Most of the time when you engage, you start with Shunpo into Preparation, then you wait to see where enemy goes, and only then you cast your Bouncing Blades

Preparation (W)

You become ghosted when using Preparation

Use Preparation near a Wall to Shunpo over it.

Don't be afraid to just use it for the Movementspeed to dodge Key Spells or to just reset your Shunpo when chasing.

The oldest trick in the book, try to Setup Preparation and run away so people step on it.

Shunpo (E)

You can Shunpo to Jungle Plants (even to Honey Fruit, over the wall) and allied Nidalee W Bushwhack or Reksai E Tunnel or on Enemies like Gangplanks E Powder Keg or Jhin W Captive Audience

You can Shunpo to Dagger's before they land, making your Shunpo have a shorter Cooldown.

Shunpo resets Katarina's basic attack.

Always Shunpo to Enemy Champions on Daggers, since the Shunpo itself will not deal damage if its not in range

Shunpo apply's on-hits and Sheen

Death Lotus (R)

Death Lotus will light up once an enemy champions gets into range, this also counts for Invisible Champions like Akali's W Twilight Shroud.

Each dagger counts as a separate hit for Conqueror & Electrocute

You can use Ignite and Exhaust while channeling Death Lotus
Pros & Cons


Strong Teamfight
High Snowball potential
Strong early 2v2 & 3v3 Skirmishes
Great Roaming
Very fun playstyle
HIGH Skill cap


Very weak laning phase
Snowball reliant
Countered by CC & a lot of champs
Relies on enemy's mistakes
Very squishy
Only has Damage
Katarina has 2 Playstyles, AD is more early game and 1v1 focused and AP is more mid to lategame and teamfight focused.

Early: ALWAYS Conqueror Start Long Sword and look for early kills and skrimishes. Lvl 3 is your powerspike, let them push & chase them trough the long lane, people underestimate your lvl 3, especially in lower elo with enough practice, you can solokill almost anyone. Go in with either Bouncing Blades into 2 Minions, hitting the Champion and instantly Shunpo to the dagger, or Start with Shunpo into Preparation, look to hit your daggers & keep Autoattacking with Conqueror. Always Sheen first back and always play with Sheen or Divine Sunderer Procs. Look for botlane roams or invade enemy jungle with your jungler.

Midgame: go for Sidelanes and look for 1v1's or 2v2 Skirmishes with your jungler, you can take on a lot of Champs, especially with Blade of the Ruined King which will surprise them.
With the AD build you don't rely on your R Death Lotus since all your damage comes from the On-Hit (Autoattacks, Daggers & E), With Blade of the Ruined King you can all in & 1v1 almost anyone, while with Divine Sunderer you look for short trades and play around the Sheen Procs. In Teamfights look to kill the backline 1 by 1, play with [[Conqueror], dont rly on your Ultimate.

Most of the time i would start building AP after 1-2 AD items, since it scales very bad.

Lategame: If you are full AD, either go for Splitpush if you can 1v1 the Opponent, and if you started building AP, look for Teamfights, especially for the backline. Be Patient.

Early: Most of the time i would go Flash + Ignite with the AP Build. Chose between Conqueror Electrocute and First Strike. Start Doran's Shield most of the time or Dark Seal. Your Primary goal is not to trade, but to just farm and soak XP. At lvl 3 you can look for short trades, that favour you, but since you have very bad earlygame, just going even in CS is a huge advantage. Look to have a good reset with cannon wave, most of the time you can roam directly after it. Either your Opponent pushes you into tower, so ask your Jungler for help, or you can actually push the waves fast and look for roams, especially if you go Sorcerer's Shoes first back, or just build Nashor's Tooth Components and farm that item. Never look for 1v1's but rather 2v2 and 3v3 Skirmishes.

Midgame: After your first Item, you can actually fight people, but still your primary goal is to roam or fight 2v2/3v3. Hextech Rocketbelt + Electrocute vs Squishies and Riftmaker + Conqueror vs Tanks. Teamfights are your strongest point, especially with resets, so look to kill the squishy backline. Try to setup your daggers, either Q'ing Minions or W and run away. You rely on hitting your Daggers and full channel Death Lotus, so try to avoid CC at all cost, play it patiently and wait for your team to engage first.

Lategame: Lategame Katarina is very glass cannon, you either 1 Shot someone or get 1 Shot, so play very patiently & wait for someone to engage. If you get rolling you can clean up fights very easily.
Summoner Spells
Flash Ignite
Flash is overall the best, since it almost always has value, especially if you build full AP, where you can flash onto daggers combined with Shunpo to surprise enemies, also if your Shunpo is on cooldown, you can use Flash to daggers instead.

Exhaust Ignite
Most of the time i run my AD build with Exhaust. The damage reduction is insane and makes you way stronger 1v1, you can also use it defensive to not die. The slow allows you to also hit your daggers/ult way easier. Also provides you great kill pressure at lvl 3. The downside is that you have to be more careful against enemy ganks.

Ghost Ignite
Ghost is great for sticking to enemies or to run away from Champs where Flash is useless like Singed. It's also good for roaming botlane early. I would most of the time pick it with a Tank Build

Cleanse Ignite
If im against Lissandra, TF or Zoe and the enemy team few more CC's, i will always pick Cleanse

Main Runepage: Electrocute

Electrocute is your main AP Katarina runepage, you pick it against Squishies. In lane you go for quick trades Bouncing Blades into Shunpo and autoattack will proc it, pick up the dagger and Shunpo away to your minions & always trade around its cooldown, since Katarina's lane is very bad, you have to efficiently trade without losing much HP. In later stages of the game you try to 1 shot squishies, therefor get your resets faster & have more and faster damage. Always go Hextech Rocketbelt.
Always pick Sudden Impact, since Katarina has a lot of dashes and will proc it everytime. The Magic Penetraion scales well with the AP Build.

Always pick Eyeball Collection, you are a snowball champion and you will stack it fast.
Ingenious Hunter is great to get your active Cooldowns faster, pick it if you need Zhonya's Hourglass for example vs Zed or Banshee's Veil vs Vex. Hextech Rocketbelt also gets its cooldown reduced.
Relentless Hunter is usually the best against everything else, it helps you roam even faster.

1) Secondary Runes

precision is the best against normal lane opponents

Always pick Triumph, it synergizes with your resets and will keep you alive longer, espeically during teamfights. The gold you get also helps you snowball even more
Katarinas biggest weakness is CC, so If they have CC, pick Legend: Tenacity, if they have 0 CC pick Coup de Grace.
Coup de Grace provides you with even more damage, but if they have any amount of CC, pick Legend: Tenacity .

2) Secondary Runes

pick resolve against lane bullys

Second Wind If you're strugglig against sustained poke (Viktor,Anivia..).
Bone Plating If you're struggling against all in (Zed,Leblanc,Sett...)
Overgrowth makes you more tanky in later stages of the game, pick it unless you need the extra tenacity from Unflinching .

Main Runepage: Conqueror

Conqueror is a great rune if you are looking for more sustained damage, its very good vs tankier teams and in longer teamfights and skirmishes, especially if you go AD early. your Death Lotus will also stack it very fast. Best rune for every non-Rocketbelt build.
Always pick Triumph, it synergizes with your resets and will keep you alive longer, espeically during teamfights. The gold you get also helps you snowball even more
Katarinas biggest weakness is CC, so If they have CC, pick Legend: Tenacity, if they have 0 CC pick Legend: Alacrity, provides more damage on your ultimate and autoattacks.
Pick Coup de Grace If you are building Full AP and Last Stand if you are going for a tankier build.
I always prefer the HP rune for scaling. I only go MR vs AP MID/JGL and Armor vs Full armor enemies

Secondary Runes. Divine / Rocketbelt

Always pick Sudden Impact, since Katarina has a lot of dashes and will proc it everytime. The Magic Penetraion scales well with the AP Build.
Ingenious Hunter with Divine Sunderer Build.
Relentless Hunter with Hextech Rocketbelt Build.

Secondary Runes. Sunfire/Frostfire or Hard Lane

Conditioning If you go for Sunfire/Frostfire and your lane is free.
Second Wind If you're strugglig vs poke (Viktor,Azir...).
Bone Plating If you're struggling against all in (Renek,Zed,Sett)

Overgrowth is best in slot, unless you need the extra tenacity from Unflinching .

Main Runepage: First Strike

First Strike is a great scaling Rune (only for the Full AP Hextech Rocketbelt Build). Since the AP Build's early earlygame is non existent anyway, we just want to farm for our first item and after that it has a lot of Damage and insane tempo with Gold generation.
Most of the time pick Magical Footwear, unless you want to go Zhonya's Hourglass Second with Perfect Timing.
Always Future's Market for the Tempo, getting your Item 1-2 Waves earlier makes a big difference.
Always pick Cosmic Insight. Just overall best in slot, very good with flash and insanly good if you go Exhaust and Ignite
I prefer the HP rune for scaling. I only go MR vs AP MID/JGL and Armor vs Full armor enemies

Secondary Runes for First Strike

Always pick Sudden Impact, since Katarina has a lot of dashes and will proc it everytime. The Magic Penetraion scales well with the AP Build.
Pick Treasure Hunter for the tempo, you getting the extra gold will help you more than you think.
Starting Items & Boots.
I will go trough the Builds explaining when to build it.

Starting Items
Doran's Shield
Build Doran's Shield if you want a safe lane, especially into ranged matchups and poke. Most of the time its the best option, because Katarina's early is horrible and going even is a win for us.
Doran's Blade
Only with Conqueror. Build Doran's Blade if you want to have more early strength, works with AD and AP Builds, especially into melee matchups. Katarina's adaptive will become AD, so you are strong with Conqueror stacked. Here you want to play for lvl 3/4 kill/pressure or a jungle skirmish.
Long Sword
Only with Conqueror. Build Long Sword for the same reason as Doran's Blade, but if you can build it into Items like Blade of the Ruined King or Divine Sunderer
Dark Seal
Build Dark Seal and Refillable Potion if your lane is easily sustainable.

This is the Conqueror version. With Electrocute move the Doran's Blade row to Doran's Shield.

If you are very confident, you can run Doran's Blade against the bottom row, and if you are not confident, you can run Doran's Shield against every Matchup

Sorcerer's Shoes
Sorcerer's Shoes are most of the time the best Boots for Katarina, since all her abilitys do Magic Damage. Sorc's are insane with other M-Pen items so always buy it with Hextech Rocketbelt. With Divine Sunderer you also buy it most of the time. With Non AP Mythics like Jak'Sho, The Protean / Iceborn Gauntlet only if you dont need the other boots.

Plated Steelcaps
Build Plated Steelcaps only with non-AP Mythics like Jak'Sho, The Protean / Iceborn Gauntlet or even Divine Sunderer if they are full AD or have a lot of Autoattackers.

Mercury's Treads
Build Mercury's Treads only with non-AP Mythics like Jak'Sho, The Protean / Iceborn Gauntlet or even Divine Sunderer if they have a lot AP damage and CC.
Full Builds
Full Item Builds

(S TIER) Full AP Rocketbelt

Runes 1: Electrocute + Domination for Short trades and 1 Shot

Runes 2: Conqueror + Domination for long trades & extended fights

Runes 3: First Strike + Domination for Scaling

When to build?
You should build FULL AP most of the time, since your main job is to burst the enemy squishy's as fast as possible. This Build is very straight forward, you go for quick 1 Shots with your daggers & full charged Death Lotus, its the highest damage build but gets countered hard by CC & MR.
example comp: Gangplank - Graves - Ahri - Ezreal - Karma
Shadowflame > If enemies don't build any MR
Void Staff > If enemies build MR

(A TIER) Riftmaker

Runes: Conqueror + Resolve

When to build?
Riftmaker is bit underwhelming, but we have no choice but going it vs tankier teams where you cant 1 shot anyone. With this build you are more tanky while decent damage

example comp: Ornn - Udyr - Galio - Aphelios - Nautilus

Shadowflame > if you are snowballing and they dont build MR
Zhonya's Hourglass > If you need it against champs like Zed

(A TIER) AP Divine Sunderer

Runes: Conqueror + Domination

optional 3rd item
last item
When to build?
If you want to be stronger early & 1v1, while being worse in Teamfights, build Divine Sunderer, its especially good Fighters/Brusiers/Tanks, who you will never be able to 1 shot. Divine Sunderer is a great first item spike, while the early AD + Sheen gives you a better lane. The key is to play around your divine procs, your damage is way more spread out and you are not reliant on hitting your daggers or Death Lotus, thats why CC/Cancels aren't much of an issue anymore, since your damage doesnt come from you R.
Problem: if you can't snowball with it early & if you fall behind, its very bad.
An example comp would be Aatrox - Lee Sin - Sylas - Sivir - Nautilus

Shadowflame > if you are snowballing and enemies dont buy MR
Zhonya's Hourglass > against specific champs like Zed
Wit's End > against full AP

(A TIER) AD Katarina

Runes: Conqueror + Domination

last item
When to build?
I would ONLY build this if your team is otherwise full AP. AD Katarina has is also a nice smurfbuild, since its the strongest early and 1vs1 build. I also like building this vs specific champs like Kassadin / Yasuo.
An example comp would be Aatrox - Lee Sin - Kassadin - Sivir - Nautilus

(A TIER) AD Botrk into Jak'Sho/Frostfire

Runes: Conqueror + Resolve

last item
When to build?
Blade of the Ruined King is the best early game item for Katarina. I love building it if I realy want to win lane/early and just perma fight vs champs that counter me like Kassadin's Q and MR passive, Yasuo's Windwall or vs champs that usually interrupt my R or run me down like Yone or Sylas. The Same concept for Sunfire/Frostfire applies as above, its just the best Mythic for Botrk.
An example comp would be Camille - Viego - Kassadin - Twitch - Lulu

Jak'Sho, The Protean > for long extended fights / CC, vs full AD you go Iceborn Gauntlet

Wit's End > against full AP
Nashor's Tooth > If you are snowballing

(A TIER) AP Jak'Sho/Frostfire

Runes: Conqueror + Resolve

last item
When to build?
You want to be tanky & youre confident you get mejais stacks? build this. This build is insane vs full damage / 1 Shot comps (especially Magic Penetration / Lethality champions), since most of these champs have 1 combo and thrive off 1 shotting you, which they can't anymore. Also full CC comps are not much of a problem anymore. Build the Mythic first vs very hard lanes: Assassin's like Qiyana or LeBlanc, Burst Mages like Annie or Vex or Bruisers like Renekton cant abuse you anymore with it. You can take way more fights and the big point of this build is Mejai's Soulstealer since you basically never die and you get your missing damage back. For Sunfire Aegis you want long extended fights, where you can proc the Immolate passive, so it's also good vs Bruisers/Tanks.
Problem: You do very little damage if you dont snowball with Mejai's Soulstealer, also its bad vs %HP Damage, Botrk/Divine users or tank killers.
An example comp would be Irelia - Lee Sin - Qiyana - Lucian - Nami
Important! : Jak'Sho, The Protean / Iceborn Gauntlet > Build Mythic first against very hard lanes.

Jak'Sho, The Protean > for long extended fights / CC, vs full AD you go Iceborn Gauntlet


Always buy the Components before upgrading
> > > /

400 Gold Start Long Sword

700 Gold First back try to get Sheen

1000+ Gold Always components first Sheen + Long Sword + Long Sword + Ruby Crystal

Always buy the AP Components before Bow
= >

500 Gold Dark Seal + Refillable Potion OR Amplifying Tome + Health Potion

800 Gold Dark Seal + Amplifying Tome

1000 Gold: Blasting Wand + Refillable Potion

1100 Gold: Sorcerer's Shoes if you have to dodge spells like Syndra Q, Karthus Q, etc or if you want to roam

1300 Gold Sorcerer's Shoes + Refillable Potion for Roaming or Blasting Wand + Amplifying Tome

If you have Blasting Wand + Amplifying Tome already and 1100 Gold: i would buy Recurve Bow instead of Sorcerer's Shoes to get Nashor's Tooth faster

1300 Gold buy Blasting Wand + Amplifying Tome instead of Hextech Alternator


Laning + Mid/Lategame taking into account.
Skin Tierlist
Starting Items
Scorchclaw Pup
Buy Scorchclaw Pup if the enemies are all squishy and you need damage.

Mosstomper Seedling
Buy Mosstomper Seedling if you need the tenacity or if the enemies have full damage / burst / 1 Shot Assassins.

Gustwalker Hatchling
Buy Gustwalker Hatchling if you want stick to targets / escape enemies & roam a lot

JUNGLE Gameplan

General: Decide your Jungle Item as described above, always buy 1 Potion aswell. Flash / Ghost + Smite. Same Itembuilds apply as midlane, short:.
FULL AP Electrocute + Hextech Rocketbelt vs Squishies.
AP TANKY Conqueror + Riftmaker vs Tanks.
FULL AD Conqueror + Blade of the Ruined King + Divine Sunderer if your team is full AP.

Early: Katarina's Jungle is very weak early, you will 100% be slower than the enemy jungler & if you get behind/invaded or have a lot of losing lanes, it will be very hard, but if you manage to survive your first 2 Fullclears, it becomes decent and you can snowball very hard, especially since now they cant realy stop you from reaching midgame. The Jungle Item is basically a better Ignite once you get the upgraded form & if the enemy Jungle doesn't invade, you can scale for free & not get bullied like in Midlane.

Always start at the Side where your botlane is and ask for a harder leach. Always go for the recommended Jungle route. Sometimes i look for a LVL 2 gank, IF the enemy botlane is pushing, you will be behind in tempo anyway, might aswell use it to get bot ahead. Full clear all 6 Camps (skip Scuttle most of the time, since you're too slow) & buy Blasting Wand and if you have gold Refillable Potion. Fullclear again & after look for ganks. I will try to go for Nashor's Tooth before even buying boots, since its a very big spike & your clear will be way faster. I also like buying Mejai's Soulstealer since you can't realy get "ganked".

Mid & Lategame: You basically play like AP Katarina, but u have a better Summoner spell & the passive of the jungle item on top :)
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