Click to open network menu
Join or Log In
Mobafire logo

Join the leading League of Legends community. Create and share Champion Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account


Katarina Build Guide by DaytonMcCloud

Middle [9.12] Introductory Katarina God Guide

Middle [9.12] Introductory Katarina God Guide

Updated on December 12, 2021
Vote Vote
League of Legends Build Guide Author DaytonMcCloud Build Guide By DaytonMcCloud 10 1 19,800 Views 1 Comments
10 1 19,800 Views 1 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author DaytonMcCloud Katarina Build Guide By DaytonMcCloud Updated on December 12, 2021
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!
Would you like to add a comment to your vote?

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.

Runes: Standard Page

1 2 3
Sudden Impact
Eyeball Collection
Ravenous Hunter

Coup de Grace

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


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

[9.12] Introductory Katarina God Guide

By DaytonMcCloud
Table of Contents
About Me
Hello and welcome to my Katarina Guide!

I'm Dayton McCloud, and I'm shooting to hit Masters this season on the North American Server. I'm just finished leveling an account (June 22), so catch me live and come say hi! Katarina is one of my favorite champions by far due to her 1v9 potential and ability to turn a losing game into a winning one. This is my first guide! My biggest piece of advice is consistency. Too many variations and you won't know where your weaknesses are, outside of variation of course.

She's really fun and I hope I'll be able to help you become Shunpo Gods!
I stream almost every day! You can either watch me live from here or come directly to my channel. Either way, thanks for being here!
About Katarina

Katarina - The Sinister Blade
Ranged, Melee, DPS, Assassin, Mage

Solo Queue Potential: Over 9000
Play/Ban Rates: 3.7% Play/0.71% Ban (Patch 9.11)
Current Win Rate: 48.79% in Platinum+ Play (Patch 9.11)

Why do I play Katarina? When you have a champion able to spam an ability MOST other champions can only afford to use once every 5 minutes, you have in your hands power...such power. Shunpo is an abillity with an equivalent effect to Flash. I've always been a fan of champions that are able to dash and blink all over the map, and no one does it better than her. With mobility at it's highest and access to essentailly an endless pool of damage, the carry potential is strong with this one. Sounds like the ultimate solo queue champion right? There must be balance somewhere? Let's move to the Pros and Cons!
Pros and Cons

+ Godlike Carry Potential
+ No Mana Constraints
+ Mixed AD/AP Damage Ratios
+ Spammable Flash-like Ability
+ High AOE Damage Output
+ Tons of Fun

Katarina is one of those champions that you almost mentally go next when you see. Without point-click cc, she can be hard to lockdown due to her ability to quickly dive backline and get out just as fast. Even if your team isnt doing so hot, you still have a chance to turn things around.

- High Skill Cap to Master
- Poor Wave Clear against Siege
- Many High Threat Counters
- Melee Champ
- Abilities Auto Push Wave
- Not Well Rounded for Team Comps

Unlimited power does come at a price. Bouncing Blades is essentially her only farming tool, and it always hits three targets which autopushes your wave. Her AOE passive also makes wave management harder than most. She has a really narrow role within team compositions and doesnt bring much more than damage. She also doesnt have much wave clear potential when enemies siege, unlike other mages like Ekko and Twisted Fate.
Summoner Spells

FLASH: This almost goes without saying.
IGNITE: This will be your secondary summoner spell in 95% of your games. Allows your the most kill pressure in lane, and in the jungle when you roam to assist.
CLEANSE: Take this only when enemy team has significant point-click cc's, but remember that you'll be giving up a lot of kill pressure in lane without ignite and jungle assistance.

For me, this is not only the GOLDEN standard but also the MOST CONSISTENT main rune path. Electrocute has a relatively low cooldown and is easily proc'd with Katarina's kit.

This is the most underrated/underutilized rune in the game! Every 20 seconds or so, you gain free health from damaging your enemy. You can gain on average 60 health per min from hitting the enemy champion with one ability every 20 seconds. Katarina requires a good bit of sustain early until she gets Hextech Gunblade, and this is my rune of choice to help survive until that point.

Free 30 Ability Power when fully stacked. Self-explanatory.
More Healing/Sustain!
You can take either rune in the last slot depending on lane match up. I generally prefer health or armor, as even AP Mages still auto attack you. Completely player preference.
Other Options
Taste of Blood is a very underrated rune. Every time you damage an enemy champion, you gain ~20 HP, which is around 60 HP per minute if you damage enemy three times. Kat doesnt have many favorable match ups and is often harassed. Sustain is a really nice buffer to that disadvantage.

Gathering Storm Free AP and guarantees late game power even if behind or even.

Last Stand is nice if you find yourself in low health scenarios often against specific team comps.

Nullifying Orb is a very situational item against an AP heavy team. i prefer it against specific champions with high AP burst, such as Veigar.

Absolute Focus is just like gathering storm, free adapative damage if above 70% HP. Adds lots of burst to initial combo, which is nice for an assassin.

Conqueror is slowly growing on me but I find electrocute to still be better. Very situational rune if youre not fully confident on Katarina. Good for match ups like Kassadin.

Legend: Tenacity is an Mercury's Treads in rune form. Take this, and you can have the tenacity of Merc's even if you build Sorcerer's Shoes.

Dark Harvest is statistically worse than electrocute, but can be fun and does scale harder. Just comes at the cost of reducing enemy health below 50% before any procs vs just three abilities from Electrocute.

Scorch actual drops a decent amount of damage if consistently trading. Would take over Gathering Storm as it would drop the damage earlier vs waiting 30 min for that additional AP.

Whenever an enemy champion dies within 3 seconds of Katarina damaging them, her abilities' cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds.

Whenever Katarina retrieves a Dagger, she uses it to slash through all nearby enemies, dealing magic damage and reducing Shunpo cooldown.

DAMAGE: 68 − 240 (based on level) (+100% bonus AD) (+ 55 / 70 / 85 / 100% (based on level) AP)
SHUNPO CD REDUCTION: 78 / 84 / 90 / 96% (based on level)

Daggers last 4 seconds before disappearing.
Bouncing Blade

COOLDOWN: 11 / 10 / 9 / 8 / 7
DAMAGE: 75 / 105 / 135 / 165 / 195 (+ 30% AP)

Katarina throws a Dagger to the target enemy that bounces to up to 2 nearby enemies, dealing magic damage to each target.

The Dagger then lands on the ground 350 units opposite from where it struck the target. The time to land from striking the target is the same regardless of distance traveled.

COOLDOWN: 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 11
BONUS MOVEMENT : 50 / 60 / 70 / 80 / 90%

Katarina gains a burst of decaying movement speed, tossing a Dagger into the air directly above herself.

Katarina tosses a Dagger into the air and gains decaying movement speed over 1.25 seconds.


COOLDOWN: 14 / 12.5 / 11 / 9.5 / 8
DAMAGE: 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 (+ 50% AD) (+ 25% AP)

Katarina blinks to the target location around the target unit or Dagger, dealing magic damage to the nearest enemy in range.

Shunpo resets Katarina's autoattack timer.

Death Lotus

COOLDOWN: 90 / 60 / 45
DAMAGE: 375 / 562.5 / 750 (+ 22% bonus AD) (+ 19% AP)

Katarina rapidly channels for 2.5 seconds, throwing a dagger every 0.166 seconds to up to 3 nearby enemy champions, dealing magic damage and applying Grievous Wounds for 3 seconds.

Death Lotus cannot be cancelled by movement and basic attack commands in the first and last 0.25 seconds of channeling.

LEAVING NEXUS: At the end of the day, starting items come down to what your goal is, and your comfort level playing Katarina. Long Sword is 350 gold into your Gunblade (a kills worth), whereas D-Shield doesn't build into it. You'll have more kill pressure with long sword than you will with D-Shield. Even though there is an extra 5 damage on minions with D-shield, it is easier to CS with long sword. Choosing between 3 pots and refillable when you have LS comes down to intent and play style, however refillable is very efficient. I don't run Dark Seal, although there are high elo Katarina players that do. Her Q AP Ratio is 30% and E AP ratio is 25%, but her E AD Ratio is 50%. I find LS/Refillable the most efficient start you can have.

THE GOLDEN STANDARD: There doesn't go a game where I don't have these three items, and for good reason. Each provide Katarina highly beneficial stats (HP/Armor/Stasis), while scaling Magic Pen and stacking AP. Even when snowballing, theses items are too good to pass up. I don't believe running Deathcap or Void Staff second is smart. Sure, its very strong (and fun), but I play for consistency and would rather snowball safely instead of handing over 1K gold on an oops when youre a glass cannon (700g shutdown + 300g from kill). If you're ahead, you're ahead regardless of items. This path gives you 300 HP, 75 Armor and Stasis for those oh s%*$ moments.

Late Game Options
THE BEST STANDARD OPTIONS: In a game where there isn't too much of this, too much of that, your best bet is to build two of these three items depending on the situation. If you have a huge shutdown, and they still have a couple real threats, a Guardian Angel might be the best first pick of the three. It has a relatively low purchasing price, but can be used to highly impact the game. Deciding between a Rabadon's Deathcap or a Void Staff really comes down to two things. Do they have a lot of magic resist, and how much gold do you have? Void Staff is cheaper by almost 1000 gold, and is the best the magic pen item in the game. However, if you have the gold and the enemy doesnt have a lot of magic resist, then Rabadon's would be the superior option. Gauge your game's tempo and situationally determine which of the three are best for you and WHEN they are best for you.

WHEN SITUATIONS DICTATE: Not every game will be standard, or go your way exactly how you want it to, even from champ select. Sometimes you need to adjust your build to compensate for the situations the enemy team might put you in. Banshee's Veil is a great item if you fall behind against AP threats, and is good for those who are not yet accustomed to team fighting against heavy cc team compositions. Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a really affordable AP item with the unique effect of slowing down every champion hit with your abilities. Very strong against highly mobile teams, gives additional HP on top of generous AP and is nice to build if you are significantly behind in gold. Liandry's Anguish is a very strong component against teams littered with high HP champions and tanks.

FITTING INTO THE RIGHT SHOES: Traditionally, Sorcerer's Shoes will be your standard pick in 95% of your games. However, depending on the game's tempo and situation, (noticing a trend) you're going to want to pick one of the other options. There are only three items in the game that give tenacity, and if you dont have the Legend: Tenacity rune, then Mercury's Treads will be your best bet against heavy cc team compositions. If you are against a full attack damage team, then consider building a Ninja Tabi. I typically only build this item in that situation.
The Early Game - Simple Laning Strategy


If you are in a match you know you can win or at least go even in, it's best to do just that and not lose it. I know it almost sounds redundant to read, but it's the worst feeling in the world losing in a match up you know you can win. It'll set you back that much further for the rest of the game. It's all about RISK MANAGEMENT.

Determine if you'll need jungle assistance or not to win the lane. If you do, it's best to wait for your opponent to make a mistake rather than wait on your jungler. The intricacies of each individual match up and lane are too much to type, but catch me live on Twitch and feel free to ask me questions!
In match ups that you know for sure you can't win for one reason or another, make sure to communicate to your team that you'll have a hard time with this lane, and that you'll likely be pushed in with no prio for laning phase. This will signal to your jungle that youre a lane that will require help, and theres nothing wrong with that. Farm as well AND safe as possible and don't trade unless enemy abilities are on cooldown AND your wave wont be messed up by it. Remember, all of your abilities except Shunpo shove the wave. As stated earlier, if you have questions regarding specific match ups, come find me on Twitch and I'll do my best to help!
Katarina after Laning Phase


BOOM! A tower comes crashing down, thus signaling the end of laning phase. Enter midgame and reevaluate the game's tempo and situation. If your team is winning, the best thing you can do is not make the game any harder by taking any unneccesary risks. Let your team back, buy and rotate, then reevaluate what's the move from this point. Most of this game is asking what can you do, and when. You're setting your team's opportunities for small map victories back by taking unneccesary risks to secure kills. Just fall in line and support the winning lanes. BOOM! UNFORTUNATELY, THATS NOT HOW GAMES GO FOR US! Our team just bought a mouse at breakfast and learned how to play the game right before they got into your game. Good thing you're playing a champion that can carry such a situation. Even if you went even in lane, your threat is still much higher than most enemy champions. Spam ping your team from poor decisions, and look to put yourself nearby for when they dont listen and go there anyway, and clean up their mistake! Sacrafice the pawns to get yourself fed.
Combos + Tricks

The Standard Combo - E W Q - Learn it, Know it, Love it. This is what you'll be using in each and every game you play Katarina. Being able to blink on someone with Shunpo provides you with insane gap closing. You Shunpo, drop a dagger with Preparation to reduce cooldown of Shunpo, Auto and Q. Easily procs Electrocute and very consistent. The Q sets you up to chase after. Everything revolves around this initial combo. The hardest part of Katarina is the decision making process before executing. Mechanics will only get you so far, but the decision making behind those mechanics will take you further and win your more games.

More to come soon! Just need more time. T^T
Closing Out Games


Great! Your team played better than the enemy team, but the game isn't over yet? Closing out a game is one of the hardest things to learn. Depending (you know what's coming) on the game's tempo and situation, you generally want to contest ALL of the neutral objectives as a team. You're winning, you have more gold and thus, you are stronger. Ping and seek assistance in clearing vision in the area, and force your team to take every neutral objective as a team. This will more often than not require the enemy to eventually show up, and you force fights in an attempt to kill the enemy team. Use neutral objectives as bait to lure them away from farming under tower. SLAM!! Your team isn't doing so hot, and have their backs against towers. That's exacly where they need to be. If you are unable to get past the river, make sure you take Oracle Lens and assist the support in clearing wards in your jungle. Theres no point having the standard trinket after 9, and your team must fight for jungle vision if you are to survive long enough to attempt an actual resistance before someone just gets caught out and dies. Similar strategy as right after laning if losing, let your team take most of the hits/cc for you, and jump in at the right opportune moments to drop as much damage as possible.
Match Ups - Aatrox
First Looks
+ Favorable Match Up
+ Easy to Dodge CC
+ No Kill Pressure
+ DH/Electrocute/Conq Work
+ Build Morellos 2nd or 3rd


Deathbringer Stance
The Darkin Blade
Infernal Chains
Umbral Dash
World Ender

+ Easy to engage and abuse his Q rigidness
+ Easy to dodge his W, but even if it hits, easy to get out.
+ Can all In on His Q CD

Put on high prio list of kills. Any deaths of your teammates results in his ult being reset.
Focus him depending on situation, but if you destroy in lane, knock him down in prio.
Knock ups from Q's can cancel your ult.
Match Ups - Ahri
First Looks
+ Skill Match Up
+ 1 CC / Has Easy Escape Post-6
+ Has kill pressure if Charm hits
+ Electrocute For Early Kill Pressure
+ Has Good Wave Clear


Essence Theft
Orb of Deception
Spirit Rush

+ Q has good wave clear and does true damage on the way back. She will have prio unless you kill.
+ Kill Pre-6, and killing her post-6 will be easier since her R has a delay before each cast.
+ Be careful when you Shunpo in, since it puts you in front of her. Try to sidestep right away. EW → Sidestep → Pick Up Dagger

Her Charm allows her to one shot or eliminate a teammate. Take Blue Trinket after level 9 to check bushes before fight.
Has Burst DPS. Focus other carries if her EQ are on CD as they likely have more consistent dps vs burst.
If you catch her out, you can likely burn her Spirit Rush without using your R, which will put you and your team at a significant advantage.
Thanks for checking out my Katarina Guide!

Dayton McCloud here again. Just wanted to say thanks for making it to this point in my first ever guide. I put a lot of effort into this guide, and while I know it's not perfect, I hope you reap the most benefit from it. It's a far cry from everything you need to know to succeed, but I hope it's a great starting place for those of you who are new to Katarina, and a place of insight for those who are familiar with her. I hope I was able to help you in some way.
As mentioned before, I stream almost every day! You can either watch me live from here or come directly to my channel on Twitch. Either way, thanks for being here!

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide