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Katarina Build Guide by tomdewijs

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author tomdewijs

Black Widow Katarina - Beautiful but deadly

tomdewijs Last updated on October 4, 2011
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Middle Lane
Ranked #7 in
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Win 53%
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Hello all, this is my way of playing Katarina, I just thought to share it with you. First of all, this way I build Katarina is my PERSONAL preference. You may or may not like it. This build gives you the nuking capability while you are not the glass cannon and can easily escape. It mixes great offence with a touch of survivabilty. Still you have to watch out, you still are not tanky. Tanky enough though, to get in, do damage and get out. Or for running back to your tower.


After a while you are going to the team fight phase, where you will be awesome and turn ALL the teamfights around with your ulti killing 3 people.

If you really want to know how I play with Katarina just look around my guide quickly to give you an idea.

Also, please vote and comment to give me some feedback!

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As runes, I get the quintessences of Potency and the Glyphs of potency, to give a nice early game boost to your bouncing blades to make the last hitting easier. I also choose the Greater seal of evasion, this is simply the best defensive runes you can get, to give you the extra bit of defense. As marks I pick the Marks of insight, to give you that invaluable magic penetration.

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As masteries, I choose the standard 9/21/0 build. The archaic knowledge is very useful to have and very, very effective for Katarina. Then the defensive tree, I think this is what makes Katarina survive a lot more situations and benifit from it. Like when you are in lane, this will give you a small but useful advantage in harassing. Also, while you are in a teamfight and you just jumped in for Death Lotus, you will take damage, the defensive masteries help alot here.

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As for items, I chose to begin with the boots of speed with the three health potions. This will make you able to sustain in lane, which is the basic part of this build. When you have used all your potions and are on low health (don't try your luck by standing behind a tower with low HP, you WILL die) just go back to the base.

Depending on how much gold you have left, buy either the amplifying tome (when you have less then 700 gold) or the boots. When you take the boots first you have some choices. You can either take the CDR boots, the magic penetration boots or the Mercury's treads. If the enemy team has lots of CC go for the Mercury's Treads, if the enemy team has no cc but a lot of tanks, pick the magic penetration boots. When the enemy has no CC and no tanks, just take the CDR boots.

Don't forget to take the Hextech Revolver when you have less than 700 gold (starting with one amplifying tome) The hextech revolver makes you very good as sustaining in lane, as your bouncing blades will deal 200x6 damage.

As for the next item, the Mejai's soulstealer, this is very situational. Whenever you are racking up a lot of kills or assists, go for it. If it is a kind of stalemate position, dont take it. It is only usefull when you have 8 or more stacks. You can also choose to take it after the next item, the Rylai's scepter.

This item is really good for Katarina since it gives you even more survivability and the awesome passive, whenever you pull out your ulti, Death Lotus, every dagger applies a 35% slow. Its a must have.

The deathcap comes after it, this little hat will boost your ap from around 200 to 400 and up, also an item you cannot miss. This is what makes your ulti a killer.

Then the final really important item is the Void Staff. The 40 magic penetration and the 40% magic penetration on top of it will make your ulti hurt a lot regardless of the enemy's magic resistance.

Then you can finish it by upgrading your hextech revolver to Will of the Ancients, by this time you should only be hanging around with your team, and this item will benefit your team greatly. (you can change this in something else, to something whats needed in your situation like Banshee's Veil)

You can also get the Elixir of Brilliance, which is really good for Katarina because of the Cooldown Reduction and the Ability Power that it gives. Only use it late game when 250 gold is nothing compared to the cost of the items.

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Skill Sequence

Not much to be said about the skill sequence, just upgrade them with these priorities in mind.
Your ulti is the most important skill so this has top priority.
Then it is very important to upgrade your bouncing blades, this will hurt the enemy real good in lane.
Then comes shunpo, the nuke is nice but worse then bouncing blades, since bouncing blades gives you an extra target you will hit.
Killer instincs is the least important, it doesnt really do much, upgrading it will only make you take less damage after shunpo, which is actually very nice, but not needed in early game, so i choose to not take it early on (you should take a point in killer instincst on level 4 though).

TL;DR: order of importance R>Q>E>W (put a point in Killer Instincs at level 4)

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Summoner Spells

As summoner spells I always go with flash, this spell is just amazing for making it out alive and WILL save your *** quite alot of times.

As secondary summoner spell you can take one of these:

Exhaust: A very nice one in the early game before you have the Rylai's. You can shunpo on an enemy, use Death Lotus and Exhaust him to make sure he can't run away from your ulti. (Casting exhaust does NOT stop your ulti).

Heal: Will make you sustain even better in lane. Not really the best though.

Teleport: Will make a difference late game, you can go back into the fight in 4,5 seconds, which is great.

Ignite: Some people like it a lot, i dont actually. If you like it take it, the second summoner spell doesn't really matter, choose what you think is right.

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Team Work

Team Work is very important on Katarina, if possible, take someone in lane with you that has some CC, it will really help you get that ulti off your hands and land all 10 daggers in the enemies face. Your ulti is useless if they can run away from it. Soft CC is just as good as hard CC, also make sure you shunpo into the direction they are going to run away in, this will make them have to walk around you and standing in your ulti longer.

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Next to all the killing, you also have to make sure you have a decent creep score, you will have to get the Rylai's as soon as possible before you can earn the big kills.
To farm effectively keep an eye on how much damage all your abilties do, don't worry saving them, since you have no mana. Just keep throwing them out to get those valuable last hits. The good thing about your bouncing blades is the fact that it will hit the enemy champions since it bounces 6 times!

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That wraps it up, this is a very unique style of playing Katarina, and it does take some practice and getting used to, just remeber that you are not an assassin, and your strength will be in the laning phase and the mid game, where you literally kill 3 people with one ulti. I don't think i have seen any laning Katarina's so far but this build is really meant to get you in lane and get you a very high creep score and late game you can start ripping faces like it's nothing. Good luck and have fun.