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Katarina Build Guide by Aikairi

Middle DIAMOND Best S11 Katarina Guide - Coronation Bloodbath

Middle DIAMOND Best S11 Katarina Guide - Coronation Bloodbath

Updated on January 31, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Aikairi Build Guide By Aikairi 67 5 77,134 Views 14 Comments
67 5 77,134 Views 14 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Aikairi Katarina Build Guide By Aikairi Updated on January 31, 2021
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Runes: Conqueror

1 2 3 4 5
Legend: Tenacity
Coup de Grace

Sudden Impact
Ravenous Hunter

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


1 2
Summoner Spells
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

DIAMOND Best S11 Katarina Guide - Coronation Bloodbath

By Aikairi
about me and katarina
pros and cons
abilities and her many combos
what to build on her
I'm a 500k point Katarina Player who climbed from Gold 4 to Diamond 4 in Season 10 in only 170 games, and climbed from Silver 5 to Diamond 5 in 350 games back in Season 7. I know what I am talking about because I have been playing Katarina before her rework, as well as since the first day of her rework. I got my builds from seeing what pro Katarina players build, and it has worked for me. I also got another account from Iron 2 to Plat 4 in 90 games.

Now that the new season is here, I know it is very confusing for people who don't follow new build changes daily. However, I am here to help. I have created a guide on my playstyle ( Conqueror) and it has worked out well for me. I hope it helps you too.

The Sinister Blade
AD Assassin, AP Assassin, Bruiser
Difficulty: Hardest to Master.
Fun: Very fun.
About Katarina: Katarina since her rework has been one of the hardest champions in League of Legends to master, as well as one of the most rewarding, if not the most rewarding, to play well. She is very fun as she can reset everytime she get a kill, and she has to think tactically about every situation she is in as 1 mistake can cost her a lot more than other champions. If you're playing her because you got her Legendary skin in a Hextech chest, or just want to learn how to play from a experienced player, then welcome home.

I really like to get this most of the time as it will really help out with my level 2 and level 3 surprise engages, as your autos will do a lot of damage when combined with Conqueror's stacking of damage. Now that it is buffed to do more damage and nerfed on healing, it has become even stronger. However, you would need to weave in auto attacks in between your combos to make this effective in your laning phase. This is because a standard combo will only bring Katarina to 6 stacks pre-6. You would need to weave in 3 autos for her to get to 12 stacks. This is very simple though, you would just need good timing to know when to auto-attack.
Triumph helps sustain through the last few ticks of Ignite, as well as keeping yourself healthy in a teamfight, as if you kill 3 people in a teamfight, you get 36% healing. That is very strong. Also, the extra 20 gold helps out in getting your items faster as well.
Tenacity is really strong as one of Katarina's biggest counters in the game is Crowd Control. This will make sure Katarina doesn't get crowd control'd for a long time and make it more difficult to shut her down. This also gives her more time to kill enemies. Some prefer taking the Legend: Alacrity due to the drastic changes in Katarina's playstyle but I still believe Legend: Tenacity is the best rune right now for her to take in this tree.
This helps kill low-health enemies easier as you are naturally an assassin and your job is to assassinate squishy or low-health targets.
Sudden Impact is very useful as one of Katarina's main abilities is Shunpo which you are going to be using all the time. This also helps her out in her level 2 and level 3 all-ins as it gives her even more damage to work with. Most of the time, I get first bloods is due to this rune and Conqueror.
Ravenous Hunter keeps you healthy throughout a fight as you will be healing a lot from your Blade of the Ruined King and other items like your Doran's Blade. Katarina has no natural sustain so this is a good rune for her to take. Some do prefer Relentless Hunter for better roams, but you can take your pick.
Always get the Adaptive Force runes, and then get Armor or Magic Resist depending on who you are against.

What about...

+ Dark Harvest?
Dark Harvest is really good when going the AP Build as you are going to be more focused on one-shotting enemies rather than sustaining through fights. It is a matter of preference, but your attempts of level 2 and level 3 all-ins are most likely not going to kill the enemy as Dark Harvest is pretty much non-existent early, so you start without a keystone.
+ Electrocute?
Electrocute is great for new players as it doesn't really require much knowledge beforehand and it is relatively easy to proc on Katarina with her standard combo. Get Electrocute if you are still not very capable on Katarina yet and need to understand her a while longer.
+ Grasp of the Undying?
From what i've heard, Grasp of the Undying is very fun to play with in top lane, as you can stack it up by auto-attacking minions, Shunpoing to the enemy laner, and then Shunpo back to your minions in order to get some easy stacks. I have not tested it out much yet, but it is a fun build for sure.

Bone Plating & Overgrowth: When you are against hard matchups like Zed or Renekton mid, you can try opting for a Resolve secondary. This will help you out by making you tankier against their combos, and less likely to get one-shotted or poked out of lane. Do try this out if you are having difficulty with someone like Zed.

FLASH: Flash is a must-take for me as it helps me catch up to targets when I cannot just simply walk up to them due to tanks. It is also very good for dodging skillshots in early game during a level 2 or level 3 all in, or towerdiving and escaping.
IGNITE: Always take this so you have immense kill pressure and you can kill the enemy in level 2 and level 3 all-ins.
TELEPORT: Get this against someone like Renekton who will definitely force you out of lane. This makes sure that you can go back to lane without missing a lot of CS and helps ensure that you are on par with the rest of your team, even when facing a hard counter.
CLEANSE: You can get this against someone who have heavy CC, and in the duration of that CC, they can one-shot you or poke you out of lane. For example, you can get this against someone like Annie or Zoe if you don't feel comfortable taking Ignite into them. However, you don't necessarily need it if you play it well enough or build other suitable items like Quicksilver Sash


Doran's Blade
Normally, we start this item due to how much sustain it provides as well as the 7 AD it gives us in the beginning. It works very well with our kit now whereas before it only gave lifesteal. Start this normally (e.g. Yasuo, Zed)
Long Sword
Last time, we used to start this first item, but since preseason, Doran's Blade has turned out to be far better. Now, we go Long Sword for its 10 AD, which is a 7 AD increase from Doran's Blade. We start this against squishier targets like a Lux or a Veigar.
Normally, we don't get this, but you want to get this against champions you would not fight no matter what, like a Renekton, where you would just farm. This also goes with its own risks as you would have less sustain compared to Doran's Blade or Doran's Shield.



Please, please, please, please, please get this if you are aginst a Zed or Talon. Otherwise, you don't have the right to complain about how much damage they are doing. I usually get it on my first back if I am facing even, or later on if I am very ahead and know he can't kill me. You need to get this against them as it is a really gold-efficient item that will make sure you won't get bursted down. I try to get at least 1 Cloth Armor on my first back if I have enough gold though.


This item works great against Malzahar and Mordekaiser. It is good against Malzahar as you make the CC part of his ultimate, Nether Grasp useless. This in turn allows you to kill him as he still channels his ultimate damage even though you got out of his Nether Grasp's supression.

Quicksilver Sash is really good against Mordekaiser as when you get caught into his ultimate, all your daggers that are already on the ground will disappear. This means that they are stuck in the other "world" you were in before being transported to Mordekaiser's Realm of Death, so a Quicksilver Sash will help you get back to it and let you


Blade of the Ruined King
So if you've been playing Katarina before Hextech Gunblade was removed, you would know that Hextech Gunblade is one of the best items that you could buy on her and you would always buy it first back, no doubt. However, since it was removed, Blade of the Ruined King has become our new best friend. It has AD scaling to help with autoattacks and more damage on Shunpo, Death Lotus, and daggers, it has attack speed to help with getting Conqueror stacks early game easier, as well as tower-pushing, it has its 2 passives which are insanely strong on Katarina's new kit.

Now, it is basically a replacement of Hextech Gunblade. The reason why I prefer not to go items like Night Harvester first is because Katarina scales really well early game with AD, so it would be a waste to get Blade of the Ruined King later on instead.

Now, the build path is Pickaxe (substitute for 2 Long Swords from before S10), Vampiric Scepter for the extra sustain, and Recurve Bow is always last. You can get a Long Sword on first back if you don't have enough gold to buy Pickaxe.


Sorcerer's Shoes > MAGIC PENETRATION
This is usually the boots that you will buy. Even if Katarinais going AD, half of her damage is still going to come from AP as she scales with AD, but still does magic damage. Magic Penetration on Katarina is very strong as it'll help her burst targets down quicker, as well as make tanks a little less beefy. This will help immensely against people with low MR as it cripples their already scrawny amount of MR, making sure you do almost true damage to them.
Berserker's Greaves > ATTACK SPEED
This is for when you are facing people like Yasuo or Akali. Reasons why? Because you cannot hit them with your daggers. Since Yasuo blocks your Q with his Wind Wall, he effectively shuts down one of your passive damage. This is when it is good to autoattack him to death. Against Akali is different, when you are against Akali, she is very slippery so it is hard to land even a single dagger on her as she can use her Shuriken Flip and her Perfect Execution, as well as her Twilight Shroud to escape. This is why I like to auto-attack her to death.

One last reason why I go Berserker's Greaves are against heavy counters to AP like Galio or Kassadin, they get dumpstered on once you start auto-attacking them to death as they can only resist damage from your abilities. However, Sorcerer's Shoes in this situation would still be decent as it can shred their magic resist.


I recommend getting this into matchups where the enemy CC potential is very high, and they also do a lot of AP burst. For example, Annie, who has very high kill potential on you, or LeBlanc with her Ethereal Chains. Another less fitting example might be Twisted Fate with his gold card, Morgana with her Dark Binding.
Plated Steelcaps > ARMOR
I like getting this when the enemy is AD and auto-attack based. We usually get this into bruiser matchups like Fiora or Renekton combined with Seeker's Armguard. However, the more experienced you get, the less you should be needing this item as Katarina's main 2 boots are very strong on her.


Attack Damage
I like going Kraken Slayer and full AD when my team is really high on AP champions. I also like going full AD when I am against someone like a Galio or a Kassadin where my daggers won't really do a lot of damage. It is also good against someone like Yasuo or Akali where my daggers can't hit them at all due to how mobile they are, so I shut down them with autoattacks.

You can also go this build against very tanky teams that you would need the true damage against, since this build rushes Kraken Slayer (a tank killer) after Blade of the Ruined King, rather than Nashor's Tooth. This means that for tankier teams, you can opt for going Riftmaker or Kraken Slayer.

Guinsoo's Rageblade is also essential to the AD build as it gets rid of Kraken Slayer's crit in favor of a better scaling on-hit effect with her all abilities. Next, we get Ravenous Hydra so we dish out more damage in teamfights when paired together with the AoE, and we get The Collector last as it helps us out by giving more crit chance to Guinsoo's Rageblade, attack speed so it scales better with Death Lotus, and finally make targets easier to kill.

Ability Power
I like going this build against mages who are really squishy and won't need to sustain fights with them. For example, when I am against someone like a Lux or a Veigar. It is also good to get this against people where sustaining fights turn out worse as you can get killed easier. I would get this if I know it'll go into mid-late game, as full AD will scale worse and worse. This is probably better if you're in low elo and games drag out longer than they should've been.

You can also opt out the Night Harvester for a Riftmaker if the enemy team is tankier, or you would need the extra sustain.
Also, remember you can go Zhonya's Hourglass against heavy AD champions like Zed, Talon, Riven, Darius, Renekton.

I like going this build as I have the on-hit damage from Blade of the Ruined King, Kraken Slayer and Nashor's Tooth in my Death Lotus, daggers and Shunpo. This is also good if you have already gone Kraken Slayer against someone like a Yasuo, but still want to go AP so you don't fall off late game, or when you already got Kraken Slayer but know it's going to get to late game, or generally don't like Night Harvester or Riftmaker.



I like going Kraken Slayer as it gives me alot of damage on my ulti and it is very fun to play with. However, you can also get Kraken Slayer in specific situations like when you're facing an Kassadin where your autoattacks will do alot more to him than your abiltiies, or facing someone like an Yasuo where your abilities won't matter much as he can just Wind Wall them. I like going Night Harvester against squishier mid laners like Veigar or Lux, or mages in general. This means that they will be easy to burst down and I do not need to really sustain fights with them as they will die to my full-combo relatively easily.




I like going Night Harvester against squishier teams as that means that I will do more damage to them with my kit which was basically the old burst from Hextech Revolver pre-season 11. I get it if I am against mages, or against a team full of squishies. Night Harvester is good as its passive can proc on many people at once, so you theoretically can do up to 5x it's passive damage. I like going Riftmaker against tankier teams. This is because of its passive, which after 5 seconds, will convert 10% of the bonus damage dealt as true damage instead, making it very good against tanky teams as their armor and magic resist is less useful. The extra omnivamp can also help you keep alive in fights for longer periods of time when combined with Blade of the Ruined King. This can also be good if you're running Conqueror, whereas you love to sustain fights and drag it out in order to get more healing. However, I think what really matters is the enemy team comp.


Most people will wonder why you are getting Mythic items so late in the game. Shouldn't you get them as your first or second item?


No. The AP mythic items for Katarina are pretty good, but you can get more for cheaper gold. Nashor's Tooth is such a strong item due to its insane 100 AP and it's on-hit effects that proc every time you use any of your abilities that deal on-hit damage (your daggers, Shunpo and Death Lotus).

This is better in comparison to Night Harvester's 80 AP with a little bit of burst every 40 seconds, as well as health and ability haste, which is not that good on Katarina. Same can be said for Riftmaker, Riftmaker has 80 AP and it's passive, but it pales in comparison to Nashor's Tooth on-hit damage. It has omnivamp, but that is settled with Blade of the Ruined King's lifesteal. Therefore, Nashor's Tooth is the second best item to have on Katarina, only losing to Blade of the Ruined King.

After your Nashor's Tooth, you can get whatever you want depending on the enemy team. If the enemy team is tanky, you can try rushing a Void Staff. If they are tanky and have a lot of burst as well, you can opt for a Demonic Embrace. If they are a pretty "normal" or squishy team, you can just get a Lich Bane.

However, some players like to get their mythic items, Riftmaker or Night Harvester after Nashor's Tooth, and that is completely fine. Get Riftmaker against tankier teams, and Night Harvester if they are squishy.


The reason you get Nashor's Tooth as your second item is very simple. It gives more AP, and it's passive is much more consistent. Nashor's Tooth's passive procs on every on-hit ability you have as well as your autoattacks, while Lich Bane procs on every ability cast, and only works once every 2.5 seconds. This means that it is much less consistent, and you can only use it once or twice in a fight, while Nashor's Tooth can be used from the start to the end. It is impacted even worse when you realise it can go on cooldown if you Shunpo to a minion to catch up to someone, so it is simply not as versatile as Nashor's Tooth.


VORACITY (Q): This is what separates the good Katarinas from the bad Katarinas. Good Katarinas will not panic in the moment when they get their resets and button-mash and will carefully evaluate their next action swiftly. This ability is what makes Katarina such a low-elo stomper and someone who you need to be cautious against.
BOUNCING BLADE (Q): This is the ability that we use to farm in the laning phase, as well as the one we use to set up combos with, or catch up to enemies with since it gives a dagger a bit away from the enemy hit. We usually max this first as it is our main farming tool as it is AoE, as well as our main damage tool which also scales the hardest by level.
PREPARATION (W): We use Preparation in order to reset our Shunpo as well as run away from enemies or towards enemies as it grants us movement speed based on its rank. We max this last as it grants nothing else other than movement speed and lowered cooldown which we don't need.
SHUNPO (E): This ability is what makes Katarina so flashy and hard to predict. We use this ability to gap-close and as of Season 11, one-shot ADCs into oblivion. When playing AD Katarina, we max this first, or at least put 3 points into it when facing someone like Yasuo, or if we just like maxing Bouncing Blades first. This ability can also autoattack-reset, making Katarina a surprisingly good duelist with only autoattacks.
DEATH LOTUS (R): This is her ultimate which is on a very low cooldown, we don't usually use this for kill-pressure, we use this to shred down enemy health so that we can kill them easier on our next fight, or get them out of lane so we can push the lane safely and roam to other lanes. In a really good teamfight, we can expect to use this twice. With season 11 changes, now it also procs on-hit, so her Death Lotus has alot more damage when combined with Blade of the Ruined King, Nashor's Tooth as well as Kraken Slayer.
Now we get to the fun part. This is also probably the hardest part and most of it will come with experience, so don't fret if you don't get the combos down first try. Long Sword stands for autoattacks.

Level 2 Combos
> > >

Level 3 Combos
You can auto based on how close the enemies are to you. If its someone like Veigar who's immobile, you can auto him for free alot more.

> > > > > >
Use this if an enemy steps on your dagger.

> > > > > >
Use this for when you want to engage. I use this most of the time in my games as enemies are not stupid enough to step on daggers.

Laning Phase Combos


> > > > > > >
Ulti after using Preparation as it means you can instantly shunpo to them once they are out of range.

> > > > > > > > >
Use this after preparation as well so you can shunpo to them after. You can also apply a auto-reset if they're immmobile champs.

Teamfight Combos
> > > >
> > > >
Just because this is labelled as teamfight combos does not mean that you can only use them in teamfights. This just means the shortest time it takes to burst someone down, which is usually what happens in a teamfight as you will get killed very quickly if you weave in autos in between.

Tips and Tricks

You can use Preparation near a thin wall, and then use your Shunpo at the edge of the dagger range to hop over it. You can also substitute the dagger with the honeyfruit plants!

Speaking of plants, did you know you can also Shunpo to all types of plants? And it's not just plants, you can shunpo to ally team's Jarvan's Demacian Standard, Rek'Sai's Burrow, pets like Annie's Summon: Tibbers

How do I get better at Katarina?

Many people when they first try out Katarina don't get the hang of it. It's true. I got it relatively easily when she first got reworked, but I can understand why it is hard. First of all, don't rush it. You will get better soon, after knowing about itemisation and her general matchups. Playing Katarina is mostly based on how you play her matchups.

If you're having difficulty playing with the Conqueror playstyle, I suggest learning how to play Katarina with Electrocute first as it is way too more forgiving and easier to learn, as it does not place such a high emphasis on auto-attack resetting.

Also, get used to the Shunpo reset timings. It is essential that you don't panic and key mash as playing Katarina requires calmness and great decision making.

Is it okay for me to go Dark Harvest or other runes?

Yes, sure! This guide is just meant to be a template on how Katarina is generally built, and it is supposed to guide you along the way of showing multiple build paths you can take. It is okay for you to experiment with other builds, but just make sure that it makes perfect sense, and to seek help from others first so it is the most effective as it can be. Do comment down below for my personal opinion on how an item is, or what rune is good.

How do I get better at playing Conqueror?

When playing Conqueror, the most important part about her combos are autoattack weaving. Check the combo section and make sure you can do it comfortably, or at least do it 9 times out of 10 against a practice dummy. After that, you can get into some normal games and try it out against other people. It is a very important part about her kit as you would need to use autoattacks to stack up Conqueror to make the most use of the extra AD she gets.


In level 1, play as safe as you can. Only farm using daggers and never trade health with the enemy. This is very crucial. You need to give up your ego and let them take the first wave.
However, when you are close to getting level 2 (1 more minion), you can try using Bouncing Blades on a minion and letting it land on the minion that is going to die that will give you level 2. This accomplishes a surprise attack on the enemy if they are near the dagger. If they are, then hop into it, and immediately level E after. You can then proceed to bash the enemy in with autos and auto-resets. This is just a general guideline though, if it's someone like Talon or Ekko, you should wait until they use their crucial abiltiies first ( Talon's Rake or Ekko's Timewinder as they probably win the trade if you don't. This strat has a much higher chance of succeeding if you have Conqueror as it is very good early, as when it is fully staked up level 2, it gives 15 AD which is a long sword and a half.

If this doesn't work, we try to do it again on Level 3. Our combo will be E W Q E or Q E W E. Make sure to proc a few attacks in, 2 is the minimum and 3 is preferable. We try to find enemy weak spots and mistakes and punish them for it throughout this period of time, while farming for our first powerspike which is Pickaxe. On your first back, make sure to get Seeker's Armguard against someone like Zed or Talon as it will increase your chances of winning the lane massively.

Also, if there is a River fight, make sure to help your jungler out even if you miss a few minions. Katarina's level 2 and 3 is one of the best in the game, and 2 v 2s with her are easily won, as when one person dies, she gets her resets. Do keep in mind this is also matchup-dependent.


Here comes the mid game, enemy teams are probably grouping up in mid more often now, so try to get some side-lane farm. Before that, make sure you roam in opportune moments. Many Katarina players roam too much and miss a lot of farm, and in the end, their lead is gone. We do not want that to happen.

In order to roam, we need to secure 4 objectives first.
-Push in minion wave (So enemy minions don't get killed by tower by the time we come back)
-Know how fast the enemy pushes (If the enemy is someone like a Yasuo who can kill all the minions relatively easily, you might want to avoid roaming that often as he can shove the next wave's minions under your tower by the time you come back)
-Make sure enemies are deep in the lane (They can just back off easily if they see us when we are in the lane)
-Know where the enemy jungler somewhat is (Enemy jungler can countergank)

In this phase, we also want to stick with our team more often in hopes of a teamfight, as now we probably have Blade of the Ruined King and are strong enough to fight 1 v 1s with most champions, and can dumpster small scale teamfights with our kit.


In Late Game, we play cautiously and do not let the greed get to us. Make sure you know where enemy team is before engaging on someone who's alone. Try to farm up side-lanes when your ADC is in your lane, and make sure to ward around. Do not be alone in this time as enemies can easily catch you off and win a 4 v 5, or secure a objective with your death.

In teamfights, we want to make sure that we don't get focused down, therefore, we wait for our tanks to go in and engage the fight first. You can use the first few seconds to analyse the fight and see whether it is good or not to join in, as usually champions will save their CC for assassins like Katarina, for example, Skarner's Impale. We want to wait for most CC to be blown, and then go into the teamfight to assassinate low health targets. There isn't much to say here, but experience really will help with this one when knowing how to go in and more. Always look for the best opportunities.

What to do if i'm ahead?

You can continue farming, as well as looking for roam opportunities. Make sure you do not get greedy and give away your lead, and make dumb plays that can help the enemy comeback. Try to strengthen your lead even more by roaming with your jungler in order to take the enemy jungle camps, or catch someone offguard.

But what if i'm behind?

When you're behind, try not to die, or buy situational items that can help you out like a Seeker's Armguard against Zed. Try to farm in a side-lane if possible, and don't do anything greedy that will get you even further behind. Make sure you don't tilt as when you tilt, your vision clouds and you would not be able to play at your best potential.
Thank you for reading my guide and if you have any questions or any suggestions, please comment. I can surely help you out.
If you want to, you can subscribe to my YouTube channel at here.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Aikairi
Aikairi Katarina Guide
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DIAMOND Best S11 Katarina Guide - Coronation Bloodbath

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