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Katarina Build Guide by Mirkwoodia

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Mirkwoodia

Dominion Katarina [6.3/last patch b4 dom ded] Advanced

Mirkwoodia Last updated on February 18, 2016
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Middle Lane
Ranked #36 in
Middle Lane
Win 51%
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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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 12

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 18

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 0

Threats to Katarina with this build

Show all
Threat Champion Notes
Jayce Not your target unless your team's with you. I'd go for another target, even a tank sometimes, unless your team can zerg it together
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Related Links

Further readings on the Dominion Meta, which gets very few updates to actually change anything so even if these look outdated, most of it isn't. This chapter alone can seriously take you to high mmr Dominion

Koravel's 10 awesome tips (Beginner/Gameplay Guide)
Painkillar's (Tactical Guide)

tl;dr of Painkillar's guide

The best tier-list available!!!:

DominateDominion is the unofficial dominion chat room.

Oh and my youtube channel
More of these will help others understand the map from a strategic perspective

On to the real guide!!!

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About Katarina

Katarina's skill is focused around having high-reaction speeds and understanding damage potentials.

High-speed reactions means being able to shunpo out of sticky situations and following up on lockdown first before others can prepare to react. Shunpo out of sticky situations? Yep, save your shunpo to escape, not engage, unless there's a reset

Understanding damage outputs is purely experience, knowing whether you'll kill or be killed, when and for how long you have to stay back, and when and where you have to go in.

So without furtherado, welcome to my guide!

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The REAL way to use your Summoners, Summoner!

Flash is an offensive summoner spell in Dominion. A good Flash-Kill can easily win a fight

Heal baiting is the best. You can use the movement speed to make an enemy useless, and sometimes just kite longer.

Ghost in-combat isn't useful against high CC, so normally I don't take it. But I can't deny its a powerful kiting and engaging tool otherwise. If a fight is breaking out, and your hiding in the jungle, you can quickly ghost in and appear on the enemy squishies. You can literally ignore some tanks, ghost, and just run over the back line sometimes. Remember the movement speed boost also makes dodging skill shots crazy easy.

Why I stopped taking Ignite

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Katarina's spells are simple? a joke

Bouncing Blades (Q):

The start of every combo EXCEPT after resetting and using the Flash-Shunpo combo. The animation is like a self root. Leave it for last in these cases.

Sinister steel

Sinister Steel (W): Range = 2 teemos. Secret power: Movement speed buff!!!!

Idk wtf a range of "375" is. But it's roughly 2 teemos.
Dodgin Skill shots: Dodging a single important skill shot can easily win you the fight. Simply bait out the skill shot by going in, wait until they start their ANIMATION (not the moment you see the skill shot), then use sinister steel to sidestep. The burst of movement speed makes it real easy. If they hold on to their skill, then they're smart and you should Sinister Steel at max range instead (range = 2 teemos), and thats plenty of distance to get away.
Kiting Melee and Reposition to Ult: You can kite melee champs, just use W before they catch you. And if your ready to Death Lotus, then use the movement speed to get to the middle of the fight while baiting enemy CC and skill shots, or go get behind your opponent, then use Death Lotus so he has to run through it.

Shunpo (E):

Only Shunpo into a fight if its SAFE!!!! Safe means
  • Some other threatening champions on your team are all going in
  • you can KS (Kill Secure)
  • their scary skills are down

If not, wait and act like a vulture. Stay near an Ally as you vulture, and if you get engaged on, shunpo onto them to escape. If you still can't shunpo in and you need to do something, then just Death Lotus their front line. This makes it really easy to get a full ult off, so after 2.5 seconds you'll deal TONS OF DAMAGE (sorry phreak). Shunpo out on to a ranged champion to get out at the last second, or if there is no ranged champ nearby, then cut your ult off while you still have enough HP and just use Sinister steel's movement speed to get away. People underestimate how simply surviving helps you win the fight and gives free map pressure.

Also, that doesn't work with mega-tanks like Rammus, so what you can do instead is Shunpo in when theyre low on damage abilities, tank a CC or two, then get as much of a Death Lotus as possible. Your not tanky with Rylais, but your not exactly squishy either, so try to balance how much you can take.

I know that throws out the safe rule, but your going to be forced on the front line most of the time if your aiming to carry your team.

Tricks with Shunpo

Death Lotus (R):

Eh, if you read the Sinister Steel part where you can quickly reposition from the edge of a fight to the middle of a fight before you ult, and remember how to use Shunpo to get a good ult, then you got it.

Voracity (passive):

Same thing, every time you get a reset, always use Shunpo + Sinister Steel before using Bouncing Blades.

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Katarina's Various Combos

Baiting the CC out, dodging the skill shots

Auto AttackSinister SteelSide step!.

The Shunpo into Auto Attack is a smooth, fluid move that just gives you an extra maybe 30 damage. Use sinister steel the moment their animation starts, not when the skill shot is released. If you don't see any skill shots, use sinister steel when you are the distance of 2 teemos from your target. After your that far away, it's also safe to use Bouncing Blades, not to mention how it reapplies the slow to escape.

Purpose 1: Enemy still has CC, and hard to Death Lotus properly.
Purpose 2: You have no Ult but want to contribute. Dodging a skill shot can easily win a fight.

Surprise! Your back line is now open to flashy engages

Sinister Steel Reset.

New Katarinas will have a rough time doing this, but both Flash and Shunpo can be done in an instant. Used together, they can cover the distance between you and a target who's trying to stay "just out of range" for an easy pickup kill. Also rough, sinister steel and Death Lotus can both be started within the same millisecond for the extra "surprise burst" that you get from Flash-Shunpo combo.

Purpose: Catching out the enemy carries unexpectedly and getting an easy kill to win the fight.

The Ranged-Comp Kiters and I'm pretty much the butt of all aggro

BackpedalSinister Steel out.

Tanking is up to YOU because either nobody else went tanky or nobody else can engage. Use Rylais slow to kite backwards. The slow also provides engage-material whenever your team is ready, so try to keep them slowed. Keep in mind your only a weak off-tank, the only reason your a viable definition of an off-tank is because your kiting around and not taking all the damage like a raid boss would.

Purpose 1: Teamwork with your Kite-comp
Purpose 2: "Poke" if a tank gets overextended. Remember to keep 2 teemos distance.

The reset combo!!!! Plz shunpo first, not Q!!

. ..Sinister Steel.. Run/Auto.

Once you get a reset, trust that everyone on the enemy team knows where you are now. With that in mind, you want to be somewhere else as fast as possible, probably onto another target. Using Shunpo first before Bouncing Blades keeps you alive because they lose track of where you are for about .2 seconds. Maybe longer. And of course, every Katarina has had the moment where they get reset after reset after reset, right? If a target has that low HP, and you only need Shunpo+ Sinister steel to execute them, you save yourself .5 seconds which EVERYONE should know is quite a lot of time.

Purpose 1: Executing low health champions
Purpose 2: Surviving longer after getting a reset

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Early Game

Lvl 4 Windmill fight: Get used to blowing ALL your summoners just to win this fight. There's nothing as important as this for the next 5 minutes, so even for a little advantage, blow them

Try not to use revive for this, that can have a far better impact later in the game if you save it up.

Remember if you win Windmill, atleast 1-2 people need to defend top for a bit. HP packs are generally safe to grab and going back for an extra 800g item isn't really impactful.

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Mid Game

Lvl 6-10: You'll be pretty weak, so stick to your team as a damage-support and not the main source of damage.

WHY????? Why cant I carry like before?? WDHHHHH

So rely more on resets (QWE) rather than Ult (R). However you do need to use R as a sort of... zone and threat aggroing, and then use E to drop that threat aggro, so you control the fight in a different way than just damage.

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Late game

lvl 11-18: Watch for your item spike, it occurs around this area and you can start having your own impact in fights, like flashing onto the back line with the flash+E-QWR combo

Especially important late game: As long as your team can win teamfights, then keep pushing the enemy for teamfights. If your team is losing teamfights, then you should gank bot lane instead and try to outrotate by outnumbering them. This will start skirmishes instead.

You can just focus on defending 3 turrets if the risks are high. If not, you can keep pressuring their bot and mid turrets.

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How to use items properly

Build order: 2 AP items, upgrade to Sorcerer's Shoes, build the rest

Boots of Speed: Fit these into your build any time you want, depending on how much gold you have when you go buy. Sometimes I'll have a Rylais and no boots at all, but after that, pls buy Boots of Speed before you finish your second AP item.

Why is it that way? Boots aren't really important when you have MS quints, and nobody's going to kite you when you have Rylais.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter: Always your first item. Use the slows to avoid damage whenever you can, and provide extra CC for your team. The health is especially good against physical damage. The main purpose is to get a full ult off without dieing mid-ult. Dominion is weird and different than SR. If you see a Kat skipping Rylais, then he's probably relying on resets.

Wooglet's Witchcap: Make sure to use the active according to your team comp/strategy. Note that different situations demand different strategies, so even with a kite comp, your probably going to all-in eventually.
All in comps/strats

Kiting comps/Strats

Hextech Gunblade: This item was better before they buffed it. You could have combined Gunblade with Blackfire Torch and have literally the greatest burst in game. Now you can't burst people down so easily.

The only way you can pull out enough damage to give you a worthwhile return in Spell-vamp is to get off around 2 second ults AoE, or in the case of botlane, just have enough damage to spell-vamp off of minions/enemy

Odyn's Veil: A Void may cut through MR, but not a 10% dmg reduction ontop of your 15% reduction from Shunpo. Despite that, the enemy will have even more reason to need a void to deal with Odyn's Veil
Activable Items interrupt your Ult

Twin Shadows: Good for taking/relieving jungle pressure, even if you don't need the trap detection. That said, the core is necessary first, so only get it as a like... 4th item is probably the earliest manageable time.

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What not to buy

Guardian Angel: Don't be the fool, 5min CD for a passive, even if you get the best timings, you can't survive being down 1k gold for the earlier 5 minutes

Everything else just kind of fulfills their respective niche. Except Abyssal Mask maybe, I really don't like that item

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Important Attitude to improving AND having fun

Don't play to win. Play to learn and improve. You can lose 10 games in a row and feel depressed, or you can lose those 10 games, find ways to improve, and start your road to Challenger MMR. Who cares if your not there yet? As long as you never give up, you can never lose. If you have the attitude to get to Challenger, your half-Challenger already. The rest is just playing enough games to get the title. Don't play because you want to win, friends.

List of things people can improve:

  • Reaction Speed:

    This is not something I gain from League. I choose to play Osu! every now and then to keep me training and refreshed
  • Teamwork:

    Contribute as much as you have possible, but stay smart. Lets say your low HP: can you cap a turret safely? Or support your fighters still? If the fight is lost, you can still base and come back to defend objectives as your contribution.
  • Retreating:

    This mistake is HUGE, people never know when to back down. If a fight is starting, their thoughts are just "lets fight". If you can't win the fight without the proper engagement, then wait patiently for that proper engagement, or normally, just gank bot and defend top.
  • Positive Motivation:

    Many people play for ELO, and that's a straight path to disappointment. You gotta FIGHT LIKE HELL!!!! and give every game your best shot, and you will climb as long as you keep fighting your best. But there are trolls and bad players everywhere, even in Diamond I'm pretty sure. It's a lonely road to carry yourself on, and teams will always hold you back and let you down. Expect them to let you down. You just gotta do everything you can and more to eventually start winning, use this game to get better than your last game, and you'll climb by yourself.
  • Macro decision making:

    The entire map has some sort of logic to it, like a flowchart of decision making. Can't win a top fight? Gank bot and let your team defend top turrets. Can't gank bot? Maneuver around the jungle looking for picks a type of engagement that will allow you to win the fight (engaging on carries).

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Introduction and Conclusion

Hi, my name is Mirkwoodia. On normal days im stuck at around 1900 Quickfind MMR on Dominion. Max I reached was 2.2K. Current max mmr now is like.... 2.2k. I pretty much started playing Dominion so I can just play whatever champ I want. SCREW LANES

Also, message me your replays and I'll coach *kya thumbs up*