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Katarina Build Guide by Shunpaw

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Shunpaw

Get Diamond with Katarina

Shunpaw Last updated on December 7, 2014
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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.



Offense: 21

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 0


Utility: 9

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Hello guys! :)


Hello guys! I am Shunpaw, a Diamond EUW Katarina / Orianna Main!

This is my current w/l ratio in Diamond.

Since I've been added a **** tons of times and asked for help / advice for Katarina, I decided to just make a quick guide for her!

First of all, I'm not english, so please excuse any errors I made and maybe add me ingame and tell me them / write them in the comments! Thank you for your support! <3
Also, this is the first guide I've ever made, and I'd LOVE to recieve feedback and how to improve it!!
And last but not least, this guide is not finished and is getting updated every day! So feel free to favourite it so you can follow any updates!

Anyway, without further ado I present you my Katarina guide :)

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Pros / Cons


+ High Damage
+ High Mobility
+ Resets
+ Outplaypotentional
+ Pretty easy to play
+ Really high Skillcap
+ Cleanup Potentional
+ Strong Midgame
Katarina is a high mobility / high damage cleanup assassin who exels at taking down a whole team if they're low hp. Since she has resets she is, in my opinion, one of the most fun champions to play! Her outplaypotentional is pretty high with her Shunpo and shes also not that hard to play (Not saying that her Skillcap isnt high, I would say it's on par with Lee Sin and Orianna)


- Easy to shutdown
- Useless if behind
- Weak against CC
- Weak Laning Phase
- Mediocre Lategame
Katarina is really weak against any form of CC, so nearly 80% of the Champions naturally counter her. Also, shes pretty easy to shutdown with cc and is also rather useless if she and her team are behind. Her laning phase pre6 is really weak and her lategame is only mediocre thanks to GA etc which denies you resets.

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spac Voracity (Passive) - Every time you get a kill or assists,
Katarina's cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds.

Your sinister steel and instantly refresh on kills / assists
Helps you diving turrets, you can in, burst him, and out again
Teamfights give a lot of resets, thus more damage. Be patient!

spac Bouncing Blades - Katarina throws her dagger that bounces to the 4
closest enemies, dealing 60/85/110/135/160 (+45% AP) magic damage and 10% less damage per bounce. Any spell or attack
consumes the mark dealing 15/30/45/60/75 (+15% AP) magic damage.
Cooldown: 10/9.5/9/8.5/8
RANGE: 675

Multitarget farming and harassing ability!
Also bounces to stealth enemies!
Usually your first ability to use in combos

Sinister Steel
spac Sinister Steel - Katarina spins around, dealing 40/80/120/160/200
(+25% AP and +60% AD) magic damage. When you hit an
enemy, Katarina gains 15/20/25/20/35% movementspeed for 1 second.
Cooldown: 4/4/4/4/4
RANGE: 375 (50 less than Urgot autoattack range)

Short cooldown, mediocre AoE damage.
Great skill for detonating Bouncing Blades marks.
Movementspeedbuff for running away or catching up
spac Sinister Steel

spac Shunpo - Katarina jumps to her target, if it's an enemy, she deals 60/85/110/135/160 (+40% AP) magic damage to it. After using Shunpo, Katarina gains 15% damage reduction for 1.5 seconds.
Cooldown: 12/10.5/9/7.5/6
RANGE: 700

Ability to jump into or out of a fight.
Great for chasing, ganking and escaping a gank.
Can be used to jump over walls.
Can be used to reduce a turret's hit.
Can be used to juke a skillshot e.g
Can be used to diminish the damage from e.g or

spac Death Lotus - Katarina rapidly spins in place and channels for 2.5 seconds, throwing a barrage of up to 30 daggers at the closest 3 enemy champions within range. Each dagger deals magic damage and applies Griveous Wounds for 3 seconds, reducing regeneration and incoming healing by 50%.
Cooldown: 12/10.5/9/7.5/6
RANGE: 700
Magic Damage per dagger: 35 / 55 / 75 (+ 25% AP) (+ 37.5% bonus AD)
Maximum Damage to each enemy: 350 / 550 / 750 (+ 250% AP) (+ 375% bonus AD)

Great teamfight ultimate.
Can damage invisable targets.
Can be used to harass in lane.
Can be used to check for stealth (Yeah **** you ).
Can be cancelled by hard CC.
You can't move while using your ult.

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Double-Edged Sword . You're a melee high damage dealer with resets. GET IT!

Executioner . More Damage! Get it!

Dangerous Game . You get the kills, you get the health, you can kill more, sounds cool? get it.

Expose Weakness . High amount of AOE will allow you to use this mastery 24/7.

The rest in the offensive tree should be self explaining, just the usual AP masteries :)
"Senpai-chan, why are you going in the utility tree instead of the defensive tree?"

The Utility tree gives me a lot of different things the defensive tree cant give me, like Summoner's Insight Fleet of Foot and Scout (with that mastery your e range is just as big as your trinket range! yay!)

If you're up against Champions you need the survivability, go 21/9 taking Block Unyielding Recovery
Veteran's Scars and Juggernaut .

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Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Scaling Health

Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

For Marks I take , because they're awesome and the only really viable choice for Kat.
Also, or are a must-have, if you're up against an ad you can also get 5 or and 4 or

Glyphs can be either or or . I highly recommend trying the because they're really awesome since Katarina scales amazingly well with Penetration (Can't say that enough :) )

For Quints I pretty much always take because she is awesome with it, you can roam much better / faster, position yourself better and run in / out fights / escape early fights if you have to / run people down :)
Alternative, you can run if youre up against Champions like Annie, Kassadin etc.

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Summoner Spells

+ - Ignite is a combat spell, giving you more damage over time, and allowes you to get some early kills, also it cripples the heal from Mundo etc, so take it if youre up against champs like that. I usually never take it though because I feel like I dont need it.

- Gives you survivability against burst, e.g against etc.

- Take if they dont burst (like ) and dont have any healing reduction (like ) or / and you need the movementspeed :^)

- My favourite! I nearly always take that combo, it allowes you to roam bot with ease, just teleport on a (with ) and get a double, definitly worth giving a try, but tell your botlane to buy some wards and place them deep!

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Build Path / Items


Hurry up, minions spawn soon

Get either and if you are up against skill-shot reliant Champions (can be , , , , etc) or get the and if you are up against heavy ad bruiser like or, if you are up against aa heavy ranged champs ( etc) pick up the and .

First back, should be around 6ish

Don't be scared, you don’t have to buy all of those Items above! :^)

Negatron Cloak helps you to survive the burst of assassins like LeBlanc Veigar or Akali

Seeker's Armguard is a great pickup against Champions like Zed, Yasuo or Riven. Rush it if you're against Zed though because it builds into his strongest counter, the Zhonya's Hourglass

Needlessly Large Rod is a okay-ish pickup if you are snowballing, but you should probably take Haunting Guise over it.

[[Haunting guide is one of the best early items on Katarina in the game. It gives her AP, HP and Flat Spellpenetration, allowing her to do almost true damage. This should almost always be your first item. Dont upgrade it though and sell it to get your 6th item.

Viable Items

Those Items are some Items you can buy. Not saying that all of them are good in every situation, but they're all decent on Katarina. Lets start at the beginning, shall we?

Deathfire Grasp is pretty much the definition of snowballing. Some people say "why would you pick up dfg, it's good against 1 but not in teamfights" seems like y'all forgot about Katarinas passive, right? Voracity "allowes" your enemies to die if you get resets. rip in pepperonies enemy team. DFG is nearly always my second / third item after shoes and / or Haunting Guise.

Rabadon's Deathcap gives you a high amount of AP and 30% of your AP is doubled!
Since you dont have AP Runes you dont want to Rush it. Get it as 4th or 5th item after Boots, Deathfire Grasp, Void Staff, Zhonya's Hourglass (or Deathcap if you dont need Zhonya's)

is eventually a -must have- pickup doesnt matter what you are up against and if you are building bruiser, tank, ad or w/e. She doesnt scale all that well with ap (only her ult has a decent-ish scaling) but her base damage is pretty high -> magic penetration is awesome. I sometimes even pick it up after my Boots, but tbh it should be a third item after dfg and Boots (or Zhonyas)

Zhonya's Hourglass is an awesome pickup. no matter what you are up against. even against Veigar (Why? because you can Zhonyas his :p )
get it early if you are up against Zed, w/e and are behind-ish (otherways get Deathfire Grasp and blow him up first) or whenever you feel like you need it. it also allowes you to wait for your cds (most likely your Shunpo to ward jump to savety!)

Abyssal Mask gives you 70 ap, 45 mr and an aura which reduces mr from peeps around you. since you're melee you're kinda always having that aura up. so, when do you want to get that item?
For Example if you have:
Ap heavy top like Rumble Ryze/ or Jungler like Fiddlesticks and none of them has that item AND you are up against an ap mid like Veigar or LeBlanc

well, for me, that item is kinda a "well it exists but I actually never pick it up" item. :\

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Items I never get / hate and why

space All of your damage spells are AOE. Spellvamp is reduced to 1/3 for AOE Abilities. Also, it's not worth getting that item with relative low stats for 3400 Gold! Your job is not to spellvamp sustain but to burst. You dont need it, trust me. Sorry Hextech Gunblade.

space Your job is to burst people, not to do damage over time. Also, the dot from Liandry's Torment is only 1/3 sincr your spells are AOE. Never get that item if you build damage. You can get it if youre building tanky:

space Same reason as above, the slow from Rylai's Crystal Scepter is only 1/3, it's overpriced for what it gives, there are better pickups. It would be a great 7th item but we only have 6 itemslots at the moment

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Take at level one. That allowes you to put out some harass and farm savely. Try to throw it on the enemy champion when an enemy minion is low so it damages the enemy champion and gives you the lasthit!

Then, Take at level two to have an escape, if you're 100% save (jungler just showed top, mid has no abilities up) you can make a e-q-aa combo on the enemy. It actually deals a decent amount of damage!

I usually max Sinister Steel if I can get to the enemy with it and the enemy wants to trade. It deals more damage in longer fights.

If you’re playing vs someone who plays uber defensively (well, actually, if you’re up against someone who does that you have won already) you can max your to harass him. Also, if you’re getting zoned your good with maxing .

Get your whenever possible.

Your laning phase is awful! Never forget that! Patience is the key for victory.

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When to pick Katarina

Katarina needs a team with high cc and an enemy team with low cc.

Exampleteams would be:

Your Team

Enemy Team

You should pretty much never pick Katarina into an open lane since counterpicks in lane destroy her pretty hard! (More about lane matchups down below)

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Lane Matchups

Note: The amount of Katarinas show the difficulty to play against those champions!

space Aatrox is a melee autoattack reliant champion with a decent amount of burst and a high amount of sustain if he isnt getting zoned. As Katarina you want to sidestep his Blades of Torment harass and try to get as much harass down as possible at level one with Bouncing Blades. Always dodge his Dark Flight with your high movementspeed due to runes / masteries or, if you're unsure whether you can dodge it or not, just use Shunpo. Never use your ulti when he has his Dark Flight off cooldown, but use it asap when it's on cooldown. He is pretty fragile in the early game, and I usually win my lane when im against him. Don't get to greedy and dive him with his Blood Well up though or it could end bad.

space Ahri is a medicore to hard enemy since she can, if played well, completely shut you down and has decent sustain. Pre level 6 try to dodge her Orb of Deception and harass her with your q-w combo, use the movementspeed you get from sinister steel to dodge her e and q. Post level 6 you need to dodge her Charm by any means or you will die. Her ulti allows her to kinda get out of your all in and dodge some damage.
Trade with her when she has her abilities on cooldown, try to roam a lot!

space Akali is a high damage assassin with medicore mobility and "resets", so kinda like you! Her playstyle is simular, and in my opinion in lane shes stronger than you since she has sustain through her . Try to play as agressive as possible, zone her from cs. I suggest a boots start with pots so you can be on par with her sustain, and continiously use your q and w to harass her. Dont let her use the proc of her because that hurts! Keep in mind that her can activate the mark too, so dont let her get close to you! Dont ever try to 1v1 her if you arent far ahead, shes stronger than you in a 1v1 scenario!

space Anivia is a pain in the *** for Katarina. But shes rather weak pre 6, try to harass her with your q and w, dodge her with your increased movementspeed or with your and push as hard as you can.
I suggest a start so you can dodge her q easier. Post 6 is where the horror starts. She has high waveclear with her ult q, and if shes any good she will stun you as soon as you jump onto her. She can easily harass you with the combo and that really hurts.
Ask your jungler for help, because she has no mobility and if she missplaces her wall shes pretty much dead, but keep in mind that she has so dont dive!

space Annie is one of the most annoying Champions to play against since she has high damage, a stun, and her only weak point, her low range, is kinda not existing since you're melee. Nothing you can do, start either or and .
Rush an (Buy first back) and be as passive as possible, dont get harassed, stay back, lasthit with and just dont try to trade at all. If she missplays and throws out her stun on a minion, and you are above half HP and you are sure you can burst her down go in with your into into sinister steel into . Ask your Jungler for help since she doesnt have any escape. If you get ahead rush a and go in when she just used her stun.

space Brand is a skillshot reliant champion, thats why the Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed is a -must have-. Dodge the early w q harass from him, when he uses his q and you cant sidestep it use your e either to get away or onto him, and then use your increased movementspeed from sinister steel to dodge his w.
Start with and and harass him with your and dodge his skillshots.
Later, wait until he got his Q out, because he doesnt have any cc after using Q, then use your eqwr combo to burst him down. Abyssal Scepter is a decent item, if ya get ahead a DFG is also pretty good.

space Cassiopeia is a skillshot reliant champion, thats why the Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed is a -must have-. Dodge the early q harass from her or you will lose the lane.
Start with and and harass her with your and dodge her Q with your movementspeed.
Her ulti stuns you when you are facing her, but when you use your after on her, you'll not get stunned since at the time you used your ultimate you faced away from her.

!Work in Progress!

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Early Game

In the early game you are at your weakest state. You should play passive and try to get as many lasthits with autoattacks as possible. Using q for lasthitting minions is fine, it doesnt cost mana so use it everytime it's available, but you should preferable hit the enemy champion first so he gets harassed.

Once reaching level three you should have all of your skills. Now you can start to play semi-agressive, try to harass the enemy with q whenever it's up and if, for example uses her on you, dodge it with your and use your q w combo on her.

Get as many lasthits as possible, but don't go for range minions if you would take a hugh amount of poke in exchange, just stay in xp range!

Level six is a hugh milestone, it allows you to actually deal damage! More or less, since the enemy must be really dumb to actually eat your whole ultimate. You arent made for laning, so dont force yourself to stay in the middle lane! Go roam whenever you see an opportunity, when the enemy botlane overextends without wards, when you have teleport and theres a ward behind the enemies!

And this is pretty much where the midgame begins!

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Mid Game

You are Katarina, and your strongest point is the Midgame. You shine at the levels 6-16, but keep in mind that even the tiniest amount of CC can destroy you.
Stay out of fights until they blew their CC OR when they can't use their CC (Like being Taunted in a Galio ultimate)

Your standard Harass Combination is to use , then follow it up with and finish it with sinister steel. The movement speed from sinister steel allowes you to dodge any skillshots fired by the enemy (e.g ) and run away from them again.

When you're going for a kill, use if you have one, then use your , followed up by your and sinister steel and finish it with your