Katarina Build Guide by KatarinaGodxx
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Best Katarina Build [7.18]
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.
Threats to Katarina with this build
|Azir||Easiest matchup, he shouldnt have anything to do vs you if you play it correctly.|
|Gangplank||Never ever should gp win this lane, you have such an advantage, so you have to kill him before he is 13. you have to have a lead or you will be doomed.|
Welcome to my guide
Hello everyone, this is my guide for all the passionate katarina players out there, hope you guys like it and can use it for yourselfs, it definetely helped me. Thank you for checking it out and have a good one!
Also criticism is appreciated, this is my first time making a guide and i want it to be as optimal as possible so we can inform you guys as much as possible.
About me - Introduction
My name is Mads, and welcome to my Katarina guide.
I am a high Diamond Kat main, who has been playing Katarina for a lot of seasons, my strength is mechanics and decision making. The reason i made this guide is to help people who want to improve their overall katarina game. In this guide we will talk very detailed about builds, playstyles, comboes, masteries and just overall what kat is all about.
A lot of the playstyles and comboes in this guide are inspiried by Faker since i have been analyzing his katarina very very detailed. Previously this guide was only about how faker plays her, but i decided to make it my own guide since the build is a bit outdated since he doesn't play her anymore.
I hope you find her fun, and i hope my guide will help you. Have fun playing and good luck in solo queue.
This is my Katarina stats and accounts
Click here for The OP.GG
Click here for The OP.GG
About Kat - When is Kat good, and what does she offer to her team.
Katarina is known for her beautiful clean ups in fights, and her high burst potential, being able to clean up after an even fight, winning or even losing fight. Her roaming is also extremely good. But she can also be extremely good in lane, and she can be very good at starting a fight if played correctly.
Many Katarina players when you watch their gameplay or highlights, they tend to wait untill a fight is started and then engage. But she can also take the initiative to a fight and make the plays happen for their team.
A common mistake low elo players on Katarina seem to make, is fighting way too much in the midlane, instead of using the sidelanes to their advantage, i will go over this later on. In the decision making section.
Katarina is good at any stage of the game after level 3, and does not fall off at any point, only problem is that if you get behind it can go really bad for you. So kat is very much of a high variance pick. high risk high reward.
About Kat - Pros / Cons
+ No mana.
+ High Burst.
+ Aoe Damage.
+ Very nice waveclear.
+ Good in 1v1s.
+ Good splitpushing.
+ Very hard to kill if you know her shunpo perfectly.
- No CC.
- No defensive abilities.
- Prone to cc.
- Bad matchups if they have cc.
- Very easy to focus in fights.
- Not a lot of damage to tanks.
- Bad when behind.
- Needs a frontline most of the time.
Pre Game Setup - Summoner spells
Four different summoner spells.
Flash should be used every game, its so useful for anything in league of legends. Never take anything else.
Very aggresive spell, good for early kills. Should be used like 80% of the time.
Good against any cc abilities. Should be used against champions like Twisted Fate, Annie and Ahri. Can also be taken vs cc junglers like Elise and Sejuani
Good against heavy burst champions like Akali, Syndra and Viktor.
Pre Game Setup - Runes
All we want from our runepage is to scale as best as possible into our strongest phase, the mid game.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage.
We take this because its really good in lane for damage.
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
If your matchup is extremely difficult early game you can do magic penetration quints for extra scaling into mid and lategame. Only take this when you feel like you won't get any oppurtunities for kills in lane.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Really good again for damage mid game.
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
For against AP matchups, you don't need armor against them since most damage comes from magic damage.
Greater Seal of Armor
For against AD matchups, makes them do a lot less damage in lane.
Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration
Magic penetration again, works well with Katarina and makes her damage scale really well.
Pre Game Setup - Masteries
In the masteries, we take 12/18/0, The reason being is that the Thunderlord's Decree is just amazing in lane for all ins, trades etc. It is by far the best keystone for Katarina.
You can choose if you want Savagery or Wanderer . this is preference, if you like roaming you want Wanderer , and if you want lane pressure you take Savagery
In the ferocity treat i take Double Edged Sword , simply because the damage is so good for early kills and all ins, the 1.5% extra damage you take doesnt cost a lot when you deal 3% extra damage. This is great for aggresive play in lane and makes up for having magic pen runes and being weak early. You can also take Battle Trance or Bounty Hunter . It is all preference. I just prefer Double Edged Sword
In Game Setup - Item Builds
The builds are dependant on each game, make sure you are very flexible and can use different builds for different scenarios.
There are 3 different starters.
Doran's Shield is almost used in every matchup. good for surviving laning phase with great sustain. Good against poke champions.
The Dark Seal is good for sustain but also for when you're going aggresive. Build when being more comfortable in the matchup and wanting to play more aggresive.
Cloth Armor is good against any AD matchup in mid lane. Ignores a lot of damage from champions like Yasuo, Talon and Zed. If you have this item first against any ad matchup you instantly have an advantage. Build this in to Zhonya's Hourglass or Ninja Tabi later.
Boots of choice
Three different situational boots.
Sorcerer's Shoes should be bought 80% of the time. Great for damage and the magic pen, scales well into mid-lategame.
Mercury's Treads are great against enemy comps with a lot of CC, make sure to build other magic pen items like Haunting Guise and Void Staff when going these boots.
Ninja Tabi are super good against heavy AD comps, especially auto attack comps. Same with the Mercury's Treads make sure to build other magic pen items like Haunting Guise and Void Staff When going for these boots.
The three core items for Katarina
Getting Hextech Gunblade First item should happen every game. It has everything you need: Damage, Sustain and Burst. If you don't build it you will miss out on the perfect item for Katarina
Haunting Guise is great for the magic pen and should be built in 80% of games second item. Make sure you don't finish the Liandry's Torment untill at the end of the game since you only need the magic pen not the passive. Only time you would finish Liandry's Torment is if the enemy team is stacking A LOT of HP. The only time you don't build Haunting Guise is in rare situations where you need something more defensive like Zhonya's Hourglass or Banshee's Veil
Void Staff is super good on Katarina because she benefits a lot from Magic Penetration. Make sure to have this 3rd or 4th item every game. The damage without Void Staff lacks. The only time you don't build this item is if the enemy team has litteraly 0 mr.
Situational Itemsthese are the situational items, make sure to be very flexible with your build for each scenario.
Rabadon's Deathcap is very good to spike your damage a crazy ammount. Build this later on for crazy damage or earlier if you have enough money. If you do not have a lot of money buy other items instead.
Zhonya's Hourglass is good to dodge major abilities like Orianna Command: Shockwave, Zed Death Mark or Syndra Unleashed Power with the passive. Also really good when the enemy has a lot of AD. Also works well when you need to be the initiator for your team or you need that extra couple of seconds to survive in fights.
Banshee's Veil should be built against Heavy AP teams or teams with a lot of cc. It ignores a lot of damage and makes you significantly harder to kill.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter works well with Liandry's Torment because of the passive and it makes you way more tanky than normal. Build this when you need extra survivability in fights.
I rarely go bruiser build unless i am toplane. You miss out on a lot of amazing damage.
Sunfire Cape is the best item for bruiser kat, build this against melee champions.
Dead Man's Plate is also good if you need more map pressure because of the movement speed.
Randuin's Omen is good against crit and autoattack champions. Especially when a team maybe has double marksmann.
In Game Setup - Skill Order
We max our Bouncing Blades because it is our only ranged ability. It is really good for poke and waveclear. Bouncing Blades is our most consistent spell so that is why i max it.
We max Shunpo second, this is because it does damage and puts the Shunpo at a lower cooldown. Some might argue that this should be maxed first because the early all in comboes feel smother but i feel like it is a lot riskier than Bouncing Blades and is not as reliable.
Last we max Preparation, its really not that good because the only thing it gives you is a lower cd. This is not as valuable as the dmg on Bouncing Blades and Shunpo.
Max Death Lotus whenever you can.
In Game - Playstyles
Realising your playstyle is very important, but also think about applying other playstyles to your play, the key to being a good player is to be flexible, being able to play accordingly to the situation.
The best decision is to know if youre a lane bully or a roamer, if you are bad at any of them, focus on that. Having a playstyle isnt really what i recommend, i recommend being able to play many different playstyles.
The way to find out other playstyles is to watch other people play Katarina. Maybe they have something unique to their gameplay that you can apply. This is a great way to improve.
In Game - Powerspikes
Katarina has alot of powerspikes, but not everyone knows them, so in this section i will explain what they are and how to utalize them fully.
at this level kat will be stronger than any other champion on the map, just because of the damage she can offer. Best way to utilize this is to either get in a really good trade, or to go for the kill. Make sure you are healthy enough at This points to make use of it.
Level 6 powerspike
Another good powerspike but at the same point not as important as the level 3 one. You can still use this to your advantage by getting a kill or getting a good roam.
At this point your move speed really makes a difference, and roaming becomes so much easier, use this so you can get as many roams in as possible before the enemy builds full boots, i recommend going boots very early.
Soon as you have this item you can potentially 100-0 any champion on the map unless you're behind, go for killing your enemy when they dont expect it, noone expects the damage you can do with your combo and Hextech Gunblade
At this point the potential of play making is so big, that you have to utalize it. As soon as you have the zhonya you can feel way more comfortable, and you can start teamfights on your own. I explain the combo with Zhonya's Hourglass in the comboes section.
When you get this item your damage is so high you have no idea. it will surprise many other players.
In Game - Comboes
Your Bouncing Blades Will always go in a straight line with you and your opponent. Understanding this is very important, when using this ability you need to line it up with your oppenents movements so that you can Shunpo on to the dagger a second later while proccing your dagger damage and getting the reset.
The most important thing is to know where you shunpo, it works a little bit weird with where you place it, you can either Shunpo to the side of a unit, the front and the back of a unit, this is very important for your comboes and i recommend going in to a custom game right now and trying to understand how the shunpo works if you don't already.
Comboes in lane
1. line up your Bouncing Blades with minions.
This combo is good if youre scared to walk up to your opponent and use Bouncing Blades on them, then instead you line up your Bouncing Blades with minions and Shunpo onto them getting the dagger proc. You can then either walk out with Preparation, nice little way to trade or you can go all in for the kill. It is also a super good way to pressure your enemy laner without having to walk up to them.
2.start with Bouncing Blades on your enemy
This is the best level 2, start with Bouncing Blades and follow with Shunpo, after that either E out or go full all in for the kill. You decide.
3.opening with Shunpo
Best all in combo at level 3, the combo goes as follows: Shunpo in, use your Preparation as soon as you shunpoed, wait half a second to see which direction your enemy is moving, and then Bouncing Blades followed by Shunpo. Remember to get auto attacks in your comboes.
All in combo at level 6.
The most common combo is e,w,q and ultimate at the end. But if you really want to master kat you need to know excatly how to place your knives. Because it really depends for what situation it is.
The first thing you do in your situation is you look at the situation and how your target is moving, and then you Shunpo on to the opposite side of the way its moving, this makes you able to Bouncing Blades and line up perfectly with the champions movement and use Death Lotus. Thereafter you Shunpo onto the dagger and they should be chunked if not already dead. So the combo is e-w-q-r-e. practise in customs and you can get this one down in no time.
Combo with Hextech Gunblade
The combo is pretty much the same as your level 6 combo, only difference being that you fit your Hextech Gunblade between your Preparation and your Bouncing Blades, do not use Hextech Gunblade during your ultimate, since it cancels your Death Lotus.
Combo with Zhonya's Hourglass
The combo is to use your normal combo, but as soon as you jump on to the second dagger you Zhonya's Hourglass, this gives your team time to clean up after you and reset your abilities. Use this combo when youre starting a fight or is in the middle of a fight.
The kiting combo.
This combo is used whenever being chased down. It is a way to run away from your enemy while baiting them to walk into your daggers and being able to kill them. The combo starts with Preparation while running to boost your movement speed. Then once they walk on to the dagger you Shunpo on to it and Bouncing Blades followed up by Death Lotus. It gives a surprising ammount of burst damage and people do not expect it. People also very frequently forget the fact that you can kill them because they are only focused on the fact that you are low and killing you.
Video explaining each combo coming soon!!
Laning Phase - Laning and wave management.
Our main goal in the Lane is to either farm up for the mid game, or to apply as much pressure on your enemy laner. This depends on the matchup. All we want to do is to be as strong as possible in mid game.
In lane you are mostly against ranged matchups. So being able to sacrifice some cs must happen. Be careful to use all your abilities on the cs since it removes lane pressure. You need to be willing to lose some cs to make sure that you wont die in lane and can make use of your powerspikes.
It's very important to know when to push and when to freeze, the thing is that in most matchups i recommend freezing, it gives you lane controll and the ability to zone your enemy, and if they make a mistake you jump on them. This also makes your enemy very prone to ganks why you not so much. Keep the wave exactly outside your towerrange most of the time when possible.
The only time i would really advise pushing is if you want to get deep vision, or if youre looking for a roam. Always make sure your lane is pushing when you roam otherwise you lose too much cs and exp while being gone.
I wont tell you how to freeze, or how to push. but i can tell you that the best way to push a wave is by killing the melee minions first.
Fastest way to kill a wave.
Bouncing Blades the front minions, Shunpo on to the dagger, hit all the minions in the wave and Preparation out. Shunpo back in and hit all the minions. After that finish the minions that are low.
Wave clear video coming soon!
Laning Phase - Utilizing enemy mistakes
Using enemies mistakes to your favour is a very important thing in the laning phase. Watching how your enemies are moving the entire time in a lane should be essential for you, if he makes one bad click, it can end off being a free kill. Punishing enemies when they walk up to cs a cannon minion, or when they click a little too close to you, can easily be used, but it rarely happens with newer league players and lower elo players. Look at everything in the lane and not just your enemies hp and minions. If you are able to see when they make a mistakes you can at that point say that youre getting better and improving.
Laning Phase - Roam or stay?
Whenever your lane is pushed in, SOMETHING has to happen, it doesnt have to be a double kill, or some amazing play but just getting deep vision, threatening the fog of war or just applying any pressure on the map. this is really important.
Being productive is very very important, i see a lot of players once they pushed their wave, instead of being productive they just stay in the lane and wait for a new wave, this isnt good enough. Either go get deep vision, just roam or threat the fog of war.
If your enemy is roaming, you have to determine how important the roam is for your team, if your team is in a really bad spot and the roam will mean a lot for how the game will turn out, i would say roam. If the roam looks like wasted time just push the wave and get free tower hits and exp. You can also make a roam happen on the other side of the map. being able to even out the loss you got from the roam they made.
Lategame - Decision making And Rotations.
After watching a lot of replays by faker, i noticed that every time before a play was made, he would always try to get pressure in other lanes, splitpushing a lot, and pressuring the entire map not just the midlane.
this is a common mistake made by lower elo players. They tend to run mid every single time, never thinking about bot, top. Remember to take controll over the entire map and not just your own lane. This is called tunnel visioning. Open your eyes up and see the bigger picture.
Katarina is really good at splitpushing because she pushes a wave in around 0,75 seconds if done correctly. The way to comeback with kat is by splitting and doing 1v1's, or cleaning up teamfights. Because even if you're losing you can still 1v1 alot of people and even if youre behind you can still be strong in teamfights.
It is though still very important that you stick with your team and is there when the plays happen. Kat shines in teamfights and can easily wipe an entire team. So being able to diffrentiate between splitting and teamfighting is important. DO NOT BE BOTLANE WHEN BARON IS BEING TAKEN BY THE ENEMY!
Vision controll is very important too, having a Control Ward or an Sweeping Lens is very good. One ward or sweep can win you the game.
Lategame - Teamfighting
The most important thing when teamfighting is being able to clean up a fight and get that sweet ace, but how should it be done. What you want in a teamfight is different from situation to situation, and how the state of the game is.
If you are the main carry on your team and the one needing to make the plays for your team, the most important thing is that you dont end up dying in a fight, do everything to survive. Use your Zhonya's Hourglass correctly and try to deal as much damage to as many champions as you can. Try to position your ult in the middle of many enemies so that you get the maximum damage in the fight, your job isnt necessarily to take out the carries but take their entire team out.
If you are behind or getting carried going 1 for 1 is fine if you take out an important member. So just building full damage and jumping on the carries is the best way to go, even if you die its still worth.
Make sure that EVERYTIME you played a fight you reflect. What could've been done better in that fight. It strengthens your ability to adapt to each fight and learn what's best for what situations.
Out Of Game - Watching Replays
Watching other people play Katarina can really help you get a better understanding of the champion. Even if you are better than the player you are watching there still might be something they are doing better than you that you can apply onto your own gameplay. Even watching your own gameplays can be super useful. Pay attention to every single mistake and do not make them again. If this is difficult getting someone else to do it for you is also a good idea. I myself got coached several times by high elo players.
I will later have replays in this guide of me playing specific matchups etc.
I recommend checking these people out.
Katlife - Master tier Kat main in NA.
Faker - Great Kat player and ofc. He is faker... here are some replays
Katarina vs ryze matchup
Katarina vs Fizz Matchup
Katarina vs Orianna
Faker Montage, here you can see the comboes he does.
Katastrophical - Master Tier Katarina player on EUW
There are of course more people but these are the ones that really helped me out.
You can also use op.gg to find the best players in each region. Watch their replays through the system.