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Katarina Build Guide by Pachaaa

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Pachaaa

How to: Katarina

Pachaaa Last updated on March 14, 2012
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Middle Lane
Ranked #7 in
Middle Lane
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.



Offense: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Introduction to the guide

Welcome everyone!

If you started playing Katarina or wish to improve your gamestyle, this guide will help you.Why am I writing this guide?Because over last few months I encountered many players who did badly playing this champion.So, here we go :).


First of all, I have played Katarina non-stop for over 9 months.<b> So she definitely is my main champion!</b>. Over this time I managed to master her skill, the gamestyle, tips and hints as well as how to possibly counter those CC champions.

Just have a look. I had my penta recently:

+ this guide is updated from time to time.

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Pros and Cons

First, the Pros and Cons of Kat:


-Amazing champ!
-Easy to get a triple/quadra/penta kill ;).
-Shunpo, a versatile spell and a good escape/chasing mechanism.
-Not squishy when you start with Rylai's Crystal Scepter
-Rarely banned on Rankeds
-Not too difficult to master
-Ridiculous cooldowns ;).
-High spell damage.
-Deadliest ulti in an entire game!


-Doesn't have any crowd control spells-relies on Rylais
-Ulti can be stopped by stun/silence/knockup/taunt.
-People tend to focus you once they see the threat.
-Not doing a lot of dmg with autoattack since she is a nuke.

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Katarina is an AP champion (possible hybrid or ad, however not as effective as a pure AP), so people might think that she needs LOADS and LOADS and again LOADS of magic penetration.Not necessary there guys!Her spells already do decent damage even without a huge number of magic penetration.30 magic penetration is good and you can easily get that with sorcerer's shoes :).

I will show 2-3 ways of possible Runes, Masteries and Items. Lets start with runes:


Mark: 9x magic penetration
Seal: 9x armor
Glyph: 9x ability power/cooldown reduction
Quint: 3x magic penetration.

This is the popular choice of runes for Katarina. You get a lot of magic penetration, some armor, and a handful of ability power / cooldown reduction to start with.This will let you deal more damage, but unfortunately, you will be SUPER SQUISHY,meaning that you will die easily and deal no more damage. I call it The Offensive Way of Kata .


Mark: 9x magic penetration
Seal: 3x flat health, 6x health regen /5 sec
Glyph: 9x cooldown reduction
Quint: 2x flat health, 1x health regen/ 5 sec

Yes, I'm addicted to playing defensive and staying on mid/lane for as long as possible. I don't play offensive until I reach level 6 (this is where our damage starts!).My rune build will let you stay on a lane for long thanks to 7 hp/ 1 second. You can call it my Balanced Way of Katarina.

Remember, if you have more hp than your opponent, then YOU will be the lucker, and not them. Did I mention that thanks to hp regen you don't need to buy any hp potions? (I seriously can't remember when I used my hp potion last time *_*).

It is up to you whether you want to play OFFENSIVE or BALANCED way of this champion. I prefer my balanced one, since I have no need to buy potion focusing on items, and I have 709 Hp at level 1.

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Masteries ad spells

So here we are with the masteries and spells.


21/0/9 - This combination allows you to deal more damage with Havoc and Archaic Knowledge. Just like in runes, this is Offensive Way and you are still being squishy to your enemy. So obviously not my preference of game style :).


0/21/9 - This is the defensive way masteries WHICH WORKS FANTASTIC!.Tower diving, being yelled at as a lucker, pure dominance and ultimate survival- man it is so much fun to trick the opponents :D. I get an extra 48 hp, Dodge chance, armor/resists, extra ap/attack speed, and reduced dmg (combined with killer instinct and shunpo = icing on a cake).

NOTE: Some of you might think that all those balanced ways do no damage. Wrong! It is not about doing lots of damage, but making sure you get a kill. If you die, how will you do further damage? You will just end up with deaths that way. Further information in Item thread.


Ignite:Healing reduction plus damage to those who are low on hp. Use ignite when you first use your ulti on enemy champions(because surely they will try to back off from you, and Death Lotus doesnt have a range of 500000 km).

Example: Im on mid against Lux.I harrassed her with my bouncing blade and her health is equal to 50%.I let her push a little bit and then I shunpo her.Activate your ulti. while you throw the daggers you can ignite her without stopping the channel. This will make her heal spell worse(if she has one of course) and she will hardly survive that.

Don't forget to throw your Bouncing Blades when she is at the end of q spell range to ensure additional damage :).

Traditional choice for Nukes. This will help us get closer to enemy champions or let us run away.

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Items, skills and top tips

Here, let's get straight to my way of Items that I buy.


A doran's shield is the item that will give you a decent hp,armor and what's more important, a hp regen for early game. When combined with my balanced runes and masteries, you will regenerate 7 hp/1 second as mentioned before. This absolutely allows you to dominate the lane over your opponent.

Harrass the opposite player(s) with Bouncing Blades that you max, make them waste money on hp potions. The balanced runes are the potions themselves :).

If you have health, you survive for longer. If you have hp regen, you don't even think about surviving. If you have ap item for start,you deal a little bit more damage while still being squishy to your enemies ( The Offensive Way).

So survi = being longer on your lane/mid = gaining exp faster than your opponent) = You kill your opponent with ease.

Try to pick mid, because there you gain gold and experience really fast. You have a hp regen thanks to Doran's Shield and everything else, so don't go back to base until you have 1100 gold ( Sorcerer's Shoes).DO NOT UNDERDESTIMATE THE POWER OF MAGIC PENETRATION!

After the sorcerer's shoes, buy the Giant's Belt as soon as possible.You don't need AP yet and extra health is essential to you at this stage. This will go into Rylai's Crystal Scepter.Why Rylai's and not mejai?slow, slow, SLOW!This will work fantastic with your ultimate skill making sure you get at least one kill when dealing with a number of enemy champions :).Additional health and slow?YES PLEASE!

Now, after you get the Rylais, you should rush for Haunting Guise. The aim of my build is to go balanced with defense and offense. This is:

-3k life
-Over 68 magic penetration
-High damage resistance
-Having fun :).

So!We have Doran's, shoes, Rylai's,and Haunting Guise.Your Ap is moderate, but their magic resistance is practically nothing to you, meaning you do FULL damage.

Continue with this order build provided at the top.

Now for those who wish to play Katarina and are quite new to this champion I put a list of her skills and how to use them effectively:

Bouncing Blade: First to max skill.Use this to last hit minions on mid and to harrass enemy champion. Don't forget to combine it with killing instinct to ensure max dmg :).The blades will hit the target and jump on to other targets depending on skill level. adds 30% ability power + 50% additional attack damage from items.

Killer instincts: this is to be used with Q and E.With the blades, they will do max damage to all targets(otherwise the damage will be lowered every time it hits.) and in combination with shunpo, you receive 15-35% reduced damage for 3 seconds.This makes a good combination with W+E+R+Q (q if they are escaping too far or you forgot/cannot cast ignite)

Shunpo: teleports Katarina to a target minion/champ/ward.If it is an enemy,shunpo will deal damage (plus 75% of your ability power).

Death Lotus: Katarina's main skill.Katarina will be throwing High-Damage knives at 3 closest enemy champions for 3 seconds.However this spell is channeled, which means that any stun/taunt/silence will stop your ulti immediatly.BUT DON'T WORRY!YOU CAN EASILY AVOID YOUR ULTI INTERUPTANCE WITH JUST WAITING FOR THE ENEMY TO STUN YOU.

Once you have been stunned the enemy will probably be stupid enough to attack you. Activate your ulti,cast ignite,and look at your enemies' health going down extremely fast :).Don't forget, while you channel your ulti,click q and see when enemy is trying to escape. Once the target is at the very end of the range,cast the q spell to ensure he dies. The ulti gains 30% ability power bonus + 55% bonus attack damage from items.

Now let's do the guide and top tips:

You start a game.You choose Katarina as soon as possible.You order yourself a mid line as soon as possible and you refuse to go top/bottom as soon as possible.Don't even ask why yet.

Once you are summoned to the Field of Justice, buy yourself a Doran's shield and take Bouncing Blade.You are a katarina so champions like:

- Lux
- Orianna
- Malzahar
- Twisted Fate
- Ashe
- Caitlyn
- Anivia
- Miss Fortune

are nothing against you.Whether they like it or not,without a jungler or anyone to help them they are just a few minutes before being killed by you.

Wait for minions to spawn and keep behind.Until lvl 6 just keep throwing a bouncing blade at the minions with low hp.At higher levels you may use that to do both last hitting minions and harrasing the opponent champion as well :).

Do not push too far though before level 6 especially if the opponent team has stealth guys like
Twitch, Evelynn, etc. because they might gank you easily and we don't really want that do we?

Ok, you gained lvl 6 what now?:

1.The mid enemy is well pushed and I have 1100 gold = back to base and buy sorcerer's shoes + go back to mid.

2.I have killed the mid enemy and I have 1100 gold = buy sorcerer's shoes and go to bot/top.Yes, it's time to hunt down those low level champions ;).

3.I killed/made my enemy go back to base but I dont have 1100 gold= stay at your lane and don't back. Buying just the boots of speed is a waste of time.

Right, so you have level 6-8,you already killed the mid champion,and killed the 2 champions on
top/bottom. What you are meant to do now, is you have to pay attention to your health again.Buy a Giant's Belt which will go into Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

As mentioned before, continue with the build, and choose whether you want to play Offensive or Balanced.

This should be it so a Conclusion...

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Thanks for reading this guide and I hope you find it useful.Special thanks to WrathofVulks :).

Please vote and comment I will be grateful for that, + I'm sure to update this if you find anything which is not right.

Pachaaa :).