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Katarina Build Guide by IChewCheese

Assassin [In-Depth] The Dagger Goddess

By IChewCheese | Updated on February 24, 2016
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LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite


LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #30 in
Middle Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats

Ability Order

sinister steel
Hello, I'm Mayomo. I've been playing since season 2 around Jayce release. Katarina has always had a special place in my heart and I hope I can share my knowledge of her with you. I hope you enjoy my guide! I'm open to constructive criticism or just general comments on the guide. thank you for using my guide!

SPECIAL THANKS: Credits to jhoijhoi for the wonderful template, which you can find here.


Great teamfight potential
Great wave clear
She has a lot of tools for escaping
Her roam is phenomenal
High burst damage
Great poke

Katarina has fantastic potential in skirmishes and teamfights. Her abilities and reset potential provide with access to a lot of area of effect damage. she can wipe entire teams if she isn't properly shut down early on. Her wave clear isn't the best in the game, but it's nothing to laugh at. She is not limited by a resource so she can easily use her Bouncing Blades and Sinister Steel over and over to clear waves. Her kit has a plethora of ways to escape especially with the runes and masteries I recommend. You have a lot of movement speed along with Sinister Steel's bonus movement speed. Your Shunpo allows you to escape from sticky situations especially combined with a ward. Her roam is fantastic with her high damage and movement speed. She has access to a lot of poke with her Bouncing Blades.

Melee champion
Easily locked down
If ultimate is stopped you lose a lot of damage
Item Dependent
Countered by crowd control
Hard to judge situations

A melee champion in the middle lane can be easily harassed by most other mid laners because they are normally ranged. If she gets cc'd she is done for because she is incredibly squishy. Her damage is also limited greatly by crowd control. Even if you don't die from being cc'd, you wont be able to pump out the damage you need to get resets. Basically, crowd control is the bane of her existence and you will struggle exponentially more against a team with a lot of cc compared to one with little.

Ferocity Tree

Fury vs Sorcery: This tier should be rather obvious. You wont find yourself auto attacking the enemy much as Katarina, so the Fury mastery is almost useless. Sorcery, however, bosts your damage and helps you scale into mid and late game much more nicely.

Double Edged Sword vs Feast: This mastery tier is often a toss up. Personally, I take Double Edged Sword over Feast because I feel that the extra sustain isn't needed. You already get a good chunk of extra sustain from taking Secret Stash , so I don't see the point in taking more. Some people would argue that taking Feast in the ferocity tree and Assassin in the cunning tree is safer, but the damage boon is less consistent and powerful and the sustain is far less superior. When taking masteries in the mastery tree, you need to take the minimal amount of masteries you can take for the laning phase (while surviving it) and the maximum amount of masteries for scaling into mid and late game.

Vampirism vs Natural Talent : I think the heal from Vampirism just doesn't compensate for the damage lost from not taking Natural Talent . Katarina scales off both attack damage and ability power, so you benefit from the entire mastery (most champions only benefit from half of it).

Bounty Hunter vs Oppressor : Bounty Hunter should be your mastery of choice almost every single time as Katarina. You roam early and kill easily so you should quickly see this mastery taking effect. Oppressor is dependent on your team as you have no built in cc.

Cunning Tree

Fleet of Foot vs Savagery: It would be silly to take Savagery as a laner. If you are mediocre at the game, you will not find yourself struggling so badly to get last hits that you have to compensate with your masteries. Savagery is almost exclusively for the use of junglers and even then Fleet of Foot, in most cases, is better.

Runic Affinity vs Secret Stash vs Assassin : Runic Affinity is not useful for Katarina. Neither blue buff nor red buff is worth keeping around as you don't need cooldown reduction with Voracity, you don't need mana regeneration as you are resourceless, and you don't need a true damage dot on auto attacks as you don't auto attack often. Assassin is a good mastery in theory, but in practice is not very useful. Your laning is bad and hard to capitalize on which is the only time you will really see a lot of use out of it. Secret Stash is by far the most useful of the three. It gives you a very nice amount of sustain which is incredibly useful for the laning phase. the instant tick of health can sometimes save you as well.

Merciless vs Meditation : You are resourceless so Meditation is absolutely useless.

Bandit vs Dangerous Game : You aren't laning with someone so half of Bandit is useless and you shouldn't find yourself running up to auto attack them often so that makes the other half almost useless. Dangerous Game , however, provides a really nice amount of sustain which Katarina is really able to capitalize on with her Voracity in teamfights.

Precision vs Intelligence : Intelligence is not very useful. If you are building Katarina correctly, you will never get anywhere near 45% cooldown reduction. With Voracity, it just isn't a useful stat to have on her. Precision is a phenomenal mastery on her anyway. Her high base damages and fantastic scaling with penetration makes this mastery a must take.

Stormraider's Surge vs Thunderlord's Decree vs Windspeaker's Blessing : Windspeaker's Blessing is almost useless so never get it. Stormraider's Surge could potentially be strong, but pales in comparison to Thunderlord's Decree . The damage from Thunderlord's Decree throughout the game is just far too strong to pass up for a boost of movement speed. It is fantastic with your burst and you only need to use your Bouncing Blades and any ability or a auto attack to proc it. It is probably the best Keystone Mastery in the game.

  • Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: increases your speed incredibly (enough to notice a difference with them), especially if you start Boots. These along with Boots are instrumental in providing you with a great early roam.
  • Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: This rune set is focused much more on less of a lane presence and more of presence while roaming and in skirmishes/teamfights. The magic penetration is much more useful scaling wise for mid game than pure ap.
  • Greater Glyph of Magic Penetration: These runes help push for a much higher damage output later on. Your lane presence will suffer and you will be more vulnerable to poke, but you will have a much easier time eliminating everyone on their team later on.
  • Greater Seal of Scaling Health: I take health here (instead of armor) because you are sacrificing your magic resist (which you need to compensate for without becoming vulnerable to ad champions). I take health because it's a much more generalized defense (compared to magic resist and armor). armor or magic resist seal's can replace this, but I don't recommend it if you are planning on running this build.
  • Why build this?: Katarina is a fast and efficient roamer. Good Katarina players are always looking for opportunities to roam and snowball into a monster later on. These runes abuse her roaming efficiency letting her peak more quickly. It allows you to get from middle to bottom lane quick enough that she can catch bot lane in a skirmish before it ends.

Flash: Its your sort of get out of jail free card. Especially if you don't kill anyone with your combo.

Ignite: Great for getting kills at lvl 6. Don't underestimate its damage later though.

Sinister Steel

  • Voracity: In my opinion the best passive in the game. This resets your Bouncing Blades, Sinister Steel, Shunpo, and reduces the cooldown of Death Lotus by 15 seconds.
  • Bouncing Blades (Q): Great harass and wave clear. The ability also deals a good amount of damage and leaves a proc. that deals more damage when popped.
  • Sinister Steel Sinister Steel (W) : This skill is great for wave clear. This ability is used to set off your Q's proc and give you a good movement speed boost when you hit a champion.
  • Shunpo (E) : Amazing escape and chasing ability. This ability sets up your combo and provides a great damage reduction buff.
  • Death Lotus (R): This is Katarina's signature ability. She appears out of nowhere and kills everyone with this. It resets every three kills and can lead to you wiping a entire team if they aren't careful.

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

> > Sinister Steel >
Max Bouncing Blades first for the extra poke (sinister steel is good enough to farm with at rank 1). After this you want to max Sinister steel. This combos nicely with your Bouncing Blades and provides a very useful speed boost. After that, Katarina maxes Death Lotus for the extra damage it provides when you put a point into it. max Shunpo last because it has great utility at level 1 and doesn't provide as much as sinister steel or Bouncing Blades do when maxed.

Item Sequence

Rabadon's Deathcap 3600
Zhonya's Hourglass 2600
Void Staff 2700
Banshee's Veil 2600
Sorcerer's Shoes - Alacrity 1550
Warding Totem Removed 0

The magic pen and movement speed is great on an ap carry. You aren't getting a whole lot of this early on so its nice. These boots are interchangeable with Mobility Boots or Mercury's Treads. Although Sorcerer's Shoes are the better of the 3 on Katarina.

This item is fantastic on Katarina. It gives more magic resist shred than Abyssal Mask past 60 magic resist. Most adcs get past 70-100 magic resist by late game, so it is better by the time you buy it.

Luden's Echo is the new replacement for Deathfire Grasp. It compliments your damage tremendously, letting your Bouncing Blades deal upwards of 600 damage with a proc of this item's unique passive. A fantastic item to have and highly recommended to rush on Katarina. It is a worthy replacement of Deathfire Grasp.

Provides a amazing passive, great armor, and a good amount of ap. This active is fantastic and lets you get a reset so you can Shunpo away or wait for cooldowns so you can jump back in.

The extra ability power and passive is great for your burst. This provides you with even more burst and what more can you ask?

This item is very useful as it provides you with a ward jump throughout the entire game. You almost never replace this item.

Banshee's Veil can be a very crucial buy for Katarina. It allows her to negate one ability. This can save you from being killed at the beggining of the teamfight or it can stop your opponent from stopping your combo. The benefits of this item are endless with its unique passive and magic resist (great against ap burst mages).


This item is good, but outshined by Void Staff in most situations. I would only recommend this if you are facing a team with a ap burst mage that is doing really well (ex: LeBlanc)

Lets you live twice and gives your team a chance to kill people so you can reset your abilities with Voracity. I can't recommend this item since the Voracity nerfs ( Banshee's Veil is proabably a better choice). The magic resist and armor are nice for mitigating the damage you receive from the enemy, but normally you will be dealing with burst from ap mages (burst mages are normally the only people who can kill you fast enough). For this reason i normally recommend Banshee's Veil, but it's still a viable option.

This is a very rare pick for me. I'll take it when my team doesn't have or is not using their lens trinket. The ward provided by warding totem is just too beneficial to your mobility (via ward jumping) and vision.

Deceptively Good

I used to almost always run this and treated it as my core. It was a nice slow and provided me with the extra sustain early from Hextech Revolver. However, due to the revamp, it is no longer efficient to get as it is quite a lot of gold and doesn't give stats that you need.

Vision Wards are a very important item for every role. They provide true sight along with lasting as long as it is not seen. Placing these in strategic locations can make them last 20+ minutes which is incredibly cost efficient. Pick one of these up as early as possible as they help immensely with providing vision. Some examples of strategic locations for Vision Wards would be the river bushes (not the ones right next to lanes), the tri-bush (if you are pushing top or bottom), and a ward behind your red or theirs. All of these provide a really good amount of vision and they are all places in which people aren't paying attention to wards in bushes (they are normally roaming to another lane and looking at the lane).

Teamfights is where Katarina shines or crashes and burns. She can decimate a entire team in a matter of seconds with her resets and high aoe damage or she can be hard cc'd and killed very quickly. It is absolutely vital that you wait out cc that can stop your combo. This doesn't immediately mean that you must wait out all of their cc. Just the ones that can stop you from killing them. Your job in all teamfights is to get in, kill who you can, and get out.


Spoiler: Click to view

Spoiler: Click to view


Mayomo (Me)

If you get a pentakill pm me the link and i'll add it into the guide

3-5 : In this match-up, You will either get poked out of lane incredibly hard and inevitably have to roam or lose lane or you will win lane and possibly be able to carry. Be weary of her Charm and Spirit Rush and Dodge everything you can. She scales really well with kills so if you do get killed once or twice early on don't consider trying to kill her. instead, roam bottom or top and try to snowball another person. Her Orb of Deception is very damaging and deals true damage which can chunk you quite hard. Dodge her Charm as much as possible and stay away from her when you are low and she has Spirit Rush and can chase you down and kill you.

Abilities: Orb of Deception Fox-Fire Charm Spirit Rush

2-5 : Akali is easy to face if you play it right. Try to beat her to level 6 and see if you can get your combo off. Your Death Lotus goes through her Twilight Shroud. If she does get to level 6 before you be careful. If she gets one Mark of the Assassin on you don't let her Shadow Dance > auto attack > Mark of the Assassin > auto attack. If she this this you will most likely be low enough for her to kill you with the rest of her Shadow Dance's. Buy Vision Ward's to kill her in her Twilight Shroud.

Abilities: Mark of the Assassin Twilight Shroud Crescent Slash Shadow Dance

3 : Anivia can be very hard if you aren't aware. Her Flash Frost > Frostbite combo deals a lot. Avoid hard engaging her unless A) her passive is down B) you know where her jungler is and C) her Flash Frost is down. her combo most likely is Flash Frost > Frostbite > Glacial Storm > Crystallize (behind the Glacial Storm) > Frostbite. once you are out of her Flash Frost stun (and aren't already dead) try to Shunpo to a minion or a ward.

Abilities: Flash Frost Crystallize Frostbite Glacial Storm

4 : Annie is quite strong if you aren't careful. Watch out for her Pyromania(stun) stacks because she can easily kill you with her Summon: Tibbers > Disintegrate > Incinerate combo. Never approach her with full Pyromania stacks. When she uses her stun (and it isn't on you), that is probably the best possible time to engage her. The reason being that she doesn't have any stacks and only 3 abilities to build the stacks up (4 stacks for a stun). Try to engage her when she uses her Incinerate as it has a slightly longer cooldown than Disintegrate and will give you more time to finish off your combo. If you see her at 3 stacks, there is a trick where she will cast Disintegrate and before it lands Molten Shield to get in the stun.

Abilities: Disintegrate Incinerate Molten Shield Summon: Tibbers

3-4 : Azir it a huge lane bully with a lot of zoning potential. Level 1 he has his Arise! which will limit where you can move around your minions as you could risk getting poked by the soldier. Level 2 he will most likely grab Conquering Sands which will let him use his combo of Arise! auto attack into a Conquering Sands into another Arise! auto attack. This can bully you pretty hard especially when he has two soldiers. Pre-6 his only form of cc is Shifting Sands which isn't all too reliable and fairly easy to dodge. Post-6 he gets his Emperor's Divide which can knock you out of your Death Lotus even if you are behind him with Shunpo. Overall, you will want to farm with your Bouncing Blades, be prepared to Shunpo away from his soldiers, and roam often.

Abilities: Conquering Sands Arise! Shifting Sands Emperor's Divide

4 : Brands can be devastating if they know what they are doing against Katarina. With a well timed Pillar of Flame or Conflagration plus Sear combo he can stop your Death Lotus and kill you with ease. Try and bait out his Sear because he can no longer stun you BUT be weary because he still deals a lot of damage with his combo. In a skirmish, don't stand close to your allies as his Pyroclasm will bounce between both of you and most likely kill you. Hes an absolute monster when fed so don't let him get well...fed.

Abilities: Sear Pillar of Flame Conflagration Pyroclasm

4 : Try and dodge her Noxious Blast as it sets up the rest of her combo. Bait out her Miasma before engaging with your combo. A hard but useful trick to pull off is to Bouncing Blades then Shunpo to her. After you Shunpo you want to face away from her and then Death Lotus. When you Death Lotus, you hold your same position (so if your facing forward your still facing forward during the Death Lotus). This will make it harder for you to get stunned by her Petrifying Gaze. A very hard champion to win against and i highly recommend just staying back and farming. I would recommend roaming a lot to get fed instead of trying to kill her in lane because she cant roam very easily.

Abilities: Noxious Blast Miasma Twin Fang Petrifying Gaze

5 : This lane is really hard if you aren't careful. He can get really tanky with his Feast And his passive, Carnivore lets him sustain through your Bouncing Blades. Avoid engaging him without a jungler gank and wait until he has burned his Rupture and Feral Scream. If he lands his Rupture, you need to get away from him as quickly as possible. His damage is surprisingly high and he deals true damage with his Feast. He is one of the harder lanes to face.

Abilities: Rupture Feral Scream Vorpal Spikes Feast

5 : Diana is a incredibly hard lane and i would not recommend it at all. If you are trying to Death Lotus she will just use Moonfall. Farming is hard against her as she has high poke with her Crescent Strike. If you try to Shunpo away from her, she will chase you with Lunar Rush. Her kit in its whole counters everything about you. Avoid at all costs laning against her. Dodge her Crescent Strike because that sets up her combo which will most likely kill you. Roam as much as you can, but I still do not recommend this lane.

Abilities: Crescent Strike Pale Cascade Moonfall Lunar Rush

2-5 : This is a skill lane. If you are smart you will dodge his Chum the Waters and then proceed to kill him. if you are dumb or he is smart he will land his Chum the Waters and kill you with ease. Harass him pre-6 while staying out of his range. if he tries to Playful / Trickster + Urchin Strike you Shunpo away. A god when fed and no problem if not. Just roam and kill him when his Chum the Waters is down.

Abilities: Urchin Strike Seastone Trident Playful / Trickster Chum the Waters

5 : A hard lane to kill in general. His Ultimate Idol of Durand will stop your Death Lotus and deals a good amount of damage. His shield Bulwark will absorb any damage from your Death Lotus you are able to deal and most of your harass. He will most like stack a lot of magic resist making your damage minuscule. I would say to roam but he can push your lane incredibly easily and take tower. So i would be careful when roaming. Definitely do not expect to get any kills without a jungler gank. His Resolute Smite + Righteous Gust deals a lot of damage if he lands them and is a great combo for pushing. Overall, you will probably just be farming and trying to dodge skills. He can be quite quite the nuisance in teamfights as well so wait for him to blow his Idol of Durand before you go in as it is close to instant and hard to dodge.

Abilities: Resolute Smite Bulwark Righteous Gust Idol of Durand

4 : Honestly this lane can go either way. if you can dodge his grenade and deal more damage than his turrets can then you're golden. However, if you do get stunned by his grenade and combo'd by his upgraded Hextech Micro-Rockets or H-28G Evolution Turret then your'e screwed. Try and roam often and farm without getting in range of his turrets. killing his turrets is beneficial and you can make him run out of mana early because he has to replace them constantly. But, later on it isn't as efficient as he generates turrets quickly and can stockpile them.

Abilities: H-28G Evolution Turret Hextech Micro-Rockets Ch-1 Electron Storm Grenade UPGRADE!!!

1 : one of the easier, if not the easiest, match-ups for Katarina. His Lay Waste is easy to dodge and even if it hits you, you will most likely be standing in your minions (which it will deal less damage if it his multiple people). His Wall of Pain can be avoided with Shunpo. Grab a Zhonya's Hourglass early on and his Requiem will be null and void. Once you kill him and his Death Defied pops it will be very easy to escape from his damage with Shunpo. He doesn't have any dashes or blinks. Also, his roaming capabilities are sub-par. The only thing you need to worry about is letting him get kills with Requiem which deals with his lack of roaming capabilities. However, if you can kill him a couple times early (which is a piece of cake) and not let him farm (he is quite the quick farmer if you leave him alone), you should have no problem with him.

Abilities: Lay Waste Wall of Pain Defile Requiem

3-4 : Kassadin can be hard but if you know what you are doing he isn't all that bad. If you do try to Death Lotus him he will probably just Null Sphere you (which still interrupts channels). If that's on cooldown he will just Riftwalk away and come back at you without your Death Lotus and mostly likely kill you. He roams way better than you and he deals a good amount of damage. I would not recommend choosing Katarina against him but he isn't as hard to deal with as he used to be and can be handled if needed. Play safe and ask for ganks pre-6. Post-6 ganks are almost impossible against Kassadin.

Abilities: Void Stone Null Sphere Nether Blade Force Pulse Riftwalk

1-5 : This lane is a pure skill match and whoever gets first kill is basically going to win the lane unless they mess up. Poke her with your Bouncing Blades and try and bait her Death Lotus. Not much to say on this one because well...its a mirror match.

Abilities: Bouncing Blades Sinister Steel Shunpo Death Lotus

4-5 : Kayle is very hard to lane against. With her low mana cost poke and incredible zoning with her Righteous Fury, shes a nuisance to lane against. Her ultimate Intervention almost completely negates your Death Lotus. Roam often when you can but be careful because she can clear minions quickly and will probably take tower really quickly. This lane is a hard one and one that i would avoid if i can.

Abilities: Reckoning Divine Blessing Righteous Fury Intervention

3-4 : Kennen although not picked often can be very hard for Katarina. He has a tendency to pick up a Zhonya's Hourglass early negating your ultimate and he can stun you a good amount of times throughout a fight if he is used correctly. Overall you want to dodge his Thundering Shuriken and go in when his abilities are down. Roaming is, as always, a good option.

Abilities: Thundering Shuriken Electrical Surge Lightning Rush Slicing Maelstrom

1-3 : After nerfs to her Sigil of Malice (removed silence) she has become a much easier lane for Katarina. These nerfs have made it that she cant hard cc you therefore she cannot cancel Death Lotus. Pre-6 you will want to farm and avoid her Sigil of Malice + Distortion or Ethereal Chains combo. This deals a high amount of damage and can force you out of lane if you aren't careful. Dodging her abilities shouldn't be all to hard if you Shunpo away. Post-6 normally you wont have too much of a trouble. However when you do engage her it would be best to do so when her Distortion is down so she doesn't dash away from you. Whatever you do don't under estimate her burst. It is still incredibly high although weakened by the lack of hard cc. I recommend maxing Bouncing Blades in this situation for the poke and range.

Abilities: Sigil of Malice Distortion Ethereal Chains Mimic

4-5 : Lissandra can be very irritating in lane. She has a very high amount of poke pre-6 and it is very hard to engage her post-6. Stay out of the minions so she cant poke you down with her Ice Shard as it does break into a cone if it connects with a minion or champion. Her Ring of Frost can be incredibly annoying when you are going in to Bouncing Blades + Shunpo + Sinister Steel as she can snare you before you can escape with your movement speed buff. When engaging with your normal combo you will want to make sure her Frozen Tomb is down. This will completely cancel your damage from your Death Lotus making you highly vulnerable without a reset. You will want to max Bouncing Blades as it provides a ranged harass and farm. You are best roaming to get your kills unless Lissandra is using her Frozen Tomb very poorly.

Abilities: Ice Shard Ring of Frost Glacial Path Frozen Tomb

2-3 : Lux is normally a very easy champion to win against. You will want to dodge her Light Binding and Lucent Singularity as they deal a good amount of damage if she auto attacks in between. Pre-6 she has a slight upper hand as she has range and damage and better burst. However Post-6 you have higher damage and since you can dodge all of her damage you will have no trouble killing her. With a lack of escapes she is really easy to just jump onto. Be careful though because she can deal a high amount of damage if you aren't weary of her Light Binding. You will want to max Q just because you wont be able to get all too close early on.

Abilities: Light Binding Prismatic Barrier Lucent Singularity Final Spark

5 : Pre-6 he is a nuisance with his Malefic Visions as they deal a good chunk of damage and are always going from minion to minion which can be really irritating in dodging. He has a really high harass potential with his Call of the Void plus Malefic Visions with a Voidling. Post-6 he is a monster as he will be able to supress your combo while dealing a lot of damage with Malefic Visions + Null Zone and Nether Grasp. Max Bouncing Blades to keep away from his damage and roam as much as you can because you wont be able to do a whole lot mid lane.

Abilities: Call of the Void Null Zone Malefic Visions Nether Grasp

4-5 : This lane is a very annoying lane. Her lane sustain is much higher than normal mid laners as she has innate sustain from Soul Siphon. Her Dark Binding + Tormented Shadow is a very high damage combo that will root you for 3 Seconds. Be very careful or you will die without being able to move. When you do get to engage her she will most likely Black Shield + Soul Shackles which will take out a good chunk of your burst and let her stun you. You wont be seeing her as often mid lane as she has become a much better support but be weary when you do see her mid. You are best off to roam. Max Bouncing Blades.

Abilities: Dark Binding Tormented Shadow Black Shield Soul Shackles

4-5 : Orianna is a very hard champion to play against. She has a aoe hard cc that she can use from afar or right on top of herself (making it easy to lock you down or stop your ultimate. Her poke is very high with her passive tacked on to her auto attacks, Clockwork Windup, and her Command: Attack + Command: Dissonance. If her reflexes are quick she can use her Command: Protect to block damage from your Bouncing Blades making it very hard to poke. When you are facing her make sure you keep a eye out for her balls movements and where it is currently placed. I cant tell you how many times i've seen 3 or 4 people walk right up next to her ball not paying attention and getting bursted down ultimately losing us the game or teamfight. You will want to be maxing your Bouncing Blades if you are having a lot of trouble early on. However, if you are able to get a early lead (from roaming or a jungle gank) you can consider maxing sinister steel as it makes it very easy to get away from her ball which is where most of her damage comes from. I would only recommend this to players who really know what there doing and have a easy time chaining her abilities and using them efficiently to dodge abilities.

Abilities: Command: Attack Command: Dissonance Command: Protect Command: Shockwave

2-3 : Ryze is a very easy champion to face if you get a early lead on him. His base damage was nerfed recently making it much easier to put him behind early and keep him that way. All of his abilities are targeted making it very easy for him to poke you away from farm so if you feel like he could kill you with a full combo, he probably can get to you to do so. I would recommend farming with your Bouncing Blades if you feel like you can be killed by a combo. If you see lightning particles being produced around his model that is probably his ultimate, Desperate Power, which means he is looking to either farm or engage you. If you feel like you can be killed back up and wait it out. Once he doesn't have his ultimate you have a window to kill him much more easily. There is nothing very tricky about killing him as he doesn't have any escapes and no hard cc. Once you get a lead it is very easy to smash him into the ground. Roam often because he has a much harder time doing so, not so much because you need to (although you should almost always be looking to roam in any game you play).

Abilities: Overload Rune Prison Spell Flux Desperate Power

3 : Swain on paper should be very easy for Katarina. Katarina's Death Lotus inflicts grievous wounds making it much harder for him to sustain in 1v1's, skirmishes, and teamfights. She Has a lot of mobility making it hard for him to land Nevermove. However, his high poke from his e and q makes it very hard for you to lane as he can poke you away from farm. If you go into kill him and he survives with 50% health he will be able to heal up most if not all of the damage you dealt to him post-6. You are best off farming with your Bouncing Blades and roaming as much as you can. After laning he is very easy to play against and kill. However, he can get quite tanky so engage with caution.

Abilities: Decrepify Nevermove Torment Ravenous Flock

4.5-5 : Syndra is a very hard champion to play against. She has a very high amount of poke with long range hard cc. Farming against her is very hard and I would stay far back post-3 as by then she will most likely have all three of her primary abilities and will easily be able to drop you down to 50% health with one combo. Farm when you can with Bouncing Blades, but dont expect all too much farm. Ask for your jungle to gank and even then be careful as her post-6 damage is insane. Roam whenever you can, but I really don't recommend playing Katarina against syndra in any situation.

Ability: Dark Sphere Force of Will Scatter the Weak Unleashed Power

1-2 : Talon used to be a huge threat to Katarina as he brought a instant targeted hard cc with high burst. However with his silence being cut from his kit he is very easy for Katarina. You have a much easier time outpoking him with your Bouncing Blades and Sinister Steel, Your burst is higher and more sustained than his, and your ultimate, Death Lotus, can hit him while he his stealthed by Shadow Assault. Feel free to max your Sinister Steel against him as he has to get close to do any damage and he is a melee farmer making it very easy to consistently poke him with your Sinister Steel. However, If he gets ahead DO NOT underestimate his burst potential. He may have had his Hard cc removed but that does not effect how much damage he can do. His damage was and still is incredibly high and can take you from 100-0 very quickly. If he gets ahead he can outroam you and he is able to farm, poke, and lane better than you. It is very hard to let him get ahead but if he does be very weary.

Abilities: Noxian Diplomacy Rake Cutthroat Shadow Assault

2 : Twisted Fate is a relatively easy champion to lane against. It is beneficial to dodge his Wild Cards as much as possible as the damage from that ability stacks up and can drop you quite low. When you see him start to use Pick A Card you will want to back up a bit as he is either about to get mana back with his blue card or stun you for him combo with his yellow card. If you see him select yellow card Shunpo away even if the card is already flying at you as it gives you a better chance of dodging his Wild Cards. Pay attention to his Destiny cooldown and when he hits 6. If you think its up or if you think he is roaming warn your team as he doesn't have to walk far to use Destiny to get to top or bottom for a gank. Other than this he is relatively easy to burst down and if you are careful you can normally out poke him. Roam when possible but be weary that he will have a easy time using Destiny to counter gank.

Abilities: Wild Cards Pick A Card Stacked Deck Destiny

3-4 : Veigar is a high burst mage with a hard to land long, hard cc. Veigar has a good amount of poke from his Baleful Strike, however he will most likely be using it to farm so you wont have to worry about that. The real problem lies in the fact that the damage from his combo is incredibly high and he has up to a 3 second stun. His Dark Matter is very easy to dodge without his Event Horizon. However, his Event Horizon is easy for him to miss and you are able to Shunpo out of it making it easy to escape from the inside of it. You will want to keep him away from farming because the more he farms the better he gets, roam as often as you can as his roam doesn't compare to yours, and engage him when his Event Horizon is down and if it is possible his Primordial Burst as well. I would recommend getting Banshee's Veil early on as it provides a shield against a good chunk of his damage and he will most likely be focusing you or the ad carry in teamfights.

Abilities: Baleful Strike Dark Matter Event Horizon Primordial Burst

2-3 : Vel'Koz is a skill-shot based burst mage. He deals very high damage with his [plasma fission and his Void Rift combo as this is enough for 3 stacks (if he lands all of it) which will proc his passive Organic Deconstruction. He will most likely use his Void Rift to zone you off of minions and to farm and will use his Plasma Fission for poke or to proc Organic Deconstruction on the caster minions. Tectonic Disruption is his only form of hard cc which I would recommend waiting out. It does set up for his burst combo which can be quite damaging to your health. This ability can break you if you aren't careful. his ultimate Life Form Disintegration Ray has a surprisingly long range and it procs Organic Deconstruction 5 times and it hits 10 times. I would recommend recalling farther back to keep yourself out of range of his ultimate as he can use Life Form Disintegration Ray or Plasma Fission to snipe you from afar. Roam a lot because he cant very well. If you get ahead he is a easy kill as his only form of hard cc takes more than enough time for it to land for you to burst him down.

Abilities: Plasma Fission Void Rift Tectonic Disruption Life Form Disintegration Ray

3-4 : Viktor is very good at locking you down making it much harder than usual for you to function. Viktor Players will either max Siphon Power or Death Ray. Viktor's will max Siphon Power first if they want to have a early short-cooldown poke plus shield with a auto attack proc that deals a pretty decent amount of damage. If they are maxing Siphon Power first they will be using it to poke you more than they will use it to actually cs. If they are maxing Death Ray they are substituting survivability for more damage. These Viktor's damage are much more unreliable therefore easier to dodge. They are much more gruesome at level 6 than Viktor's who max Siphon Power. If you are facing a Death Ray maxer poke them as much as possible while dodging there Death Ray. If you are facing a Siphon Power maxer do your best to stay out of range of Siphon Power, farm, and wait out a gank or roam. His ability Gravity Field can be a good disengage tool for viktor and a way to stop you from engaging at all. Wait until he uses it then Shunpo over it and avoid it all together (unless you feel you can kill him before he can get out of range of you and his Gravity Field can stun you). His ultimate Chaos Storm deals a suprisingly high amount of damage and silences. Be very wary of this ability. You are best to wait it out before engaging as it can limit your damage greatly if well executed. You are best farming from a safe distance and roaming (if they max siphon power) or poking pre-6 then roaming post-6 (if they max death ray).

Abilities: Siphon Power Gravity Field Death Ray Chaos Storm

2 : Xerath is a skill-shot based burst mage. You are best off poking him and farming as all of his skill shots are very easy to dodge with Shunpo. Arcanopulse is his best poking mechanism and can be hard to dodge if you aren't paying attention. There is a very obvious animation to the ability so as soon as you see him engaging the ability immediately start moving from side to side and preparing to use Shunpo. Shocking Orb is the only hard cc he has. It is very easy to dodge however if he does land it it can lead to very heavy damage post-6. Wait out this ability and engage him as he has no escapes and no way of stopping you after he uses it. A generally easy lane with a lot of poke to be weary of.

Abilities: Arcanopulse Eye of Destruction Shocking Orb Rite of the Arcane

3-5 : Yasuo can be slightly difficult if they player is new to the champion or very hard to manage if he isn't. His Steel Tempest Is good sustained poke early on with a knock up tacked on every 3 uses. Wind Wall can block your Bouncing Blades and Death Lotus (if placed properly). He scales very well into late game and snowballs quite harshly after he gets a Statikk Shiv. Avoid his 3rd use of Steel Tempest as it can lead into his entire combo and can set you up for a horrid lane. Poke early as he doesn't have as good of a way of poking. Roam often and stay away from him if possible. If he is bad with Yasuo then you can probably poke him often and get away with it and probably get a couple kills off of him. He is very item dependent and can be shut down easily.

Abilities: Steel Tempest Wind Wall Sweeping Blade Last Breath

4-5 : Zed is a force to be reckoned with. His poke is annoying early on and can lead to you dying early because of it. His post-6 damage can be quite crazy if he executes it well. He can avoid a good chunk of your Death Lotus damage with Death Mark and burst you down because you will probably be lacking your Shunpo and your damage at that moment. You are best off getting whatever farm you can and avoiding his poke. Roam as much as you can, but his roam matches your in potency. The only reason he isn't a 5 is because you will meet some really bad Zed's who you can destroy with ease. But those are rare. Normally they will be mediocre at worst which are still forces to be reckoned with.

Abilities: Razor Shuriken Living Shadow Shadow Slash Death Mark

3-4 : Ziggs can be very irritating with his high amounts of poke. If you are careful you can avoid most of the damage from him, however his poke is very consistent and short cooldown. so you are bound to sacrifice either farm or risk hp loss. You will find yourself making this choice in lane and it more often than not comes down to the fact of how experienced you are with dodging. If you know what you are doing and feel like you can dodge his abilities then you can probably risk hp for minions. However if you are already having trouble dodging his abilities as is, if you don't feel safe taking the cs, you probably shouldn't take it. Engaging him post-6 can be easy if his Satchel Charge can act not only as a hard cc but also as a escape. Landing either one nullifies your damage (good ones will land both). Roam post-6 and watch out for the circle indicating his ultimate about to drop.

Abilities: Bouncing Bomb Satchel Charge Hexplosive Minefield Mega Inferno Bomb

Laning Phase

Laning phase is a crucial point for any champion in League. Katarina excels at roaming early, poking, and farming. She has a mediocre kill potential pre-6 (after poking someone down) and a very high kill potential post-6 with a lot of damage being pumped out from your Death Lotus. Pre-6 you are best poking your enemy, getting farm, and searching for roam (although this is not priority, it is quite rewarding to roam bottom for a double kill and snowball out of control). Post-6 your roam because much more efficient as well as your kill potential.

Poking is crucial in lane. It zones your enemy laner away from cs and let's you cs much more efficiently with the aggression alleviated due to the enemy laner being low health from the poke. Poking with Katarina is done in three different ways. 1) you throw a Bouncing Blades at the target champion and Shunpo to a minion. This is the most efficient poke. 2) throw your Bouncing Blades at a minion in such a way that it will hit the enemy champion. This is normally done by throwing it at the cast minions and having it hit the champion behind the cast minions trying to last hit. This is the safest way of poking a enemy laner. 3) Katarina uses Bouncing Blades -> Shunpo -> Sinister Steel and runs away with her movement speed buff from her Sinister Steel. This poke deals the most damage, but is the most unsafe. Only use this combo if you are sure they cant retaliate (for instance if they just used their main damage ability for farm).

Csing is a acquired skill with Katarina. Knowing when to go in for a auto attack requires you to be able to recognize a champions body language and if they are looking to farm or to harass. Normally, if they are looking to harass, you will see them trying to get close to you (whether this be while farming or just straight up walking towards you). If they are trying to cs they will be at a angle from you (if you are on the left side of the lane they will be on the right side of the lane vice versa). Also, being able to recognize how much your Bouncing Blades can do is crucial in being able to cs, especially against a high harass lane (such as Syndra). Same applies to Sinister Steel, although that is a much harder ability to cs with as it has a much lower base stat (unless you are maxing it). Learning the edge of the range of your Sinister Steel is also very beneficial. Csing under tower can be tricky, but it's easier on Katarina compared to most champions. Early on you will want to use your Sinister steel on the caster minions to take enough health that you can auto attack once after a tower shot and kill them. With the melee minions you will want to wait until the tower has attacked twice. after that you will want to auto attack and use sinister steel if required. These rules are only applicable if your minions aren't focusing the said minion then it changes based on circumstance. you will learn to deal with those trickier minions as you play the game (normally you will deal with them with a Bouncing Blades-> Sinister Steel/Auto Attack).

Dodging skill shots is also incredibly vital as Katarina. The best way to go about taking minimal damage is by following these rules:

Keep yourself at a angle of the enemy laner: If your enemy laner is on the left of the lane, you want to be on the right. vice versa. This will normally keep you out of their damage zone. a damage zone is the area in which they can deal damage. Every champion has a different damage zone. Talon for example has a very small damage zone, but has a moderate engage zone. engage zones can be unnecessary to avoid if you are confident they wont try to engage on you. Orianna on the other hand has a very large harass zone, and a very large engage zone. Every champions harass and engage zones are different. Playing the game often will help you figure out each of the champion's zone's.

Stay out of their zone: their zone is the most optimal place to deal damage to you. Obviously, you want to try and stay out of it.

Know the other champion's abilities: Syndra for instance, normally harasses with her Dark Sphere. This ability has a visible cast animation and doesn't land immediately. Knowing this, I can be prepared for it and dodge it much more efficiently.

Move, Move, Move!: You should always being moving. if you are a moving target it is much harder to be hit by skill shots. So constantly be in motion.

Following these guidelines, you will be able to dodge efficiently and adequately.

Mid Game

Mid Game starts when people are starting to trickle mid to push for towers and objectives. This is normally around level 9-12 and this is one of the most optimal times for Katarina. You will normally be seeing skirmishes of 3-4 during mid game (while someone is pushing for farm or split pushing). This is a ideal situation for Katarina as it will either leave them without a tank or bruiser (which have a tendency to focus you and stop you from reaching their carries), or a Carry (which will limit their damage and decreases your chance of dying). 9/10 you will most likely going for the skirmish. there is much more kill potential and your objective is to snowball into late game at this point. Katarina works a lot better in teamfights/skirmishes than tower dives. Tower dives provide a defense for the carries and make your movements a lot more linear. You cant be as creative with your entrances as you have to maneuver around turret aggro and you have a moderate chance of being targeted by the tower (which can chunk you hard). try and keep your teamfights towards the middle of the lane. It's a lot easier for any assassin.

Likewise, Katarina is not a tower sieging champion. Her poke is much too short and her tower damage is far too low. the enemy carries still have the zoning from the tower to limit how easily you can reach them. Your best bet is to poke when you can and zone the front line away from your team without leaving yourself in a bad position. However, she is not designed to siege. She is designed to defend objectives, skirmish, and roam.

Vision and vision control starts to become important towards the middle of mid game to the end of the game. Vision is incredibly important for making sure you are safe while moving around the map, and helps you to see if the enemy team is going for objectives. Vision control makes it so the enemy team cannot see you. This allows you to easily flank the enemy team during a teamfight, or catch someone off guard going from lane to lane. You, most likely, will not have a Oracle's Lens. You will want to be buying Vision Ward's and Stealth Ward's and encourage your team to use their Lens's if they are not using them. This, ultimately, will help you get many more kills, and help your team get many more kills.

Late Game

Late game isn't as good of a place as mid game was for Katarina, unless you got fed early on. You will most likely be teamfighting (which can be a massacre if you are fed) and pushing for objectives (Dragon, Baron, and towers). Split pushing is not something you should be doing as you are almost needed in teamfights. Picks are incredibly important later on and Katarina excels at accomplishing them (sometimes even getting two of them). Picks are much harder to accomplish without the aforementioned vision control. When you are trying to get Dragon or Baron, don't help them deal damage. Instead, hide in a bush and wait for their team and try to pick off their carries. Even if you die they will have very little damage left and will leave your team with a easy objective and teamfight. which could lead to possible pushing or winning. I really recommend reading the teamfighting section to further understand what you should be doing in the late game. 90% of the late game is spent preparing for a teamfight, teamfighting, and benefiting from the teamfight.

Damage Throughout the Game

Note: all of these are based on your max damage. this isn't factoring in magic resist etc. also, 50 AP doesn't include the damage from Luden's Tempest

Level 6:
50 AP: 922.5 Damage
150 AP: 1420 Damage

Level 11:
50 AP: 1412.5 Damage
150 AP: 1910 Damage
300 AP: 2495 Damage

Level 16:

50 AP: 1832.5 Damage
150 AP: 2330 Damage
300 AP: 2915 Damage
500 AP: 3694.5 Damage

Level 18:

50 AP: 1922.5 Damage
150 AP: 2420 Damage
300 AP: 3004.5 Damage
500 AP: 3785 Damage
750 AP: 4760 Damage

Roaming is something Katarina is fantastic at. She is incredibly mobile and is able to dish out a lot of damage to multiple people. Consider roaming if any of these requirements are met: 1) the laner is pushed up and your ally/s is/are in lane. The enemy is reasonably low. 2) The enemy laner's have no wards, or your team just cleared them. This is best applied to bot lane. 3) your jungler is going to gank that lane 4) the laner/s is/are low and under tower.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author IChewCheese
IChewCheese Katarina Guide

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