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Katarina Build Guide by Mirkwoodia

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Mirkwoodia

Jungle Katarina ~6.7

Mirkwoodia Last updated on April 13, 2016
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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.


Natural Talent
Bounty Hunter
Battering Blows
Piercing Thoughts

Ferocity: 12

Dangerous Game

Cunning: 0

Tough Skin
Runic Armor
Veteran's Scars
Legendary Guardian

Resolve: 18

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About Katarina

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

High-speed reactions means being able to shunpo in and out of sticky situations and following up on lockdown super-fast before others can prepare to react. It also means having the ability to escape at the last second possible

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

So without furtherado, welcome to my guide!

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The Real Way to use your Summoners, Summoner!

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

Smite with the Ranger's trailblazer is... well it's dead, but I liked it so much I want to keep this as a mini archive ;..;

Rip in peace trailblazer

  • AoE Stun OP: Smite monsters down to 100-300 hp. While they are stunned, you can kill them. Don't give them enough health to survive your combo after the stun ends and auto you, because the purpose is to stop the monster's auto one auto-attack earlier than normal.
  • Cancel that AA: Stun as the monster's start their auto-attack ANIMATION. This cancels the entire auto attack, which is another concept of delaying their autos and saving HP.
  • Ganking? They won't gank me, I have a huge minion wave right?: If the lane you want to gank has a decent amount of minions, smite them out of the way
  • Surprise! We have Wave clear!: For sieging and counter-sieging. If you want to stop the enemy from sieging your turret, smite all the minions so the tower hits the champions instead.

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Katarina's spells are simple? a joke

Bouncing Blades (Q):

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

Sinister steel

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

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

Shunpo (E):

Try to do it if it's safe. Look out for these things before you shunpo in:
  • Some other threatening champions on your team are all going in
  • you can KS (Kill Secure)
  • their scary skills are down (CC and burst)

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

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

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

Tricks with Shunpo

Death Lotus (R):

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

Voracity (passive):

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

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Katarina's Various Combos

Prioritized according to usefulness

How high elo Katas get super fast resets

...Sinister Steel..Run/Auto.

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

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

Surprise! Your back line is now open to flashy engages

Sinister SteelReset.

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

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

Baiting the CC out, dodging the skill shots

Auto AttackSinister SteelSide step!.

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

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

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

BackpedalSinister Steel out.

Tanking is up to YOU because either nobody else went tanky or nobody else can engage. You'll need Rylai's Crystal Scepter for this. Use the slow to kite backwards. The slow also provides engage-material whenever your team is ready, so try to keep them slowed. Keep in mind your only a weak off-tank, the only reason your a viable definition of an off-tank is because your kiting around and not taking all the damage like a raid boss would. If your using the Rylais slow for soft engage, then use Zhonya's Hourglass to hard engage when you shunpo in. Keeping a balance of how much damage you can take when you hard engage is important.

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

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Fighting Monsters

TL;DR here is don't use a skill if it's going to mess with your flow of auto attacks. These auto's deal more than 50% of your early game damage to monsters in the first place. Both W and Q can mess with your flow of autos, so just delay them using common sense, doing something like... auto Q auto W auto

And if your low on health, the Golems (and Blue) are so slow that you can auto, run back while your jg item gives you hp/5 for 5 seconds, then run back in. That's pretty good for the first clear with Blue Buff even if your not low on health, because the first clear is the hardest.

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First Clear through the jungle

First Clear


Its better to get the Red Buff Scuttler because CC'ing the skuttle will reduce its resistances by 50%, so its like free hp to squeeze in one more camp on your first clear.

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How to Build Your Katarina!

Tracker's Knife - Runic Echoes is your first GINOORMOUSSSS power spike, even better than Boots of Speed.

Then you buy Boots of Speed

Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Zhonya's Hourglass is your second huuuuge power spike. Even better than Sorcerer's Shoes. Idk which one yet. Gimme some more time to keep testing. Hell Abyssal Mask as a second big item also sounds pretty decent against AP comps.

But why Rylais though?

Then you build Sorcerer's Shoes

Late game Items

Void Staff: Only becomes worth it when they have 60-70 MR, but keep in mind the possibility of them getting MR, so basically even if right now they don't have MR, I'll take a guess and buy it BEFORE they actually build the MR, so I don't lose any of my power spikes.

Rabadon's Deathcap: Standard, but I don't always need raw damage. You could get more damage by getting a survival item.

Liandry's Torment: Preferred against high CC teams, or they have really reliable CC for me. If you do get CC'd to uselessness, you can still help the fight by trying to land this AoE or just burning the tanks and causing a distraction.

Guardian Angel: Super effective against champs that benefit off of kills, like Jinx. My playstyle is generally get more damage, but if I realize I have a ton of damage already, I'll go for it. Rule of thumb: if your team doesn't deal enough damage, don't get GA

Hextech Gunblade: Can give you more health than a Rylais, but to get that you need to get off a pretty big AoE ult, so I'll only get it against little CC

Banshee's Veil: Not my favorite, but effective against double AP comps

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Important Attitude to improving AND having fun

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

List of things people can improve:

  • Reaction Speed:

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

    Contribute as much as you have possible, but stay smart. Lets say your low HP: if your carry is good, you can start peeling for him rather than tanking (you can hide behind your carry, just Q and W whoever comes into range). If your too low, just get out, and come back to defend objectives instead as your contribution. Another example: Junglers don't actually need flash to jungle, so use it off cooldown to get a gank off for a lane.
  • Retreating:

    This mistake is HUGE, people never know when to back down. Even in plat, so many people go "Lets just fight" and don't actually understand that they should only pick fights they can win. Like, when your carry gets 1shotted by rengar, unless you can instakill the rengar back, just back off, he got caught, dont let it happen next time. I can't explain it easily, but try to only pick fights that you can win. If you can't, play passive until they make a mistake, or you can get a better engage onto them.
  • Positive Motivation:

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

    All lanes have some sort of logic to them and to the game as a whole. For example, I see a lane bully vs lane bully match up in top lane. If I get my top laner ahead a kill, then his lane naturally wins. If he still loses after that, just drop the lane, as he's probably not very skilled, and go work on keeping other lanes in the game. For another example: some late game champions have a hard time with some counter match ups. Gank for him 3 times, just keep him in the game if you can, and focus on helping him survive the laning phase for a better shot at late game, rather than having some worthless laner who got shut down.
  • Wards:

    Some games just need the right wards at the right times, to prevent getting counter-jungled (pinks help) or ganks (even a trinket at the right time can stop a gank or initiate a counter gank).
  • Music:

    Listening to music has a distracting effect, which can lead you to just "go with the flow" of the game. This ties back into "FIGHT LIKE HELL!!" you should just give every ounce of attention you have into your game. Anyways, plug in for this one, I got it from
  • High Level Streams:

    NO do NOT go to these thinking that your learning the game. Watch a Plat streamer, and even if your gold and below, you will actually be able to SEE mistakes happening. And that's when you realize: Hey I could be making these mistakes too! And that's how you learn what to avoid, you barely even learn from high elo streams (maybe Valkrin though)

    Streamers I watch

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Introduction and Conclusion

Hi, Mirkwoodia here. Normally I'm playing Dominion, being stuck at whatever the highest dominion MMR is (currently 1900 - 2.2k).

I mentioned URF in the build name, and yes, Katarina Jungle has that addicting feel to it, but I also want to say, if your not diamond/challenger, the "Meta" doesnt apply to people like us. I can see how things like Kata jungle can go wrong, but that's dependent on the enemy team, and at my elo? lets be realistic, I can just as easily take advantage of their innumerable mistakes when they think they can counter jungle me at lvl 5, countergank me as if Im not going to assassinate someone during my ganks, or outfarm me, which idk, might be impossible to outfarm Kata. Is it? I focus on heavy ganks for my playstyle so I wouldnt know