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Katarina Build Guide by Arzndragon

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Arzndragon


Arzndragon Last updated on March 6, 2012
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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

Chapter 1

Hey, Arzndragon here. Today, I will be showing you how I play Katarina.

-Great mid unless there is a tank (Morde cough cough)
-Easy harassment with Bouncing Blade
-Best passive ever...period
-All her skills are based on cooldown and only cooldown so as long as you have high health, you're fine to stay in lane.
-Shunpo can be used as an escape method
-Can reduce healing with Killer Instincts + Bouncing Blade
-Earns money faster than others due to her passive only if you get kills and assists, which you will if you follow this guide.
-Her ultimate hits multiple enemies and you can scout brush since it only turns on if an enemy is in range
-Kitty Cat Katarina has to be the hottest skin ever, hence, the hottest champion ever.

-Cannot carry an entire team
-Quite squishy for a melee character.
-She's melee so that only means easy harassment for others.
-All of her skills are based on cooldown so while they recharge, she's practically useless.
-Her ultimate is hard to time sometimes.
-Using shunpo at the wrong time can get you killed.
-No CCs and is prone to CCs without Mercury's Treads or Cleanse.
-All of her skills deal magic damage, so build on magic penetration!!!

For my runes, I have magic penetration for my marks. Why? One, marks give bonus effects to magic penetration and plus you need it since all of Katarina's offensive abilities deal magic damage. Magic Penetration marks are a MUST for Katarina.
For Seals, I put health per level only for little health boost. It's your choice of what kind of defensive runes you want for playing Katarina.
As for Glyphs, I have AP per level. The reason you take AP per level is because the AP excels flat AP runes once you hit lvl 6 (Which is the biggest thing for Katarina). Early game with flat AP won't do too much because of the fact that shunpo is not at a too high of a level yet to do serious damage.
For my quintessences, I put flat AP because Katarina is already weak without any item to start building offense. She needs the nuking power and she needs survivability.

Summoner Spells range between every unique Katarina player. Exhaust and Ignite are the pure offense set, giving you damage with Ignite and the slow in Exhaust so enemies can stay in your Death Lotus even longer (about an extra 2 or three daggers). I personally take flash since it's an overall great summoner spell. Shunpo has a lot of range but when you really want to get that last shunpo to finish someone, flash in so you're in range then BAM! Kill. I recommend the following if u want:

Ignite-A side spell you can take for her. I usually don't use it because I get the kill anyways without it.

Ghost-Decent spell since it helps you move around quicker taking down squishes running away and running away from a gank.

Cleanse-great alternative to ghost. Katarina is vulnerable to CCs.

What NOT to use:

Clairvoyance-Let some other teammate take this, you're the nuker/assasin, not the guy who needs to know his surroundings.

Clarity-I...ughh...seriously, you've got to be an idiot to take this with you, no offense.

Heal-Katarina doesn't need heal since she can just take a few health pots. Just be careful and watch your health with her.

Fortify-A defensive spell...let a tank take this, not you as I said about clairvoyance.

Rally-It's quite worthless since it gives AD, not AP unless you put the points in the offensive mastery, which I didn't.

Revive-About a 9 minute recharge...does a revived Katarina do much on the field with few teammates? Yes and no. I used to use this only for revenge kills, totally not worth it. Get something else to save your life, not try again.

Teleport-Why teleport?

My masteries are 9-21-0. I feel that Katarina's masteries range between each players. I would not put 21 into offense because most of the offensive masteries are only good for AD (ex. increased AS, Crit Chance). Keep the 9 at offense only for the magic penetration. Now...the struggle between 21 defense and 21 utility. 21 is obviously for the defense since Katarina is mainly a nuker, she tends to be targeted first because she is squishy and can do a lot of damage. 21 in utility is for cooldown reduction and health regen, which is quite helpful for a little boost to offense. It's up to your choice on what you choose but I want 21 in defense because Katarina needs it.

Now on to her skills...

After a kill or an assist, Katarina gains 25 gold and her cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds.

Voracity is an amazing passive for someone like Katarina. Get a kill or an assist, recharge all your skills by 15 seconds(plus gain 25 gold), and jump to the next guy. Voracity helps amazingly reduce the cooldown of Death Lotus so you can use it as much as possible for ganks. It hits up to 3 enemy champions and hits hard. In a team fight, Death Lotus is guaranteed to get you one kill or an assist. Right after using it, chase after the running champions with shunpo and bouncing blade.

Katarina throws a dagger that bounces from one enemy to another a number of times, dealing magic damage equal to her attack damage plus bonus damage to the primary target. Each subsequent hit deals 10% less damage. Once maxed, its possible for the bounces to hit the first target originally clicked on a second time.

Cooldown: 9 / 8.5 / 8 / 7.5 / 7 seconds
Maximum Bounces: 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Bonus Damage: 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100

Bouncing Blade is a early game harassment skill. This is the first thing you should get. At lvl 5, this skill hits up to 6 enemies. That's already a lot of harassment for champions standing too close. Make sure that you use Killer Instincts with this when trying to farm minions so you get the full damage on every minion. When in team fights and theres a Sona/Soraka or any other supporting character that can heal, make sure to time Killer Instincts and Bouncing Blade to hit as many champions as possible so their ability in a team fight is reduced.

(Passive): Katarina's melee attacks and abilities deal increased damage.
(Active): Katarina's next basic ability has a bonus effect; Bouncing Blade deals full damage to every target it hits and applies 50% healing reduction for 10 seconds. Shunpo reduces incoming damage for 3 seconds.

Cooldown: 20 / 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 seconds
Damage Increase: 8 / 12 / 16 / 20 / 24

Damage reduction after Shunpo: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 %

Killer Instincts...that last skill you should max. It helps support BB and shunpo but it's worthless to max first or second if both of BB and Shunpo are not at least lvl 4. Great skill to use with Shunpo then Death Lotus to reduce any incoming damage since you're right next to the enemy.

Katarina moves to her target's location. If the target is an enemy, she deals magic damage to the target.

Cooldown: 10 / 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 seconds
Magic Damage: 90 / 120 / 150 / 180 / 210 (+0.75 per ability power)

God can't give Katarina anything better than this. Shunpo...the Ksing skill and the chasing down skill that will piss the hell off of champions trying to run away. Kill someone or get an assist, shunpo to the next guy...amazing is all I can say about this skill.

Katarina goes into a state of extreme focus, throwing daggers with unrivaled speed at three enemy champions. Each dagger deals magic damage plus the higher value between 55% of her bonus attack damage or 30% of her ability power. (Note: She channels for 2.7 seconds, and sends out 30 daggers. Only 10 daggers max per enemy.)
Cooldown: 60 seconds

Magic Damage: 50 / 65 / 80

Death Lotus is where most of your damage is coming from. Jump in with Shunpo and unleash Death Lotus. Katarina's ult has very short cooldown, less than a minute, so feel free to gank as much as possible while it is ready. It only turns on if an enemy champion is in range so you can take a few steps to the side to check the brush.

Take mid whenever you can. Always take mid unless you personally know someone who can do better than you. Even if Mordekaiser or Vladimir wants mid, TAKE IT!!! Fed Katarina mid game can do much more than fed Vladimir. Unless the other team has a tank at mid, take it, if they do have a tank at mid, try to switch with someone better suited.

What NOT to face in mid:
-Anivia is an exceptional champion. It depends how good the player really is with her and how much you can harass with her to the point where she has to use her passive.
-Vladimir (It depends on the skill of the player. I find sometimes Vlad can be easy and sometimes he could be hard to face.)
-Xin Zhao- His three talon strike will disrupt your Death Lotus...please no, I really find him annoying.
-Zilean (His bombs is an easy harassment skill for melee characters)

What to go against and take for mid:
-Miss Fortune

First item to get Boots of Speed and three health potions. You can take Doran's Shield and a health potion but personally, I do like boots and three health pots more. can stay quite long in mid (or side) with either set. Once you have the money, time to go shopping for boots!! Yay!

Sorcerer's Boots are what I like to run because it gives magic penetration which is what Katarina needs for her skills. If there is an Annie, Anivia, anyone with a CC, take mercury's treads. All the other boots, I do not recommend getting.

Next item to get. Rylai's Crystal Scepter or Mejai's Soulstealer. Generally, I don't take Mejai's if I already died before even having the money for it. But if you are doing well, take mejai's soulstealer. Then immediately go for Rylai's Crystal Scepter for the slow and extra AP and Health. Rylai's is a must. it's mid game and you want to go buy something. What do you get?

Pwning n00bs like a 1337 Katarina? Go for Zhonya's Ring if you feel confident.
Need some Magic resistance? Abyssal Scepter is a double effect, extra MR and AP.
Need armor? Frozen Heart=Armor+CDR
Just need more health? Try Banshee's Veil.
Want to go for magic penetration? Void Staff makes the enemy team suffer even if they have some MR items.
Want to go for a mix of everything? Hextech Gunblade is helpful.

Third item to's pretty late game and your team still hasn't blown down the other team's nexus or you're helplessly defending.

Well if you are practically winning, I recommend the following items:
Zhonya's Ring (if you haven't bought it)
Lich Bane (if you haven't bought it)
Haunting Guise (Only if you really need it)
Hextech Gunblade

If you're somewhat balanced between the teams, try to just finish the set I have above. If you're losing, it's quite gg, Katarina cannot carry an entire team.

Tips and Notes to take:
-Always use Killer Instincts + Shunpo + Death Lotus as a combo. Do this to ensure survivability during Death Lotus.
-Bouncing Blade can be used on minions which can bounce off to hit enemy champions. Use this to your advantage.
-Shunpo can be used on an ally minion or champion so use that to escape from enemies. If you are suffering from constant CCs, take flash and shunpo away or just buy Mercury's Treads.
-Cleanse is a great option to use when you have teammates that cannot support very well and there's an Ashe or Annie or anyone with a lot of CCs.
-Try to hide during a teamfight. DO NOT initiate but when one of your teammates do, jump in there and unleash Death Lotus, it's helped every teamfight I've been in with Katarina.
-None of the buffs EXTREMELY help but they do because obviously they're buffs. It's not really important to have the opportunity to take them because most of the time you'll receive them by killing someone who had the buff.
-Katarina cannot tower dive well. Do not try to unless you're in range for a quick shunpo and you have high enough health. Sometimes you'll save your life if you leave the opponent to be.

That's all folks. If you have any questions, ask below. Vote up, comment, and point out any changes I can make to improve my guide. Thanks for reading.