Katarina Build Guide by Huibrizzle
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Item progression updated!
So, a lot of things have changed since I first wrote this guide, dominion has settled down some and the pace of matches have been substantially slowed. This has caused me to modify a few things to optimize for these changes.
I have changed the starting item setup, no longer is it as vital to have a 500+ run speed out of the gate and back door all day. People have learned to defend and hold points, general pug games have become a little more organized and the opportunities for trolling have shrunk substantially.
The good news is the basic game play style remains intact and the new item build allows for adaptation to the team you are playing against.
Seeing as the crystal scar is a much more fps style map with pick-ups, boosts, and buffs its time to expliot these under used resoruces in pub games.
So lets get to it....if you've never played an FPS or kat then dont bother reading this guide, It's not exactly indepth and its alittle abbreviated. This is how I play Kat in dominion, she is not a straight up fighter. It will help if your a pr0 FPS Team death match player used to timing pick-ups and luring oppnents into more favorable areas of the map to fight. As that's how we're gunna hold it down on teh scar, some essential play style changes must be made form the standard summoners rift katarina mentality.
The objective is to make a leathel AP death dealing machine and use the pick-ups on the map to string out your oppenetns and split them into easy 1 on 1 fights, while maintaining your hp without regen or spell vamp.
I have changed my rune setup as the pace of the game has been slowed I no longer rock all AP/lvl runes I have gone back to flat AP quints as this really gives you some extra punch in the first few minutes of the game.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration x9
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction x9
Greater Seal of Vitality x9
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power x3
With the combined Runes and Masteries you now reach 22% cool down reduction @ lvl 18
The reduced CC and cool downs combined with the damage reduction really DO allow you to get your ult off alot more often.
Promote or heal
Promote is a very powerful skill (sometimes) it can do alot of things for you if used properly.
PUSHING: Use promote when you have pushed to an opponents tower especially if you are in a kill - kill situation. If you can kill your opponent sitting on the tower but would likely die yourself you need to use a promote. Promote a minion and bust in for the kill, your super minion will often cap the tower or at least bring it to neutral for you.
DEFENDING: Similar to pushing situation, if you find yourself about to loose a point especially in a 1 v 1 situation use promote as you die. This generally works out great if executed properly. Generally if I get jumped on a pad and know Im going to die I run towards the health pack, and pull them across our tower and into the minions, this gives you a chance to use promote, as you die pop it and it will typically agro your attacker. This will buy at least 5-10 seconds for someone else on your team to get down there and defend. I have gotten kills from my super minion before as well. If nothing else it will push their tower making for an easy backdoor on respawn.
SPLIT PUSH/BACK DOOR: The REAL reason I take promote is for this particular situation. Upon a successful cap on the enemy mid, I ALWAYS promote to the top or bottom tower. This is a highly effective way to turn the game in your favor. In situations where the enemy is up 3 points to your 2 and you rush the enemy mid and cap while they are pushing your mid and bottom. This spawns minions in both directions and send your super minion to the least defended point. I generally prefer top. Left unchecked its a momentum changing play and frees you up to go help your team.
GHOST: Because flash just doesn't get the job done.
Update: I am leaving the old text for the original item build in place. As it is still applicable, the only substantial changes I have made to the item setup are the starting items and a situation based boot choice. I have also refined the item purchase order.
Boots of Speed - Blasting Wand - Health Potionx4 -
So going to talk a bit about our starting setup. Since fights have become more organized and people are more aware of health packs I've found bringing along a few extra health potions very helpful. We also pick up a blasting wand now giving you around 70ish AP to start letting your shunpos actually be alittle scary now. This also allows for boots of speed which is important because it allows you to ghost out of the gate and still hit the run buff before your ghost expires, which is important.
This setup also allows you to be adaptive to the game, if it is going to be an organized fight grab your sorc shoes. The near 70 magic pen is awesome and helps scale you all game.
If it is going to be a complete steam roll in thier favor, grab boots of mobility. You wont be doing as much concentrated fighting and the supreem run speed it provides you allows you to still be a severe pain in the enmies side.
Lastly if the enemy team consists of several high speed champs I take boots of swiftness, when I get into those games where Im constantly 1v1 or 1v2 mid map the run speed makes all the difference in the world when combined with the fps style of play.
OK this is where things get cool. Up to this piont everything Ive said is all meta old news.
This item sequence as far as I know is unique and on dominon is epic. (DO NOT USE IT ON SR or TT OMG IT FAILS)
Seeing as most champs do not run with more than around 50 magic resist this guide focuses on reducing that Magic Armor to 0 or as close to that as possible. This allows for insane damage on squishies and is typicaly more than enough on champs with less than 120 magic resist, which is everyone.
First off no we DON'T get Ionian Boots of Lucidity , for the love of god, what the hell do you need the reduction for anyway stop being a nub and use your skills instead of just mashing all your buttons at once trying to burst on some full health guy who will just stun rape you ffs ie garen. We also DO NOT take a Hextech Revolver outta the gate, it's pointless as well, people claim it gives you a strong early game....ok.....well that +20hp per shunpo and +15x3 from dagger is ok I guess, but uhhh.... you have like 319 run speed? In dominion? Are you serious? Talk about being a gimp, and you certainly aren't doing your team any favors by arriving to a battle 3 days to late, to just be stomped by a 3v1 at top node, and you probably wont even see any real return from the spell vamp cause you wont be able to catch anyone early game anyhow, there's health packs on the map, use them.
We start off with Boots of Mobility and 2 Health Potion , yeah you could buy more but don't. You don't need to if u get good and the pots are really only usable till about lvl 6. Next we fight and hold out till we die, if you did it right you should have about 1400g when you die for the first time. If your team gets owned up top casue some newbs split 3-2, then go back and pick up the Amplifying Tome and Ruby Crystal , you should at least have enough for those items.
Buy your Haunting Guise , it will give you health, magic pen, and AP. With one item you just got a fair amount of health, reduced your targets magic D into the 5-30 range and increased your damage by 105% of a Hextech Revolver when you factor in the -20 Magic Armor reduction, for a dirt cheap item, this is awesome.
After that you buy either a Needlessly Large Rod or a Blasting Wand depends on how fast you die, which ever you can afford at the time. Either one will give you enough damage to secure several kills between then 5-9 minute mark.
Get your Rabadon's Deathcap, your core is now complete. With only these 3 items you can basicaly pwn it up to the 10-12 minute mark.
At this piont you have to make a choice. And that choice will determine how well you do for awhile.
I'll try to outline it best I can. If the team is AD squishy, then the Abyssal Mask is your best bet. Most of these champs have <60 magic D. In most cases your 50 magic D reduction will put them in the 0 to negative 10 range REALLY increasing your damage.
If anyone actualy took the time to look at the avg players stats in a dom game they would see that a Void Staff is a waste and generally unneeded. NOT ALL THE TIME but a good 85% of the time a -20 is more than 40% reduction especialy early game. Every so often you get people going tank mode in dominion, whether is a failrammus or a Singed.
If you are getting slapped to the floor like a hoe then you should go for the Giant's Belt and play conservativly till you finish your Rylai's Crystal Scepter the extra hp should be enough to allow you to bust around the map more freely, obviously if you rush 2 guys at full health that are camping a tower then no ammount of hp will save you, just gg /uninstall or go play alistar.
After that you need to take a look at the other champs casue if your dieing its proly casue they are all tanky dps, and you may want to consider a Void Staff if you see 3 guys with >120 magic D. If they are all in the 40-80 range then buy the Abyssal Mask .
Finish your build off with a Hextech Revolver for the spell vamp since you are now ding plenty of damage, you should actually see a noticeable return from the Hextech Revolverand alittle xtra AP. At this piont you should be crushing fools and the game should be over.
If not then finish it to a Hextech Gunblade as it only makes sense, just dont f up your ult with the hex tech active *face palm*
Becasue this build is pretty cheap you will typicaly make it to the Hextech Revolver and never really need to go back to base and generaly the game will end b4 you get the 3k to finish it to a blade.
Keep in mind you will regularly be breaking 600 run speed with the mobility buff + run buff and clear 700 with ghost. Even being hit with exhaust at this speed you will find your able to out run people.
Update: Im leaving the old info intact as it still has alot of good and relevant information. I will add however if you choose to use sorc shoes over mobility or swiftness the FPS style becomes much less forgiving and getting health packs and getting back into the fray takes longer. This is the main reason I have changed my starting items, it at least gives me a few minutes to gauge how the game is going to play out. IF you need more staying power and team fighting ability then taking the sorc shoes is the way to go, if you're going to have to carry your team or the opposing team is simply alot better than your team the mobility and swiftness really shines s you can back door and escape and still keep your team in the game.
So, you wanna be a big cho-gath?
Well then listen up, the difference between a good dom player and a QQ no skill I hate dominon is all in how they use the map. Just like in summoners rift where position determines map control and the winner of a fight, in dom it's all about speed and pick-ups.
The trick to being a killing all comers and a roadkill kat is about how well you divide your opponenets into 1 on 1 fights, how efficently you path between health packs, and about getting the run buffs often and using them to get the typical 3 nearby health packs ~800hp and getting back before a single OP can bring down your tower.
Upon spawning pick up your mobility and pots, clear the stairs and pop your ghost,don't pop it till u clear the stiars, you want your ghost and run buff to stack as +30% from ghost + run speed will be more than if you hit if after your ghost wears off. You'll keep this xtra run speed even after ghost expires. Run to the run buff, after that bust straight to the top node, if the other team sucks you'll cap if before they get there, if they don't then you'll at least meet the rammus or w/e at top and keep them form caping. Harras with your Q until your team arrives, when they arrive break off grab a health pack and come back in and get a kill. This will tpyicaly turn the tide of the fight and give you a few kills and top node.
Next break south for thier mid piont, if you have 2 other guys with you engange the now respawned team, typicaly 2 people since inveitably one guy on thier team who died will go south to push your solo dude. After the intial shunpo dagger spike, break off and head to thier south cap piont leaving ur buddies to deal with the enemy mid and back door the enemy south node.
(If your team is newb and goes 3-2 I geenraly abbandond top all together and cut right across to the enemy mid cap (use promote), then cut down to make sure that bottom secures the enemy node as it should be a 3v1 down there once you arrive.)
This will force your enemies to make a choice, either someone from bottom has to break off pushing which should keep your teams south node safe, or someone from the enemy mid node will come down to pressure you, all but ensuring your team caps the enemy mid piont.
If either happens don't bother capping the enemy node, drop it to nuetral and break back asap into the fog, hit the run buff, grabd a health pack, and re-enforce your teams push on the enemy mid node while the other team recaps thier south node.
On the off chance the enemy team has an all day back door (like a riven, sivir, or much worse a yi....why do these champs all like to back door constantly...hmmmm) you'll be spending most of the game dealing with this guy as he should be an easy kill, as long as you have the tower advantage.
You can use this general philosiphy all game as far capping nodes and controlling pionts goes.
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS FIGHT DIRTY, your a sexy red head, they are always the dirty ones. What I mean by this is, there is no reason to fight fiddle sticks and garen together, do alittle harass take about 1/3 hp damage, and get one of them to chase you, this can generally be accomplished by using shunpo when they split up, break into the fog and head right for a health pack, dont stop, hit the run buff, grab the other health pack. Either they broke off you (smart) or they have been blindly chasing you this entire time. Once you have near full health again, do some shunpo harras, while your run buff is up. The real trick is timing your ult, if you know it will be a fast kill pop it, if not you need to move around the map harrasing each person chasing you seperatly till they are all half ish. Now bring them together and try to draw out the stun, siliecne, taunt.
Once this happens smash your ult button and with any luck it will be triple kill.
Here is a quick graph showing where the cut off numbers are for Magic Pen, it takes 82 magic D before the sorc shoes and void staff match the performance of the guise and abyssal. If you then take into account that your AP with Void + shoes is only 70, versus 95 with Guise + Abyssal, and not even taking the added magic D and HP into account you can see that it would actualy be 109 magic D before the Shoes + Staff combo would even match the damage. Adding to that the cost difference is 140 gold, and for that you get +200hp +25ap and 57 magic resist. that's pretty good for 140 gold. Since most Kat builds call for ionian boots your at an even bigger disadvantage.
RED - Is my Build Haunting Guise + Abyssal Mask
BLUE - Is a Sorcerer's Shoes + Void Staff
GREEN - Is Ionian Boots of Lucidity + Void Staff