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League of Legends Build Guide Author F3ar0ner

Katarina - The Noxian Assassin

F3ar0ner Last updated on June 18, 2014
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Katarina is one of the most known champions. She is an Assassin who is extremely good at killing her target quickly and even bursting down multiple opponents at once. She can give her team an advantage, since she can be very helpful if doing well.

She is one of those champions that require some skill to play her properly. Depending on that skill, she can pull out some crazy stunts and outplay her opponent. She is easy as pie to play but very hard to master. And that's why she can be very rewarding.

However, as every other champion in the League, she has her weaknesses as well. Despite these weaknesses, Katarina is a force to be reckoned with, and she must be treated with caution. Especially if a player knows how to deal with these weaknesses.

That said, Katarina is an awesome champion. She is my most favorite in the League and I'm sure she will be yours too if you give her a try. This guide is focused mostly for Summoner's Rift on middle lane, but it also has general information. I hope you like it!
Table of Contents

Keep friends close and enemies guessing

The stuff below are a quick summary of the guide. These are setups you can follow if you want to know which choices are viable for Katarina. I highly recommend you to go with the first options first, which are the standard ones, and then procceed to the next options, so you can find your own playstyle.


Summoner Spells


Sinister Steel

Sinister Steel

Amazing abilities
High Burst Damage
Fun to play
Sexiest champion ever
Long cooldowns
Vulnerable to Crowd Control
Poor Early Game
Slightly dependant to team

These are the standard mastery choices for
Katarina, which rely on offense mostly. And of course, a little bit defence.

Start with Summoner's Wrath and Sorcery for Ability Power and some Cooldown Reduction, which we really need.

The other choices are Blast , Arcane Knowledge , Mental Force and Havoc , for Ability Power, Magic Penetration and damage.

Last, we spend points in Archmage and
Executioner , the later being a very useful Mastery that will help finish champions easier.

In the Defense, we invest in Durability ,
Resistance , Hardiness , and Veteran's Scars for Magic Resistance, Armor and Health.

These mastery choices are very situational for
Katarina. They focus heavily on defence and less in offence, but they tend to be viable.

Start with Summoner's Wrath , Sorcery, Blast , Arcane Knowledge , for Ability Power, Cooldown Reduction, Magic Penetration.

In the Defense, we invest in Durability ,
Resistance , Hardiness , and Veteran's Scars for Magic Resistance, Armor and Health.

We continue with Unyielding , Safeguard , Block and Tenacious , for Health, damage reduction and Tenacity.

Finally, we focus on Defender , Legendary Armor and Honor Guard for bonus Armor, Magic Resist and a lot of damage reduction.

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is the best choice for champions who use Ability Power. As for Katarina, it's necessary to get these,
as she scales well with Magic Penetration.

Greater Seal of Scaling Health
I think these are very good since they can help you in almost any situation. As for Katarina, they are certainly good on her since she
is somehow squishy. They also synergize well with Shunpo.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist is a very viable choice, since most of the time you will be against champions who use Ability Power. These
will help you win trades and survive.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Most champions who use Ability Power get these. Since Katarina early is weak, these will drastically increase your overall early presence
by giving you a good amount of Ability Power.

Greater Mark of Hybrid PenetrationGreater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Normally, these are good for ranged champions for better harass. Since Katarina is melee, these lose most of their worth. However,
you will be able to farm easier or harass with attacks better.

Greater Seal of Armor
These can certainly help you, since most of the time, enemy champions can harass you easily with their attacks. If you know you will be
against a champion who uses Attack Damage, these are essential.

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power is also a very good choice. They will give you a massive amount of Ability Power but that amount
will increase as the game progresses.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Many people get these over Greater Quintessence of Ability Power. These give you a lot of Movement Speed, which will help you roam
more or even delay taking or upgrading Boots of Speed.

One of the best choices for Katarina. Due to her long cooldowns,
Ignite can secure a kill or help you reach Voracity faster in a
teamfight, making your play easier.

Flash is considered one of the best spells. It can help you initiate a fight, reach an enemy or escape. It synergizes well with Katarina,
because of her Shunpo.

Cleanse might sound good in theory, but it really isn't. The enemy team will wait for you to use Death Lotus anyway, and then use
whatever Crowd Control they have, not before.

Exhaust can give you an advantage for escaping, trading blows or chasing. Using this with Death Lotus will guarantee that your
opponent isn't leaving.

Ghost gives you increased Movement Speed, allowing you to escape or chase your opponent more efficiently. You can take this in
place of Flash, if you are prominent with Shunpo.

Teleport can help you set up ganks or give you an opportunity to kill enemies, but it requires some strategy for these situations to happen.
Anyway, it's a good spell, which can help you in some situations.

Voracity is a very powerful yet necessary addition to Katarina. It's the reason she can be of use in a team. With a kill or assist, all her
abilities are available for use again, except for Death Lotus.

Tips & Tricks

Bouncing Blades
Bouncing Blades is your main ability for farm and harass. As the name suggests, it can bounce. It doesn't deal a lot of damage alone,
but it's a great ability nonetheless, as it can be very useful.

Tips & Tricks

Sinister SteelSinister Steel
Sinister Steel is mostly the ability used after Bouncing Blades to consume the mark. It's a great ability that can be used in many ways.
The best it offers is the Movement Speed you get if you hurt an enemy.

Tips & Tricks

Shunpo is the signature skill of Katarina and probably one of the coolest abilities that exist. It is a gap closer and a form of escape. It
doesn't deal a lot of damage but it's a great ability to get in and out.

Tips & Tricks

Death Lotus
Death Lotus is an amazing ultimate that can hit multiple opponents at once in a short range for a lot of damage. However, Death Lotus
biggest weakness is that it can be interrupted.

Tips & Tricks

Rabadon's Deathcap
The best item you can get and your snowballing friend. Rabadon's Deathcap not only gives you a huge amount of Ability Power, it also
increases your overall Ability Power even more.

Deathfire Grasp
Deathfire Grasp is a great item. It gives you a big amount of Ability Power and some Cooldown Reduction, which is very essential due to
your long cooldowns. It can also help you to clean a target easier.

Zhonya's Hourglass
Zhonya's Hourglass is a perfect item for Katarina. Not only it gives you a lot of Ability Power, it can also help you in situations you
get focused. Also, it gives you some Armor.

Void Staff
By the time you get this, your opponents will have some Magic Resistance. By getting Void Staff, you are able to get through it and
still deal a lot of damage. It's a great item overall.

Warmog's Armor
Warmog's Armor has become very popular and is considered the best choice if you want to have some survivability. For Katarina, it's
an excellent choice, since it synergizes better than Guardian Angel.

Abyssal Scepter
Abyssal Mask is the item you should be getting in most of your games. It gives you Magic Resistance while it descreases your
opponent's. It also gives you a handful amount of Ability Power.

Guardian Angel
If Zhonya's Hourglass isn't enough, or if you die more than you should, take this in place of Warmog's Armor. It gives you a nice
amount of Armor, Magic Resistance and revives you upon death.

Hextech Gunblade
Hextech Gunblade used to be a core item on Katarina. After the rework, it isn't as viable as it was. Some Katarina players still buy it,
but to be honest, you can benefit more from something else.

Liandry's Torment
Even if it doesn't benefit Katarina as it benefits other champions, it can be a good buy. Although I think it isn't as good as a standalone
item, unless you plan to build a Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

Lich Bane
Lich Bane gives you stats that might sound good in theory, but it isn't so viable. Katarina depends on her abilities to inflict damage.
She won't throw attacks in the middle of a fight.

Mejai's Soulstealer
I wouldn't normally recommend this, since it adds more risk to
Katarina's gameplay. However, higher risk offers higher reward, and
as it's stats are godlike, get this if you are doing really really good.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Rylai's Crystal Scepter can be a great item, especially if you combine it with Liandry's Torment. However, the full slow will be applied only
to Shunpo, making it a questionable pick.

Sunfire Cape
Sunfire Cape belongs to a build which focuses on survivability. It is extremely situational, but it can be very useful, since you will always be
in the middle of everything to inflict damage.

Will of the Ancients
Even through Spell Vamp doesn't benefit Katarina that much, Will of the Ancients is the best among the Spell Vamp items since the
rework, for her. In some cases, it can be a good investment.

Ahri is an amazing champion with harass, sustain and mobility. However, she doesn't have huge burst damage early and she has to do very well in order to have. Against her, it is an
equal lane, since you can avoid her abilities but she has Crowd Control and mobility.


This lane can go both ways. Akali is like Katarina and vice versa. While you have better harass, she can do some serious damage if she triggers Mark of the Assassin. Things
become a little difficult when she has Shadow Dance, as she is already above you.


A champion with almost equal burst damage to LeBlanc, that has the potential to make your life a living hell. Although she does have some negatives, Anivia can be a dominant
champion in the right hands. She can be a pain to deal with after some time.


Annie is a very hard lane. She has huge burst damage, doesn't have any skillshots, and can stay in lane for ever thanks to farming with Disintegrate. Also, her Pyromania will
stun you for almost 2 seconds, giving her enough time to do a combo.


Brand is a truly powerful champion, who can be a threat through the game and capable of doing a lot of damage. He also has many combos thanks to his Blaze. Normally, he wouldn't
be a threat to you, but due to some factors this guy can be pretty dangerous.


Apparently, Cassiopeia is your sister, but as you will see, you are very different. She has insane damage, low cooldowns and her poke is great. The champions that counter her are
few, but fortunately, you can win if you are careful. Timing against her is the key.


Diana has good harassing abilities and a lot of survivability, making her a very deadly force. Also, all her abilities are keeping her safe from your abilities. Even if you are very ahead, you
will have trouble killing her. Therefore, she is a hard counter of yours.


Elise is a very unique champion. She is one of the few that can transform and have entirely new abilities. She has insane damage, but most of it depends on her target rather than
herself. Anyway, she is pretty hard to kill, since her counteraction is stronger.


Fiddlesticks is one of your strongest counters. His harass is better, he has amazing sustain and on top of that, Crowd Control. If it makes you feel better, you won't see Fiddlesticks in
much games, and even if you do, he will prefer jungle.


Fizz is an awesome champion. He is pretty strong and has amazing abilities, like Urchin Strike and Playful / Trickster, making him a force to be reckoned with. Now, he is scary for
some champions, but as Katarina, you can beat this guy pretty easily.


Galio is a pretty annoying champion. He is encouraged to build Magic Resistance and he has harass, sustain and a hanful amount of Crowd Control. Unfortunately, he counters many
champions who use Ability Power, and you are on his list as well.


Heimerdinger is a very powerful champion with a ridiculous early presence. He is a hard counter of yours, as he is a very strong pusher thanks to his H-28G Evolution Turret.
Because of that, he can be very annoying.


Karthus is probably the easiest champion to lane against. Karthus doesn't counter anyone, but you counter him. Hard. The only thing to watch about is his Lay Waste and
Death Defied. Other than that, you are good to go.


Kassadin will make your life a living hell. He is an amazing champion with a very high mobility and fairly ridiculous damage. He is also considered the Anti-Mage of the League and
for a good reason. Kassadin destroys many champions, and unfortunately, you as well.


Kennen is one of the most funniest champions to play. I dare say he is even more entertaining than our beloved Katarina. However, don't be mistaken. Playing against a
Kennen is not fun. At all. He is a very strong opponent and a deadly force.


LeBlanc is a truly powerful champion. By the time she gets a few items, she can pull a trick to make your life bar disappear. She has the most insane burst damage, and as such, she
counters you hard early. Try to survive till her early damage disappears.


Lux is an easy case against Katarina, as long as you avoid her abilities. To be honest, a good Lux will give you a hard time, but if you play smart, you are in for an easy lane.
Strangely enough, in most of my Katarina games, I'm against a Lux.


Malzahar is a pain to deal with. He has incredible farming tools, great harass and amazing fighting potential. As Katarina, it's very hard to deal with a Malzahar, considering he has
Crowd Control, rendering your Death Lotus useless.


Mordekaiser es #1. Huehuehue. Let me tell you, Mordekaiser doesn't have this name for nothing. He is immune to your harass, thanks to his Iron Man, and he has good harassing
and farming potential himself. Prepare for a tough lane.


Morgana is an amazing champion and a viable choice in any game. Her abilities greatly benefit her team and she is strong in the laning phase. However, Katarina is a counter of
Morgana. Like Lux, she depends on her Dark Binding to do a combo.


If I had to describe Orianna with just a word, that word would be unpredictable.
Orianna is unpredictable thanks to her abilities and is the reason why she is such a
powerful champion and one capable of countering almost anyone, if the player is good.


Give a warm welcome to the uncounterable Swain! Seriously through, that guy is plain annoying. He is very hard to kill, has excellent sustain and he can deal a lot of damage with
his abilities. His Crowd Control comes to make things worse.


Syndra isn't played often, as players don't hold her in high esteem. However, I believe that Syndra is a challenge for players, as she can be more than rewarding if you can learn her.
And that's why I can't truly estimate the difficulty of this, as it depends on skill.


Talon is hard to go against. He uses Attack Damage and counters most of these champions who use Ability Power. You are not the exception. He can cast his Cutthroat to silence you.
He will harass you slowly and then finish you off in a single combo.


Twisted Fate
Twisted Fate is a great champion. The utility he can offer to his team is second to none. His laning phase is great, as he has both harass and sustain. However, he doesn't excel in fights
and that means you counter him. Be wary, that doesn't mean you shouldn't play safe.


Veigar is one of the most overpowered champions in the game, statistically speaking. He has the ability to reach as much Ability Power as he wants and can burst down champions
who use Ability Power easily. Good news is, you counter Veigar early.


Vladimir is an awesome champion, capable of negating any harass given and still do a lot of damage while he has some survivability. He doesn't see much play nowadays, and he is also
used mostly on top. Anyway, against a Vladimir, it's a pretty equal lane.


Xerath can be difficult to kill, as you can't kill him. He can use Arcanopulse from Nexus and pretty much kill you. Seriously now, he has a pretty ridiculous range but he shouldn't be
difficult to deal with. However, there are some situations you have to be aware of.


Don't listen to what people say. Althrough you normally counter Ziggs, a good Ziggs can be very difficult to kill. His harassing abilities are godlike, and he has a trick to get out quickly
or even interrupt Death Lotus. Anyway, this guy can be very annoying early.


Zyra is a very powerful champion. I mean, very very powerful. Her abilities give her everything a champion can possibly need. Anyway, long story short, there are some
champions that counter others. Believe it or not, you counter Zyra.


1 What is the best thing to do before a game?

A Restart the client, as it sucks
B Leave the game and take a walk
C Watch your opponents and think of a strategy
D Something else that is not listed here

2 When does Katarina shine the most?

A Early Game
B Mid Game
C Late Game
D All of the above

3 What should you do against your opponent?

A Switch to a playstyle that suits your opponent
B Harass from a distance while farming
C Harass from close when he uses his abilities
D All of the above

4 What should you do to have a perfect start?

A Maintain a good creep score
B Win the lane
C Pick kills from other lanes
D All of the above

5 What should you do when you get ganked?

A Try to kill your opponents to teach them a lesson
B Die and crying after, swearing revenge
C Use a method to escape
D Blame the jungler because he didn't gank
6 What is the best lane to gank?

A Top
B Middle
C Bottom
D All of the above

7 When is the best time to initiate a gank?

A When your opponents don't have any vision
B When your opponents have started a fight
C When your opponents saw you and run away
D When your opponents are overextended

8 Should you have Stealth Wards with you?

A Of course, you can Shunpo to them to escape
B Yes, buying Stealth Wards is everybody's role
C No, buying Stealth Wards is too mainstream
D Absolutely not, you are not a support

9 What should you do in teamfights?

A Rush in and trying to kill all of the enemy team
B Wait for the right moment to go all in
C Stay back and harass until it's over
D Steal all the kills, leaving your team behind

10 What is Katarina's standard combo?

A Sinister Steel
B Sinister Steel
C Sinister Steel
D I just roll my face on the keyboard and get kills


Scarra is concidered the best Katarina player in the world. His friendly behavior and constant information make him an excellent choice to watch if you want to learn to play Katarina.

Voyboy is another professional player with Katarina. Although he plays and builds her a bit differently than most players, you can learn much if you watch his stream, which I encourage you to do.

Although TiensiNoAkuma hasn't joined a professional team, he knows his stuff more than some of the players who play on a professional level. His most played champion is Katarina.

I have to say, this guide took me a very long time to write but I enjoyed every minute doing it. I hope you enjoyed reading it too. If you have any suggestions, questions or anything you want to say, don't hesitate to tell me. Even if you see wrong information, tell me so I can fix it. Thanks for taking the time to read my guide.

Someone in another guide said, a guide without thanking her is not a guide. JhoiJhoi has helped many people with her knowledge about making guides, and her line dividers, and me as well.

A guide without graphics is boring. And this guide would be really boring without them. And that's why I have to add Xiaowiriamu here, for his great and fast services, and his awesome work.

He is one of the friendliest members I have come across in here. Pluckin Penguin has helped me immensely with everything, and in this case, he did the pictures for the streaming section.

Do I have to follow this build?

As I said in my previous guide, it's your choice. You can follow it unless you know any better. A basic thing to know is that you get your items depending on the game, the situation and your opponents. You can also take them with the order you like. Overall, you should almost always change your build.

Why don't you have a detailed chapter about how to play as Katarina?

For the time being, I believe that there's no need to write about her gameplay, hence the quiz, but I will, maybe, consider doing one in the future. To be honest, there is no specific way to play as Katarina. Therefore, i encourage you to find your own playstyle. After all, Katarina is a fun champion, so have fun.

Why does your Quiz suck so much?

Does it? Well, I tried to make fun questions which can help you learn Katarina's gameplay, with my impossible to answer questions and my nonexistent humor, not to mention my awesome grammar skills. It may suck a little, but I had good intentions while making it. I swear.

What is the best skin for Katarina?

That's a tough one. All Katarina's skins are good, but I haven't found one that stands out, in my opinion, like Harbinger Kassadin or Blood Lord Vladimir . Anyway, to answer this question, I guess I will go with Bilgewater Katarina . Other than that, I love Classic Katarina .

How do I get in the Hall of Fame?

If you just finished an impressive game and you want to share it, you just send me a picture of your Match History, tell me the game you want me to post and I will take care of the rest. Simple, isn't it? You can send me up to five games, so pick your best. Remember, send me a picture of your Match History only.

Why I always end up losing with a good score?

If you are doing very good early, you might accidentaly take most of the kills, ending up with a full build while your team isn't doing so good. When the game progresses, Katarina becomes weaker due to opponents becoming tankier. To solve this, either try to end the game very quickly or give most of the kills to your team.

Any advice to play better?

First of all, use Smartcast. Smartcast will let you use your abilities instantly and is essential since Katarina requires fast reflexes. Second, listen to music you like. By listening to music you like, you actually perform better. Last but not least, determine your psychology. If you are angry or sad, it can affect your play.

Anything else I should know?

Yes. First of all, if you see wrong information, for example in the Quiz, don't hesitate to tell me, so I can fix it. Also, Mozilla Firefox is the best browser if you want to read this guide, as I have found that anything else may not work as well. For example, Google Chrome doesn't open the images in the gameplay chapter correctly.