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Katarina Build Guide by Dawdius

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dawdius

Katarina - The Queen of Cleanup (Work in Progress)

Dawdius Last updated on October 30, 2012
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Difficult Earlygame

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

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DISCLAIMER 1: Before you dislike this guide, please take a moment to actually read it. It's also a work in progress and more things will be added to it a later date.

DISCLAIMER 2: I'm Swedish and my English isn't PERFECT, but I'll do my best

Hello! I'm Dawdius, I've been playing League since Mars 2012 and since then i've played over 1000 games. I'm definitely not a pro but I do consider myself a decent player.

Even if I always liked Katarina I didn't play her much until the remake after which she's become kind off my main champ.

In this guide I will share my knowledge about everyones favorite Bursty, Snowballing, Queen of Cleanup

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Update Log

10/29/12 - Started working on guide

10/30/12 - Added, "mid game" and "late game" sections

xx/xx/xx -

xx/xx/xx -

xx/xx/xx -

xx/xx/xx -

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Pros / Cons

+: One of the best snowballers
+: High burst damage
+: Great utillity (escapes etc.)
+: Amazing Teamfighter
+: Good Farmer Lategame
- Bad mid/lategame if shut down early
- Weak Earlygame (Resulting in an often frustrating laning phase)
- Hard to lasthit early against ranged mages
- Ultimate can be canceled by hard CC
- Due to her passive, one kill often results in more kills but if an enemy gets away with low HP she wont get the cooldown reset and will easily be focused down

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Summoner Spells


These are summoner spells that i personally recommend and use on Katarina

Flash will grant you a great escape and positioning tool aswell as an extremely long gap closer combined with Shunpo. i highly recommend always bringing Flash on Katarina.

Being a burst caster Katarina benefits greatly from Ignite for both Finishing of fleeing enemies aswell as that extra little bit of burst in a 1v1 situation i higly recommend getting ignite.


These are summoners spells that I do not personally recommend but that might be useful.

I'm not a big fan of Exhaust myself but if you are, it might be useful in 1v1 lane combat and to lock down targets for yourself and your team.

Although I tend to bring Teleport waaaay to often and i personally like it, I do NOT recommend bringing it on Katarina due to the fact that Flash and Ignite proves more useful throughout the game. But if you really, really like Teleport, go ahead, bring it!

Ghost might be useful to chase down fleeing enemies in teamfights after you demolished the rest of their team. Although I personally prefer Flash for that, it all comes down to personal preference.

I do not recommend bringing Heal because in a teamfight, Katarina's ultimate Death Lotus combined with the Spell Vamp from Hextech Gunblade will heal her enough.

Cleanse is a really underestimated summoner spell with great use when getting CC'd alot, I do not however recommend it on Katarina because being a champion that is required in the midst of the fight channeling her ult in teamfights, it's a way more effective method to hide in the midst of the teamfight. But if it floats your boat to be able to get out of CC a little quicker, go ahead!


These are summoners spells that under (almost) no circumstances should be used on Katarina.
You're not jungling!

You're not a support!

You don't have mana.

Not worth it, you will be bursty enough as it is.

Too long of a cooldown for such a small thing, Not worth it.

Doesn't help much in mid lane and is simply not worth it.

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I use these runes when i play blind pick and don't know who my lane opponent is, or if i'm up against champs that do not rely on skillshots ( LeBlanc, Fizz, Annie, Kassadin)



If you're up against an AD mid like Talon

I use these runes against champs that rely on skillshots or small AoE abillities ( Diana, Morgana, Zyra, Karthus)

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Offense Tree

I take Summoner's Wrath and 3/4 in Mental Force Replace Mental Force with 3/3 in Brute Force if you're up against a champion with lots of early poke like Lux, or if you just have trouble last hitting with autoattacks.

Spend 4/4 in Sorcery aswell as 1/1 in Arcane Knowledge and 3/3 in Havoc for early damage amplification.

Then spend 4/4 in Blast and Archmage for late game damage output and finish the Offense tree of with 1/1 Executioner
Defense Tree

Spend 2/3 in Resistance and Hardiness for early survivabillity

Then spend 4/4 in Durabillity and finish it off with 1/1 in Veteran's Scars

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Abillity Sequence

Maxing Bouncing Blades First

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


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

Which one you should choose is based on personal preference, I max Bouncing Blades first for good early poke damage and farming but i haven't really tried maxing Sinister Steel first but i guess it's good for spammable AoE damage and (maybe) even better farming.

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Item Choices

Easy/Moderate Lane

Start with Boots of Speed and 3x Health Potion and farm up to a Blasting Wand (or if you manage to get a kill in the beggining, farm up what you need to get an early Needlessly Large Rod) before finishing a Rabadon's Deathcap and Sorcerer's Shoes for a great increase your damage output.

Then follow up with a Hextech Gunblade for damage and spell vamp and a Rylai's Crystal Scepter for durabillity and even more damage.

Then choose between either an Abyssal Mask or a Zhonya's Hourglass depending on your needs ( Zhonya's Hourglass to counter AD damage and Abyssal Mask to counter AP damage. Zhonya's Hourglass's active effect is also useful if you get focused alot in teamfights. Then finish it all off with a Void Staff to counter your enemies desperate attempts to stop your rampage by stacking Magic Res.

Difficult Lane
Start with Boots of Speed and 3x Health Potion and farm up to a Ruby Crystal which you build into a Haunting Guise and finish your Sorcerer's Shoes

Then get yourself a Rabadon's Deathcap for greatly increased damage and a Hextech Gunblade for some spell vamp aswell as some more damage then proceed towards a Rylai's Crystal Scepter for durabillity and damage.

Buy Abyssal Mask or Zhonya's Hourglass depending on if the enemy teams main damage dealers are mainly AD or AP ( Zhonya's Hourglass for AD and Abyssal Mask for AP) and if you get focused alot in teamfights Zhonya's Hourglass's active effect is very useful

Sell your Haunting Guise and replace it with a Void Staff for more lategame Magic Pen to counter your enemies desperate Magic Resist stacking ^^

Also consider replacing Abyssal Mask or Zhonya's Hourglass with a Guardian Angel if it's a close game where a single teamfight either loses or wins you the game.

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Early Laning (Mid Lane)

Start by picking up Boots of Speed and 3x Health Potions and go mid, leash blue/red for your jungler and return to your lane, resist temptation to Flash for last hitting that one creep you always miss when leashing blue and from here you have to adjust your playing style depending on your lane opponent.

If you're up against a champion with alot of harrasment ( Lux, Kassadin, Diana) try to run around alot and dodge their abillties (3x Greater Quint of Swiftness helps alot]]

If you're up against a passive earlygame champion ( Akali, Diana, Anivia) try to harras with your Bouncing Blades and farm with autoattacks and Sinister Steel aswell as with Bouncing Blades

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Mid Game

When you have picked up your Rabadon's Deathcap and Sorcerer's Shoes it's a good idea to start roaming, try to co-ordinate with your teammates and gank bot when the enemies are overextended. Even if they got river warded and see you it will probably be too late and you will be able to get in front of them and channel Death Lotus ( Flash helps alot with this, try to gank as much as possible while still maintaining your own lane.

If the enemies however play it safe and does not overextend at all, continue to farm and set up ganks with your jungler.

In teamfights, go in after the teams AoE CC comes down or after your teammates go in, Never, ever go in first, you will easily be focused down and your Death Lotus will be canceled.

A good tip is: wait until your team engages, count to four and then Shunpo into the midsnt of the fight. You will hopefully be kind of covered up by the chaos of the fight at this point and you will hopefully be able to get the entire duration of Death Lotus of.

If everythings goes well you'll be set up for late game

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Late Game

If everything went as planned, you will be either fed up on creeps or on kills. If not, you have to very careful. You should atleast have finished your Rylai's Crystal Scepter by now or else you're gonna have a hard time.

As in midgame, never initiate fights, wait for your tankier teammates to do it, count to 4 and Shunpo into the midst of the battle. You can also channel your Death Lotus over specific walls.

As i wrote earlier, it's also i good idea to pick up a Guardian Angel at this time.

If your game didn't go very well and you are not that fed. Try to flank around the enemy team and get your ultimate off next to their carries, try to get a reset with Voracity by killing easy targets.