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Katarina Build Guide by mrultimaton

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League of Legends Build Guide Author mrultimaton

Now I See You, Now I Don't (A Hybrid Guide for Katarina)

mrultimaton Last updated on November 19, 2011
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Team 1


Team 2

LeagueSpy Logo
Middle Lane
Ranked #23 in
Middle Lane
Win 51%
Get More Stats

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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Hello Mobafire community;
This will be my very first guide on Mobafire, and I wanted to do the guide on my favourite and most played champion, Katarina. I watch tons of streams of high elo Katarina players such as; Scarra, Westrice, TiensiNoAkuma, and I set up my runes and masteries according to them. I felt the need to do this guide because, I didn't see any good guide for Katarina that is also up to date on Mobafire. I also want to make people understand that Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a bad item on Kat. I am looking forward for your positive/negative criticism. Thank you!

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Different Katarina Builds

I have 3 builds for Katarina

[*] Tanky:

One of them is Tanky Build where I go 9/21/0 in the mastery tree. The Defense tree got buffed so hardcore. If you are going to face someone in your lane that you are %100 sure that you can't win, get this Mastery page and get armor yellows, if he is attack damage based champion.

[*] Damage vs Armor:

21/9/0 Where you get Hardiness + Durability + Veteran's Scars . I use this when I'm going solo top and when I have an attack damage based champion facing me, such as Talon, Irelia, Gangplank. You can also get greater seal of resiliance if you really think you will have a hard time laning.

[*] Damage vs Magic Resist:

21/9/0 Where you get Resistance + Durability + Veteran's Scars . I use this mastery build when I'm going mid or I'm going solo top against Gragas, Yorick, Swain, Akali, Rumble. In this situation, you should be getting greater seal of vitality.

Item build is the same for all three of these builds. I will talk about this item build

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Pros / Cons

• She doesn’t use mana.
• Highest damage output in the game. (Her ulti does 1040 + X AOE damage at level 16)
• Awesome chaser.
• One of the best mid game champions.
• Built in ignite.
• Vulnerable to crowd control abilities.
• Easy to learn, hard to master.
• You will get flamed for picking her and you will take the blame if you lose even if you have a good K/D/A.
• Very hard early game without ganks or kills.

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Her Role In A Team

Katarina is an assassinating goddess. Voracity is what makes Katarina the assassinating goddess she is. My build is set around this passive. Your job as Katarina is to get lots and lots of kills. Your passive resets the cooldowns of your three non-ultimate abilities and decreases the cooldown on Death Lotus by 15 seconds, each time you get a kill or an assist. Also it gives you + gold for each kill or assist, but the cooldown reduction part is what's important. Because your passive reduces your cooldowns, you don’t need cooldown runes, cooldown shoes or cooldown masteries. That means I shouldn’t see Ionian Boots of Lucidity, or cooldown runes.

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Skill Sequence

> > >

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

• Your bread and butter.
• After each kill your cooldowns reset for your normal abilities.
• After three kills, your ults cooldown resets.
• To abuse this ulti get lots of ability power and attack damage, so you can kill more people in a team fight.

: Katarina throws a dagger that bounces from enemy to enemy, dealing magic damage.
Katarina throws a dagger that hits up to 2/3/4/5/6 enemies, dealing 60/95/130/165/200 (+ ) (+0.35) magic damage. Each subsequent hit deals 10% less damage.

• Your harassment skill.
• Scales both from Attack Damage and Ability Power so we are building hybrid.
• If you cannot auto attack minions, last hit with this.

: Passive: Katarina's attacks deal increased damage. Active: Katarina's next basic attack has a bonus effect. Bouncing Blade deals full damage to every target hit and reduces incoming healing to the target, or after using Shunpo Katarina takes reduced damage for 3 seconds.
Passive: Katarina's abilities and melee attacks deal 8/12/16/20/24 additional damage each hit.
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 5 seconds.
Shunpo: Katarina takes 15/20/25/30/35% reduced damage from enemy attacks for 3 seconds.

• If you see Requiem on top of your head, use killer instincts, than shunpo to someone, this might help you survive and make Karthus waste his ulti.

: Katarina instantly moves to her target's location. If the target is an enemy, she deals damage.
Katarina moves to her target's location. If the target is an enemy, she deals 80/120/160/200/240 (+0.75) magic damage to the target.

• Your surviving tool.
• Harass in lane without turning Preparation on.
• When in team fights use Preparation than go in.

: Katarina goes into a state of extreme focus, throwing daggers with unrivaled speed at up to three nearby champions.
Katarina goes into a state of extreme focus, throwing 10 daggers over 3 seconds at the closest 3 enemy champions. Each dagger deals 50/65/80 (+ ) (+0.25) magic damage.

• Does 1040 + X Damage if fully channeled at level 16.
• Hits three different champions, 10 daggers each, adding up to 30 daggers in total.
• You can use this ultimate more than once in a teamfight, this will help you wreck up kills.

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Item Build

Starting Item:

Boots of Speed + Health Potion x3 or Doran’s Shield if you know you are going to face a really hard Attack Damage carry, such as Talon, Caitlyn. In these matchups you will need the extra armor and hp regeneration to survive during the laning phase. Other than that you should be getting Boots x 3 Health Pots. This gives you mobility in lane, faster ganks and makes you avoid ganks because of your high movement speed combined with [Greater Quintessence of Swiftness].

Mid Game Goals:

/ or
Hextech Gunblade provides you everything you need as Katarina. An active slow, attack damage, ability power and most importantly lane sustain. If you ever get low in your lane, just use Bouncing Blades once or twice and get back to full health.

Late Game Goals:

For damage: or
For survivability: or
For the clean up: or

Rabadon's Deathcap will give you super duper omega damage output combined with Void Staff. Banshee’s veil will help you survive that Event Horizon and continue casting your ultimate. If you have guardian’s angel, and die, and your team mates kill someone while you are reviving your passive will proc and you will be able to cast all of your skills after you revive, which makes Guardian’s Angel extremely good on Katarina.
Buy Red Elixir whenever you have money, it scales very very well with Katarina.

Situational Items:

[*] Get this if the opposing team has lots of crowd control abilities that can be removed by Quicksilver Sash for example Nether Grasp or Infinite Duress. Keep in mind that knock ups or knock backs cannot be stopped using Quicksilver Sash such as Rupture or Pulverize.

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Summoner Spells



You need one of these in order to survive early, mid and late game. After the nerf flash is less usefull which means Ghost is a better option overall, because movement speed works really well with Katarina.
P.S: Don’t forget that Katarina is really squishy.

The Second Options: or or

is just an overkill on Katarina. It helps you proc your passive, it helps you secure kills, it helps a lot!
isn’t a very bad option also. You Exhaust than use Death Lotus you can deal a lot of damage.
is awesome after the buff so don’t hesitate on using it if they have lots of cc, since now it also removes Exhaust and Ignite it's a very good option.

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I have two mastery builds for Katarina:

First one is 21/9/0 (Scarra’s Way):
Damage Mastery Tree is overpowered at the moment. Taking improved spell pen. ignite, + 3 attack damage, %5 ability power increase in the offence and taking armor/magic resistance according to my lane matchup and Durability + Veteran's Scars makes Katarina really really good.

The second one is 9/21/0 (Westrice’s Way)
This is a more tanky mastery setup and the Defence Mastery Tree is really buffed. I use it when my lane matchup is a good harasser, such as Talon or Gragas

YOU SHOULD NEVER GET ANYTHING FROM THE UTILITY TREE. You don’t need cooldown because of your passive, you don’t need reduced death time, mana regen. Only thing you need from the utility tree is the improved flash if you are using flash as your primary summoner spell. In that case, you can put one point in utility.

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greater seal of vitality

: There is no other option for Katarina, Magic Penetration is just too dominant over other marks.

Greater Seal of Vitality: Late game Health is what you need on Katarina. This shall make you less squishy.

x2 x7 : The 2 Magic Penetration runes combined with your masteries and Sorcerer's Shoes makes most squishy champion's Magic Resists "0". The scaling Ability Power is also nice. If you are not a very good Katarina, I suggest taking Magic Resist Glyphs.

: Best Quintessence is the game. Movement Speed Quintessence is just too good. Ganking, laning, dodging skillshots is too easy with these Quintessences. If your opponents doesn't have these quints you will be able to easily chase them.

Honorable Mentions:

Greater Quintessence of Vigor

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Basic Combo

Use your W than E than R than Q. Because your Q has a higher range than your ulti, you can use your Q if they leave your ult range. This gives you the highest damage output.

Katarina's Skill Ranges:

Range: 600

Range of the First Bounce: 700

Range: 550

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This is where you and your team should ward

Sight Ward:
Yellow: Vital to protect the jungler on your team
Blue: For protection depending on which lane you're on
Red: To guard Dragon and Baron
Orange: In order to Counter-Jungle

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Ranked Play

Katarina is completely viable in ranked games, if only the enemy doesn’t have 10 crowd control abilities. Just you should master Katarina in Normal Draft before going into the Ranked Area. The reason behind playing Normal Draft Mode is because you can see what the enemies pick. For example you wouldn’t pick Katarina against a team with Udyr + Riven. Katarina is also viable in tournament play, the only pro gamer manly enough to play Katarina is tournaments is Scarra. Watch his games as a proof of how viable Katarina is.

Link to Scarra owning Team Solomid with his beast Katarina:

Another player who uses Katarina is 1900 + elo is TiensiNoAkuma.

Him carrying with Kat in Ranked 1900 + elo
Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:

Westrice using Katarina:
Part 1:
Part 2:

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Katarina's Laning

Katarina belongs to a solo lane. Middle lane is always superior upon solotop, but if she is forced to go top, she can handle most heroes. She can, exceptionally well, handle 2v1 situations. Most important part is that she has to be passive in the lane before level 6 because she is pretty weak without her ulti 6 and before she gets the Hextech Revolver.

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Good and Bad Match-ups

Good Lane Match-ups:

: You own him before 6. Harrass him everytime you have cooldown’s ready. Don’t let him farm his Q. Kill him or send him home before 6 and if you didn’t kill him before he reaches level 6, go to a lane and gank or ask for your jungler to gank him.

: Dodge his skill shots. Harass him before level 3. Push him out of the lane. Own him before he gets Feast stacks.
: You own her. Harrass with Bouncing Blades before leve 6. Kill her with your ulti when you are 6.

Bad Lane Match-ups:

: You can't do anything against him. He will just force you out of lane, harrass you to death. My only advice would be to hug the tower and let him push. Than tell your jungler to gank.

: He pushes too hard and you can't Shunpo to him because of his H-28G Evolution Turret. His Hextech Micro-Rockets is really annoying too.

: She has two channel interrupts, you can't ulti him. If you can't ulti someone, you can't kill them. If you can't kill them, you lose your lane. If you lose your lane you eventually lose the game.

: His ult completely counters your ult. Don't go near him.

New Champion Time:
: Fizz is an extremely versatile champion. He can be played as a bruiser or a mage. Mage Fizz is easy to handle as Katarina. You should farm for the first 5 levels. After getting to level 5 and upgrading your Bouncing Blades to 3 level you can use it to harrass. If he tries to auto attack you Shunpo to a minion. After you get to level 6, try killing him with Death Lotus. If you get pushed, just ask your jungler to gank.

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Some Strategies to Use With Katarina

• Always have a ward in your inventory, so that if you find yourself in a bad position, put the ward over a wall and Shunpo to it.
• Learn to use smartcast if you don’t know already. Katarina is all about reaction time, and smartcasting will increase that reaction time dramatically.
• You don’t have to have vision of the target to use your ulti. This means it can hit champions behind walls and also hit champions that are stealted.
Katarina belongs to a solo lane. Middle lane is always superior upon solotop, but if she is forced to go top, she can handle most heroes. She can, exceptionally well, handle 2v1 situations. Most important part is that she has to be passive in the lane before level 6 because she is pretty weak without her ulti 6 and before she gets the Hextech Revolver.

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Why u No buy Rylai ?

Simple. Because it sucks on Katarina. You need to get kills, not slow enemies. Rylai’s Scepter isn’t cost efficient, and it only provides 80 Ability Power, where as Hextech Gunblade provides 40 Attack Damage and 70 Ability Power and since Katarina’s Q and R scale off with both Attack Damage and Ability Power, Hextech Gunblade is a superior option. Also it provides lane sustain. If you dont believe me lets ask for Scarra's opinion on Rylai’s Crystal Scepter:

Q: Scarra, what do you think about Rylai's Crystal Scepter on Katarina

A: “You pay 3000g for 80ap and then wonder why your damage isn't high enough to kill someone.
It wasn't until people I transitioned from rylais into gunblade that i noticed that rylais is a super situational item and should almost never be bought outside of very few champions/situations.

A lot of why people do bad with kat and other champions is because they build inefficiently and then cannot snowball well throughout the game.”

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Fun Facts About Katarina

Fun Facts About Katarina:
She is Cassiopeia’s sister.
She is French.
She is the head of Noxus.

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Closing Words

I felt the need to make this guide, because I main Katarina and I couldn’t see any useful and upto date guides on Mobafire. I also wanted to clear some people’s minds about the cooldown reduction runes and Rylai’s Crystal Scepter. Thanks for reading my guide. Please leave your positive or negative criticism. I will be updating this guide every now and then.