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Katarina Build Guide by Qzaster
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Cooking with Kat
Threats & Synergies
*Pretty squishy and mana dependent. Try to get kills on her pre-6. Avoid her skillshots, especially Charm. Use your ult once she's used her Charm and Ult.
Poke her down with Q. Your Q,W, and R still damage her while she's stealthed. Be wary of her passive (Spellvamp/Lifesteal), the major factor in the otherwise even matchup.
*(*)Similar to Veigar. Avoid her stun, and ult when it is down. Her wall can also stop your ult if it is placed on you, but most players do not make use of this. Be wary of her passive (Eggnivia). She gets stronger over time so take advantage of her early squishiness and mana dependency.
*Avoid her while her stun is up. Try to out-sustain her since she's mana dependent. Build MR to counter her burst damage (Banshee's works great).
*He can poke from afar, escape easily, and stop your ult with his. Ask for ganks, and try to roam for kills.
*Build some sustain to mitigate his burn damage. Otherwise engage every time he blows his stun.
*Lots of poke. Spirit Visage+ Will of the Ancients combo works well to counteract poison. Try to not face her during her ult to avoid stun. Play safe and go in for kills when ult is down.
**He's tanky, and his Q & W can shut down your ult. Utilize your mobility and try to bait out Q & W before engaging. Roam for kills.
*Tanky and her E can stop your ult. Avoid close range combat, and poke with Q. I find it helpful to move TOWARDS her to avoid her curved Q.
**Your worst nightmare. Switch lanes if possible. His Fear and Silence stop you in your tracks, and he can drain for days. Consider getting a QSS. Roam, but be wary of his location (his ult can devastate your team). He's squishy and may run low on mana early, so try to take advantage of that.
(*)Be careful of his Lv.3 all-in. He can avoid most of your ult with E and possibly interrupt with his ult. Poke him down then engage only when his E is down. Easy to dodge his ult, but if you get hit you can Zhonya or at least E for damage reduction right before it bites. I find getting Barrier instead of Flash really gives you an advantage early on.
*Hella annoying. Probably won't get a kill on him all game. Just farm up and help team. If you can get fed off other lanes build MP.
**Avoid his barrels and poke. His Bodyslam and Ult can stop yours, so work around them.
*Max Q and take out his turrets as often as you can. His E can stop your ult but he's prone to Q,E,W combo since his reaction time isn't that great. Ult if his stun is down.
*He hurts so go with 'vs AD' build. He can poke from afar or do heavy damage up close. His knock back stops your ult. Try to take advantage of his mana dependence/ and his stance. Q when he is in melee, and Q,E,W when he is in ranged. Get ganks and roam.
He can't silence your ult anymore, but he's still a royal pain. If played correctly you won't lose hard, but after Lv.6 it's near impossible to kill him. Wait for him to be low on mana before engaging.
Hey there sexy. Very even lane (I wonder why). Grab Barrier instead of Flash to ensure in-lane victory since most fights will come down to ignite. Also land your Q's by using minions to bounce it to her, so that you may get some extra poke in (since direct Q's will result in even trades).
*He's very mobile and hard to kill. Deny his farm and be wary of his stacks on you to avoid getting stunned.
(*)She can't silence anymore! Push the lane hard, and make it difficult for her to farm. She's pretty squishy and easy to kill as long as she doesn't land her E. Try to ignite her early so you know which one is real when her passive clone appears. Worst-case scenario, just don't feed her since she's rather useless when she doesn't get kills.
*Her ult can nullify yours but it has a longer cooldown so take advantage of that. Her W can't stop your ult but can be dangerous, so try to avoid using E on her. Poke down and kill pre-6.
Use mobility to avoid her skillshots and stay close to her during a fight so you can E behind her to avoid her ult. She has no way of stopping your ult so use it without fear (might consider waiting for her shield to be down though).
**Build an early QSS against him so you can break out of his ult. Otherwise, stay away from infected minions and poke him down. His silence is hard to land if you stay mobile. Ult only if his ult and silence are both down. A good tip is to activate QSS during his ult, then activate Barrier and your ult in response, you'll win the damage trade and make him think twice before ulting you again.
He's pretty tanky but he can't stop your ult. Build MP and engage when his shield is low or down. Consider a QSS if his ult is bothersome.
*She has long range poke and can shield herself from your poke. Her ult is the only thing that stops yours. Stay mobile and avoid abilities and you should come out on top.
He has okay poke but is very mana reliant. Plus he has no way of stopping your ult. Shut him down early because he is a late game menace.
Getting a gank or two can really help out early. He has a delayed snare, but it does not stop your ult. His lifesteal is countered by your ult's grievous wounds. May consider Morellonomicon for more heal-reduction. It synchs with Liandry's causing the healing reduction to last even longer. Only downside is that it isn't very efficient due to it's mana regen (you don't need it).
*I get first blood nearly 90% of the time against her. She's very squishy and if she blows her stun, she's done for. Stay mobile to avoid her balls and get an early Zhonya to counter her high-damage ult.
*Build armor for his AD poke. His silence can stop your ult but your ult can hit him and (sort of) reveal his location during his ult (follow the knives). Pretty even lane.
*Rather squishy and you can easily avoid his stun (yellow card) then engage on him while it's on cooldown.
*Save your E for his delayed stun. Engage on him when he blows his stun. Be careful of his ult as it will do a lot of damage to you; consider getting a Banshee's.
*Pretty squishy and easy to kill. Use mobility to dodge his abilities and E behind him once he ults. Only use ult after he blows his knockup.
*(*)He has a delayed stun and his ult can disrupt channeled abilities (your ult), so be careful of both. His laser is easy to dodge since it moves in a straight line.
*He's squishy and very mana reliant. He has a lot of poke so use your mobility to dodge his abilities. His E is the only thing that can stun/stop your ult so go in after he blows it.
*Pretty easy to lane against. Poke him with Q,E,W and pop his shield with a Q before engaging. He is pretty weak until mid/late game so get a big advantage in the meanwhile. Dodge his whirlwinds to prevent him from using his ult. Make sure he doesn't have his whirlwind up when you want to ult and also stay very close to him so that he can't use his wind wall against your ult.
Engage on him when his Living Shadow is down and build an early Zhonya's to counter his ult (QSS also works). If you don't have an item to stop his ult from going off you can use your E to reduce the damage received from it. (Use it 2 secs after he marks you).
*Has decent poke but is mana reliant. Use mobility to dodge his skills and stomp him early. His W can interrupt your ult so use it after he blows it.
(*)Very squishy and easy to kill. Her root does not stop your ult, and her ult usually takes too long to stop yours anyways. Step on her seeds to destroy them and remember to dodge her passive (post-death skillshot) -this is very easy since her death will reset your E allowing you to jump away.
NOTE: * = skill that can interrupt your ult // (*)= skill that can interrupt your ult, but usually will not
Use your mobility to avoid his Q's. Otherwise he is pretty squishy and easy to kill. Just remember to get away from him after he dies because of his passive. Also, ALWAYS use your E right before his ult goes off to receive reduced damage (2 secs after he casts it).
(*) She's a free meal ticket. She's slow and she can only stop your ult with hers, but it takes her a few seconds to proc the stun. If you can bait out her shield it has a long CD and if she ults Flash/E out of it.
(*) His W has a small chance of stopping your ult; although you should really play around it. Use mobility to avoid his poke and damage, and burst his squishy butt. He becomes pretty difficult to kill post-6, so pair up with some hard CC dealers.
Threats & Synergies
Everyone is your prey.
Caution: Contents are highly flammable and toxic. Handle with care.
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The 'Killer Kat' builds are in no way sanctioned for use in ranked games. They are meant to be fun builds and I am not responsible for any griefing/rage quitting they may cause on either end of the field. That being said if played correctly, these builds can help you achieve everlasting glory on the Fields of Justice.
This "Secret Ingredient"
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Hello and welcome to my first ever Recipe for Dzaster feat. Katarina, The Sinister Blade. My name is Qzaster, and I will be your waiter for the evening. I have played Katarina since Season 3 and have had a pretty successful run with her (average 55% win-rate) over the course of nearly a thousand games,achieving Gold in Season 5.I may not be the best player around but I do know my Kat Facts (text *STOP* to unsubscribe)! This guide is geared to a more noob-friendly crowd, favoring aggressive builds and strategies, but can still be utilized by you higher-ELO folks; just remember to take my advice with a pinch of salt! (Getting tired of my CORNy food puns? I've only just begun.)
Remember, if this recipe helps you play Katarina and/or open up your own restaurant, please upvote, subscribe, or donate!
Important Patch Information: Starting on 6.4, Katarina received a buff to her Q, Bouncing Blades; basically each bounce does not lower damage (previously 10% decrease per bounce) and the detonation deals more damage, somewhat making up for the damage nerf on her E (from a previous patch). This means you can actually farm a lot safer/better as well as harass from a safe distance!
Today's recipe calls for 2 cups of AP, 1 Tbsp of Magic Penetration, and a pinch of CDR. With proper timing and execution you'll be more fed than your fat uncle after Thanksgiving dinner, so without further ado.. Let's get cookin'!
+Spammer: She doesn't require mana/energy
+Déjà vu: Her Passive ability resets cooldowns after kill/assist
+ Shinigami: Great escape/gap-closer
+ Spin2Win: Her ult deals TONS of damage to multiple targets
+ Blind Love: Clear fresh wards single-handedly
+ IN-N-OUT: Great tower diving capabilities-and fries!
+The reason why janitors unionized: Amazing clean-up potential
+360-No-Scope: No skillshots
+Ménage à trois: Lots of AoE damage
+MEOW: She's HOT
- Hunter-not Gatherer: Difficult to farm early game
- Up Close & Personal: She's a melee champion
- Diet: She's squishy
- Date-Rape: She's vulnerable to being drugged and raped (CC'd and killed)
- Bukakke: She's vulnerable to gangb*ngs (being focused in teamfights)
My theory for building Katarina is "Offense is the best Defense":
cookie "Secret Ingredient"
While the main focus is to build AP, you're also going to need MP and some survivability (you can't kill if you're dead).
Katarina's kit is very versatile and ranges from single-target assassinations (killing) to taking out entire enemy teams (more killing...ok maybe not so versatile). With the proper build, you will be able to carry out your role as the team's APC/ Assassin and lead your team to victory! You're done with the appetizer, now on to the main course!
- Sorcery: Despite popular belief, Attack Speed will not help you kill your foes faster, grab this one instead.
: As you will quickly learn, offense is the best defense for Katarina.
Kills = Resets, which in turn = escapes. This reasoning voids the drawback to this mastery since securing the kill will also secure your safety. Additionally, since Katarina is melee she gets the better bonus.
: Some AP eventually is better than no AP ever. The AD isn't bad either.
: Helps you get up to 5% increased damage, which works a helluva lot better than
since you have no innate CC in your kit. TIP: Remember to try and score a kill on each member of their team to max out the potential of this mastery!
: Helps you roam and get to lane faster.
: Adds that little *umpf* when your opponents are low.
: The mana refund really helps you replenish ..PSYCH.. Just making sure you were paying attention. Getting some health back every kill helps you continue your chain of kills.
- Precision: I previously had
, but after some deliberation I decided to go with this and
(as I'll explain in the next point).
isn't a bad choice per-say because CDR is always nice but I decided that MP is a more valuable stat for Kat, who already has pretty short cooldowns.
: This mastery actually packs quite a punch. Initially I disregarded it because damage every 30s sounded a lot worse than
's 3s. However, after some testing I discovered that every damaging ability only RESETS the tick for DFT and does not stack. For Katarina, who busts out her combo nearly under a second,this mastery is not used to its full potential as opposed to another champion such as Brand who deals plenty of DoT. Thunderlord's Decree works well with Kat's 3-piece combo and adds a nice bit of damage to her burst. On another note, Thunderlord's Decree scales a lot better than DFT because of the per level dmg. That being said, DFT may be useful with the Tanky/Damage build.
- Recovery : Health regen sure beats increased BONUS armor/MR when you are not going to build much of either.
- Explorer : Gotta go fast! ~Kata~ Gotta go fast! ~Kata~. Sonic fans will get me. This really helps you roam and even escape from some hairy situations.
- Veteran's Scars : More health can help put some meat on your bones.
- Insight : More Ignite and Flash? Yes please.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: Marks give more MP than AP.
- Greater Seal of Health: Flat health seals to counteract your squishiness and keep you from being bursted down early on.
- Greater Glyph of Ability Power: Flat glyphs give a solid amount of AP to start with.
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: You can't get enough AP.
- Seal of Armor: Good choice when facing an AD opponent.
- Glyph of Magic Resist: For those times you're going against match-ups that make you re-think your life choices. I'm looking at you Azir.
- Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction: With the proper masteries ( Sorcery), you can get about 20% CDR by Lv.18 with no items.
- Quintessence of Movement Speed: Helps with chasing,escaping, and dodging.
So now that you've prepared all of your ingredients, you are ready to cook! Here's an example of a typical game with Katarina. Note that each game is unique and will require adjustments made at your personal discretion.*NOTE* This chapter of the recipe pertains mostly to lower tier games around Bronze/Silver ELO. If you're in Gold+ you should be able to differentiate the strats that will/will not work in your tier and adjust accordingly. If you thought the prep time was long, cooking isn't for you .
At Lv.1, you want to keep your distance from the enemy champion and farm with your Q, trying to ensure each one last-hits as well as pokes your opponent. At Lv.2, you will get your E and use it to proc Q marks on your opponent whenever it is safe. This usually means that your opponent is overextended (lower chance of gank) or when there are few to no enemy minions in lane (less aggro during trade. If you feel riskier you can choose to trade when you simply have more minions than opposing ones so if your opponent trades, they'll draw more aggro than you. Continue the farm/poke process until you hit Lv.3, when you'll get your W. At this point you can harass with your full combo, Q-E-W and lower your opponent's health even further. Remember to use a health pot anytime you fall below 1/2 of your max health. If you are doing all of this successfully, your opponent will be near critical health soon; smell that? it's first blood. At this point they will be near/under their own tower for safety, so oblige them by staying near your caster minions and baiting your opponent to get closer. The next part requires some practice and experience to gauge the distance/damage required, but basically you will want to Flash and E onto your opponent, W, Ignite, and Q/AA if necessary to net the kill. In most cases you will be under tower aggro, but you should only take 1 hit if you're fast enough with the kill and ward-jump out of range after resetting your E.
From Lv.4-6, you will continue your poke/farm strategy and try to go for another kill once you hit 6. You should have backed at least once at this point, purchased your first core-path item. If you successfully bought Blasting Wand on your first back, go straight into your Void Staff or possibly Abyssal Mask (only if you really need MR). If you instead got an Amplifying Tome on your first back, now is the time to purchase your next path item. Choose between Seeker's Armguard if you're behind or Aether Wisp if you're ahead. Use any spare gold for wards, as this is the prime-time for ganks.
|Katarina's glass slippers. They're a perfect fit, providing good MP and of course more MS. All you need now is your Prince Charming . And Enchantment: Homeguard.|
|The go-to item for when your opponents stack MR. It's most viable mid to late game when people start building defensive items. I prefer this over Abyssal Mask late game because it provides more 'MP', and at that point in the game 50 MR isn't gonna help much.|
|They should just rename it Katarina's Deathcap. There is no viable build that does not include this godly item. The item performs best after purchasing a few core AP items so that its passive can be maximized.|
|Everyone deserves a second chance, especially Katarina. It gives good hybrid-defense stats and the wind-up time for its active will usually get most of your abilities off CD.|
|Good amount of health, lots of MR, health regen, and most importantly a spell-shield every 40 secs! It does wonders against burst champions since they usually need to land their entire combo to wipe you out.|
|Very situational item used mostly for its active. Works wonders against Malzahar and Zed's ultimates and for heavy CC. The major drawback to this item is that it doesn't build into anything useful for Katarina, so you have to sell it off eventually.|
|An okay amount of health, with a small amount of MP and AP. The item is not very gold efficient, and its passive isn't too great on for your kit. Combine with .|
|A solid amount of health combined with a good amount of AP and negligible passive (reduced version of the slow applies mostly). Best offensive-health option since Rod of Ages is inefficient on Katarina.|
|A somewhat lesser version of Banshee's Veil because it does not provide a spell-shield. However it does provide increased healing effects, which mostly does not apply to Katarina. Combine with .|
Liandry's Torment's passive 'burn damage' is doubled against champions with impaired movement and Rylai's Crystal Scepter slows champions struck by your abilities. This combo is good against tankier teams because you can't burst them down instantly. It provides lots of health for survivability and deals damage based on current health, giving you some DoT as well as kiting power with the slow. This combination gives 700 health, 180 AP, 15 MP, burn damage(12% of current health), and a 20% slow.
The only time you want to consider getting Spirit Visage on Katarina is when you pair it with Will of the Ancients. Put together, the CDR amount doubles and most notably, WotA's spellvamp gets amplified by Spirit Visage. This combo is a good method of sustain. This combination gives 400 health, 80 AP, 20 CDR, 24% spellvamp, 55 MR, and 100% base health regen.
Second back/First Core-Path Item-
At this point the General Build is simple. Finish Sorcerer's Shoes. Buy the Enchantment: Homeguard early if your base is getting shoved into- otherwise get Enchantment: Alacrity if you are ahead. Your first core item should either be Zhonya's Hourglass or Luden's Echo, depending on your first core-path item ( / ). After that, build your Rabadon's Deathcap. Next, finish the core item you did not get earlier ( or ). Finally, top off your build with a Void Staff for late game MP and Guardian Angel for survivability. Don't forget to upgrade your trinket and get your Elixir of Sorcery!
Voracity: Every time a target you dealt damage to within the last 3 seconds dies, it reduces your skills cooldowns by 15 seconds. This means every kill/assist you get automatically resets your Q,W, and E regardless of their rank.
Bouncing Blades: A multi-target spell that marks targets for extra damage. You will want to use this skill to start your combos, farm, and poke.
sinister steel Sinister Steel: A close-range AoE spell that damages and gives a MS boost if you hit an enemy champion. This skill is great for wave-clearing, proc-ing marked targets, and as a harassment tool.
You're going to want to max out Sinister Steel first if you're facing a low-mobility champion, as it is easier to harass them from close range. For the most part, I tend to max W first mainly because your E allows you to close gaps. Assuming you always chain Q and W together, the damage dealt is always the same, regardless of which skill you max first. However, your W has the added bonus of giving a MS buff and having a much lower CD than your Q, allowing you to use it almost twice as much (great thing considering you don't require mana). Therefore, the only times you should max Q are situations where you cannot consistently chain your Q and W together (usually against ranged/poke heavy opponents).
Shunpo: A targeted 'blink' ability that allows you to instantly teleport to a target, dealing a bit of damage to it as well as gaining 15% DR for 1.5s afterwards.
You're going to want to max out Shunpo last since you'll use it for utility, making one point in this skill enough.
Death Lotus: An AoE channeled ability. This skill deals high amounts of damage to the 3 nearest champions. Since it is channeled, it can be easily interrupted in a number of ways- it's your job to prevent this from happening.
You're going to want to max out Death Lotus as soon as you can.
Recommended Summoner Spells
These two will be your primary Summoner Spells. Ignite adds additional Katarina power..KILLING..Killing power. Sorry, the two are practically synonymous . And Flash of course, because it is one of the greatest utility spells in the game. Most importantly, remember D is for DEATH and F is for FLASH. Just like there's a proper way to install your toilet paper roll (over), D for Ignite and F for Flash is just HOW IT SHOULD BE.
Other Viable Summoner Spells
: This Summoner Spell can be useful for certain scenarios. I like to grab it for high burst champions that also have a stun ( Annie, Syndra, etc) because you can still use Summoners while stunned!
: Good for when teamfights break out and you're not present. Tell your team to place a call (
) to 1(800)-KLEAN-UP and port in to take out the trash.
Tips and TricksSpoiler: Click to view
Zed Counter Tip
For Dzert, here are a few helpful notes!
- Your most basic "Kill Combo" is as follows:
Bouncing Blades > Shunpo > sinister steel > Death Lotus > Ignite. The reasoning behind this is that your Q marks the target for extra damage which you then proc with your E, and once you're next to them you can W and use the MS boost to reposition yourself ahead of your target to finish them off with an R. They will take damage for longer if you positioned correctly. You can use ignite to secure the kill if you think they'll make it out of your ult alive.
- During the early game, most mid-laners will place their trinket on one side and will stay closer to that side to prevent ganks. This method does not apply to Katarina as it is more useful to hold on to your trinket for a quick ward-jump if a gank does come. However, this does not replace the need for vision, and you should ward whenever possible.
- One of the advantages of being a mana-less champion is that you start off with 4 Health Potions (600 'extra' hp), whereas your opponent will usually start with a Doran's Ring and 2 Health Potions (360 'extra' hp). This means you can be extra aggressive early on, since you effectively have 'more health' and no mana to worry about.
- Try not to level up your first ability until it is absolutely necessary. This comes in handy when there's a surprise Lv.1 invade or early gank and you need E to escape rather than Q.
- Maximize your lane-time by shopping efficiently. You can leave the spawn fountain with -5g. This means that you are able to start leaving the platform when you are 5 gold short of your purchase, and still be able to buy your item at the last moment, before leaving the 'purchasing range'. For example, if you're waiting to buy an Amplifying Tome, you can command your character to leave the base at 430g, and by the time you reach the required 435g, you will still be in range to make your purchase while still moving. Shopping on the go has never been easier.
- Quick-cast ALL of your abilities, as well as two of your item slots and your trinket. The two item slots will house your stealth/vision ward(s) and any active items you may have. Quick-casting works great on Katarina because it helps cut down the time to cast her abilities and items, which really helps with getting faster ward-jumps and combos. If you're not familiar with her abilities' ranges, activate the "Show Range Indicator" option for Quick-casting.
- If you're losing your lane hard, AP should be your second priority- BUT a priority nonetheless. Many people build full defensive items ( Thornmail, Spirit Visage, etc) and become useless.
- Bonus: Bind your /laugh to a key and spam it in lane every time your opponent misses a skillshot/fails to kill you/dies. This simple tactic can really mess with their psyche and throw them off their game . Plus.. you know, #SWAG.
Thank you for taking the time to read my recipe, I really hope it helps~
If you happened to like my guide go ahead and upvote, subscribe, or donate! If this guide was sub-par and/or offended you, vote accordingly but please leave feedback so I may improve it. As a reminder, everything I put on here is a reflection of my personal experience with this champion and you may or may not agree with it. As such, feel free to PM me with any questions/concerns you may have or leave a comment.
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