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Katarina Build Guide by renzio42

Assassin [S3][AP] Katarina - French Assassin On Rampage

Assassin [S3][AP] Katarina - French Assassin On Rampage

Updated on March 16, 2013
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League of Legends Build Guide Author renzio42 Build Guide By renzio42 15,324 Views 11 Comments
15,324 Views 11 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author renzio42 Katarina Build Guide By renzio42 Updated on March 16, 2013
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Sinister Steel
Hello there and welcome to my first guide. Katarina is a melee assassin, which is what I love to play in every game. She is very fast and can deal tons of damage, but she is somewhat squishy, which is why I tried to make her a bit tankier. I'm always up for any kind of feedback, but if you want to suggest an item to replace Rylai's Crystal Scepter it has to be something that also gives at least 500HP!

// I should say that I'm from germany and my english isn't perfect yet. So if you find some mistakes, It'd be really nice, if you'd post a quick comment about it. Thanks in advance :)
// SPECIAL THANKS: Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which I used to put this together :) here.

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Pros / Cons


+ Skills don't cost anything
+ 3 Multi Target Skills
+ Can assassinate very fast
+ Easy Farming
+ Awesome Passive ( Voracity)

Her cooldowns are pretty short thanks to the passive Voracity and her skills don't need mana nor energy, so she can always go in for making some huge damage. Farming is needed, but easy because of Bouncing Blades and sinister steel.

- CCs are a big weakness
- Ultimate can be broken, while channeling
- Needs a lot of farm before going on rampage
- No healing skills, relies on Health Potion or supporter

Has problems with more than 3 enemies, because Death Lotus only attacks 3 enemie champions. It can be hard to get enough farm, when you died too often in the early game. She doesn't anything to heal herself other than Health Potions.
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My favorite Rune Set

greater mark of hybrid penetration greater mark of hybrid penetration
This rune gives both kinds of penetration. In the early game, the ArmorPen helps, when you need to auto-attack enemies. If the enemie is using Greater Seal of Armor, greater mark of hybrid penetration helps a lot. This rune is also a great choice for beginners, which also want to test out hybrid builds.

Greater Seal of Armor
We are going to be farming a lot with Katarina and sometimes the minions of the enemy will focus you. These runes minimize their damage and also helps against enemie champions in the early game.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
These runes are vital for this build, because we really need the MagicResist. I wouldn't really suggest exchanging these at all.

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Self explaining. This is an AP build and these runes give us some great AP to start off.


You can use the Greater Mark of Magic Penetration runes instead of the greater mark of hybrid penetration if you think you need some more MagicPen and you don't need the ArmorPen. It doesn't make that much of a difference in MagicPen, but for beginners these runes are a lot cheaper as the greater mark of hybrid penetration costs 820IP each instead of 410IP.

Instead of going for Greater Seal of Armor you can also go for more HP with the Greater Seal of Health or Greater Seal of Scaling Health. Personally I'd recommend using the scaling ones, because 9 of them give you 174,96HP at level 18.

Not that much of a prominent choice. It's the scaling version of the Greater Quintessence of Ability Power, which I don't use personally, because I use the Quints as a starting point for my early game. If you think the additional 25,11AP help you more in the late game, you can get the Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power.

Side Notes:

  • You can also go for mixed runes!
  • I personally use runes only for the early game, which is why I don't use any kind of scaling runes. What you do, still is up to you!
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Offense Tree

Summoner's Wrath

Because we are going to use Ignite to secure some of the kills, this gives us more AP, while [[ignite] is on cooldown.


Katarinas cooldowns are actually really short, but this still cuts out 2 seconds of Death Lotuses cooldown!

Blast , Mental Force , Arcane Knowledge and Archmage

These masteries give us some additional AP and Magic Resist.


Some additional damage. Only give it 2 points, it is only used because the we need more points on the Offense Tree to enable the other used masteries.


Some additional damage, which helps against creeps in the late game.


When you are making huge damage on your enemie, got 'em down to under 50% health, you now make even more damage.



//Wrong icon, we are not Garen. Any fix for this?
Some health regeneration is always nice.

Durability , Resistance and Veteran's Scars

These three masteries gives us some additional HP and a little MagicResist.
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Summoner Spells

Ignite is famous for saving kills. As mentioned in the Mastery Section, we also get some AP, while Ignite is on cooldown, which helps farming after harassing the enemie or even killing him/her with Ignite.

Flash can be used to either run away from the enemie or running after him. You can also jump over walls, which helps finding more spots for possible ganks.


Exhaust is a good alternative for Ignite. You can use it to run away from single enemies or slow them, before they start to run.

Teleport is a good alternative for Flash. I sometimes see people teleporting to the enemie nexus and ending the game, while the rest of the team was starting to teleport to the base again to prepare for the final kills.

You can also use Ghost instead of Flash. Ghost boosts your running speed, while Flash instantly teleports you. Choose whatever fits your playing style best.
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Starting items

Amplifying Tome Gives you some basic AP and is one of the subitems of Rylai's Crystal Scepter.

On some maps you get more money to start with. The Blasting Wand also is a subitem of Rylai's Crystal Scepter, but gives you more AP to start off. Alternatively you can also go for Amplifying Tome and Boots.

As Katarina is a non-mana champion, she only needs to go back to base to go shopping. Health Potions help you, to stay on your lane, while you enemie has to back off because of not having any more mana. So in the early (and maybe mid) game, always spend your leftover money on Health Potions

Explaining my endgame build V2

Item Sequence

Rylai's Crystal Scepter 2600
Sorcerer's Shoes 1100
Void Staff 2800
Rabadon's Deathcap 3600
Zhonya's Hourglass 2600
Deathfire Grasp 3100

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
This is a very nice item for Katarina in my opinion. It takes good care of her early game health management. And of course it boosts our beloved AP by 80.

Sorcerer's Shoes
Boosting our skills with 15 more Magic Penetration, it also makes Katarina run faster. If you need her to run even faster (eg. Dominion) you should go for Mobility Boots
As a boots enchantment I go for Enchantment: Furor, because it makes escaping with shupo even more quick, as it gives a little movement speed boots after using a single target spell or hitting basic attack. It's pretty cheap, so you can get it everytime with some leftover money.

Void Staff
So this the only item I changed in this version. People told me my build yet lacked off MagicPen, so I got rid off Hextech Gunblade and replaced it with this item. It gives us more AP and boosts the MagicPen by 35%, which should help better than Hextech Gunblade, which basically is a item for Hybrid Builds.

Rabadon's Deathcap
We still need a lot of AP! 120AP and an additional boost of 25% are taking care of that pretty nicely.

Zhonya's Hourglass
More and more AP, yeah! Also the Active Skill of this item might come in handy. If you are in a big fight and Death Lotus only has about 2 seconds cooldown left, use it and then fire your Death Lotus without getting any damage, while waiting on the cooldown to finish. Another good use of the item would be a close battle: You and your enemie are very low on health. Use Ignite on him, then the active skill of Zhonya's Hourglass. And look at you enemie, you just died!

Deathfire Grasp
I use this as the last item, because it gives us another big boost of AP and reduces the cooldowns a lot. In the late game and all the team fights happening then, you might need to use your ultimate Death Lotus more frequently, so the reduction comes in handy.

Side Notes:

Version 1:

Spoiler: Click to view
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Katarina's Skills


Bouncing Blades

Sinister Steel

Sinister Steel


Death Lotus

Katarina's Skills

This is the passive skill of Katarina. Everytime you kill an enemie or get an assist you can immediatly use your skills again and if your ultimate Death Lotus is on cooldown, the cooldown gets reduced by 15 seconds. This is what makes Katarina so dangerous.

Bouncing Blades
You throw a dagger (a kind of knife, I guess) after the enemie you select with this skill. Now this dagger hits 4 other enemies in a short range. The daggers leave marks, which are consumed by the next normal attack or skill you use on the enemie to make even more damage. It can also be used to hit stuff, which is yet out of range, when there are minions comming from there! If you know the pattern the daggers normaly flies, you can try to guess if there is a not yet visible enemie champion!

Sinister Steel Sinister Steel
This is Katarinas attacking skill. It has a really short cooldown and attacks everything it it's range. Unlike the ultimate Death Lotus this is a real AoE skill. I recommend using Sinister Steel immediatly after Bouncing Blades to make more damage.

This is a real ninja skill. You select an enemie and Katarina jumps at the selected enemie. This can be used to iniate a fight, run after an enemie or repositioning in a team fight. I recommend using this skill before Bouncing Blades, because you would waste the damage marks of Bouncing Blades with Shunpo!

Death Lotus
This is Katarinas ultimate skill. Unlike the other skills, it has a pretty high cooldown. When using the ultimate, Katarina throws 10 daggers at up to 3 enemie champions (which ones are random). The daggers have a specified, not that big, range, so only use the skill if there actually are enemie champions in reach! Crowd control skills like Amumus Curse of the Sad Mummy are a great way to make sure, your enemies don't just run out of reach. The daggers only hit their target in the skills range. When they hit they deal huge damage and gives the enemie a debuff: The health regeneration and effeciency of healing spells are reduced for about 3 seconds.
Also note that this skills needs around 4-6 seconds to be used and can be aborted by enemies hitting you, so have your Flash/ Ghost ready if possible. If you kill 3-4 enemies, the passive Voracity has completly finished the cooldown of Death Lotus.
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Skill Sequence and Skill Usage

My skill sequence is not that hard to understand. We are going for a point of Bouncing Blades first, which we use to give our minions an advantage and maybe catching some last hits, without getting to close to the enemie.
The next point goes to sinister steel. With this skill we can now catch a lot of last hits and maybe begin to make some damage on the enemie champions.
The third point is used on Shunpo, so we can finally start harassing the enemie. Use Shunpo to jump onto the enemie, then fire your Bouncing Blades and make some damage with sinister steel. Now run back, so you can focus on farming again without getting hit by the enemie (if you didn't kill them).
> sinister steel > >
From Level 4 up to 18 everything works fine with the pattern seen at the left. Whenever you can, spend a point on your ultimate Death Lotus. Sinister Steel is making AoE damage, so max it first. Bouncing Blades can be maxed before Shunpo, because Shunpo is only used for its jumping, not for the damage.
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Summary and Beginners Tips

As you see, Katarina might be a One Trick Pony, but she is able to make tons of damage in just 10 seconds. I often see myself killing 3 enemie champions with just one Death Lotus. The thing you got to figure out is when to attack. You don't want to die, so you need to kill all the enemie champions with Death Lotus, or they kill you. Katarina gets focused first really often, so stay behind your team until the enemies have under 50% health.

If you want and do play on the EUW Server, you can add me :) My name is 'renzio42' on there.

Let's Play

I'd really love to embed a youtube video of me in a 3vs3 Botmatch, because that's were I usually make over 14 kills. It could help seeing my tactics more in depth than I can describe in words. But unfortunately LoLReplay doesn't work for Season3 at the moment and I don't want to record live gameplay with fraps, because it might lower my fps too much.

Misc Tips for Beginners

  • In League Of Legends you really have to learn a lot, so don't give up. If the random people on botmatches are mean to you, for not being as good, try to stay polite or ask friends if they wanna start playing LoL with you.
  • You also can do something other than playing: Research on champions that make you trouble as an enemie. Just go to the shop, have a look at their skills, or maybe have a look at a LoL-Wiki or guide here on mobafire. Also research about suppport champions. You need to know, how their support spells look, so you know, which buff you just got.
  • Another thing you have to learn is dodgeing. There are a lot of skills which do massive damage, but can actually be dodged easily: Nidalees Javelin Toss / Takedown, Ashes Enchanted Crystal Arrow or Miss Fortunes Bullet Time. And these are just examples!
  • There's also a lot of timing stuff to figure out, like when to attack a turret and when to stop attacking again, because your minions going down; you really want to avoid getting any damage on you made by turrets. Also you need to learn, when to iniate a fight and when the enemy returns after respawning (watch the TAB-screen!).
  • Also another huge tip I can give to you: Watch LeagueOfLegends Champion Ship. I learned so much from analyzing what the pros do. Also most of the matches are on Youtube! Use it to find out how pros play or to learn about champions, you don't know yet.
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Changelog and ToDo-List

I abandoned playing Katarina for now, as I started playing Jungle and ADC. If I ever get back to playing Katarina mid or top, I'll update this guide for sure :)
  • Sunday, 17.mar.2013 - 4:01AM: Changed the boots enchantment.
  • Saturday, 09.feb.2013 - 3:12PM: I edited the splash art of Katarina for the guide and added that to the Summary and the Introduction. I got around and wrote down some Pros/Cons, but I might change them later again. Started the 'Beginners Tips' section, which will feature good beginners tips, not only for Kata, but also for general LeagueOfLegends. Might also add some guide links there :)
  • Thursday, 07.feb.2013 - 2:58PM: Updates are comming daily at the moment xD
    I added the skill explanations and made the ">" thingies in the skill sequence centered vertically. Also changed the title of the guide!
    • 4:19PM: Miniupdate, I forgot to mention the actual name of the Greater Mark of Magic Penetration in it's description. I changed the cheatsheet itembuild. I made a second one for the boots enchantment. Also added a ToDo-List
  • Wednesday, 06.feb.2013 - 05:53PM: Another update. I redesigned most of the sections, added Side Notes and some new alternatives. I choose to make the mastery section a lot more compact then before. I still want to change the name of the guide, but no good ideas yet :/
  • Tuesday, 05.feb.2013 - 04:16PM: just updated the item section. New items: Void Staff and Enchantment: Distortion
  • Sunday, 03.feb.2013 - 03:48AM: *yawn* finally finished it. Took me about 4 hours. Wow.


  • Champion Match-Ups - How well this build performs against each of the champions. Might take a while to finish :/
  • Alternative Items - Difficult, as I only use the items I mentioned in the 'Items' section. But I'll zap through the mobafire android app sometimes, so I'll maybe find some usefull items.
  • Add more depth - It's better when it's explained better.
  • More...

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