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Katarina Build Guide by RItualSummoner

Middle [S4]Katarina: The way she was meant to be played

Middle [S4]Katarina: The way she was meant to be played

Updated on September 24, 2014
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League of Legends Build Guide Author RItualSummoner Build Guide By RItualSummoner 10,552 Views 14 Comments
10,552 Views 14 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author RItualSummoner Katarina Build Guide By RItualSummoner Updated on September 24, 2014
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Hello fellow Summoners! Now you probably looked at this guide because you are pondering playing Katarina or you saw a fed Katarina and it got you curious... Now feel free to just look at items etc. but know if you really wanna be good as her, read further because I will explain in depth what to do if you are losing lane, you got fed, or you want to beat a counter.

There are many reasons to play Katarina. She is an amazing burster who excels in team fights and can wipe out teams in seconds. Also, her ability to recover when she is falling behind is my personal favorite. She can assassinate squishies faster than you can click the "F" or "D" button to Flash away.
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Pros / Cons

Let's get started with the pros and cons of Katarina

+ Heavy burst
+ Good Poke
+ No ability costs!!
+ Good Escape due to trinkets
+ Looks hot
+ Short Cooldowns
+ Excells in team fights
+ Easy to get multi-kills with her passive Voracity
Katarina is a really mobile champion with great potential in team fights and picking people off. Her low cooldowns offer a lot of chances to poke or assassinate your target. Also, it is easy to recover from a mistake with Shunpo due to trinkets. With her passive of Voracity she gets enough cooldowns to do at least 2 Death Lotus in a single teamfight.


- Once you use Shunpo, you have no escape
- Sometimes teammates don't let you Shunpo to them
- Melee
- Get harassed easily in lane
- Relatively squishy
- CC=Death
Although Katarina is a great champion, like all other champions, she has flaws. For example, since she is melee, it is easy to harass her while she attempts to farm. Even though she doesnt seem like it, she is still a squishy mage/assassin and can die to the worst of champions if they have CC. Also, troll teammate might screw you by walking away when you try to Shunpo to them while being chased by a Leona, Fizz, Master Yi, and a Twitch
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Fleet Footwork
Phase Rush
Katarina is an AP assassin with an amazing ability to burst down people so you want to get AP runes to compliment her burst as well as health runes to help her stay alive in her channel ult.
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Summoner Spells

Flash is a great spell when your Shunpo is down or you don't have a target to Shunpo to. It also helps when trying to position yourself in a teamfight for a deadly Death Lotus. I always take this spell on Katarina

Ignite is great for finishing off people at low health to get your cooldowns reset. It's also useful when a top lane Dr. Mundo or Trundle roams mid and you have to 1v1 them for example.

Post 4.5 Patch, Heal is really useful. Whether it is to save your ally, or to buff youself up, it works either way. Heal is great against lane bullies or bursters such as LeBlanc.I have found it is useful to take heal to survive long enough as you can cast it while mid- Death Lotus. Either heal or ignite is useful as I find it personal preferance.

Exhaust is possible but not prefferable due to the fact that Ignite and Heal are better on Kat but you can still take it to get in auto-attacks or if you would be going top against a Jax
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Skill Sequence and Abilities

Katarina has a really unique kit with moves that have great synergy with another. There are many ways to play her but I find going the most beneficial to level up your abilities like so:
Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Katarina's cooldowns lower after a Champion Kill or Assist
Voracity is an amazing ability that works extremely well with Katarina. After a Champion Kill or Assist, her cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds. This is what makes Katarina so amazing in team fights in addition to her AoE damage. This basically refreshes all of her cooldowns and reduces her ult cooldown by 15 seconds. Note that you can shumpo to someone under tower, kill them, and then due to Voracity you can Shunpo right out.

Bouncing Blades
Throw a ranged dagger that bounces from target to target
Bouncing Blades is a ranged ability where Katarina throws a ranged dagger that bounces from target to target. This has an initial damage and a trigger damage. After the blade hits its target, it will leave a mark that lasts for 4 seconds. Upon using a basic attack or other ability on the mark, it will consume and will deal additional damage. This is Katarina's poke while in lane. If you against a major lane bully, it is also how you will farm. You typically use Bouncing Blades as the first ability in a fight due to its trigger damage. It is important to note that the dagger cant go forward and then backward when used on minions or champions

Sinister SteelSinister Steel
AoE damage in a circle which grants movement speed if it hits an enemy champion
Katarina whirls blades around her doing an AoE damage. This will trigger the mark from Bouncing Blades. This also grants movement speed if it hits an enemy champion. If you are being chased by a champion and they are close by(Typically if you are being chased by a melee champion) make sure to spam sinister steel for the movement speed buff.

Teleport behind target and deal damage to it if it is an enemy
Thisis Katarina's escape and displacement move. Due to Season 4 and Warding Trinkets, Shunpois great for ward jumping. It's is also what you normally use to engage into a fight after using Bouncing Blades. Note that you appear behind the target.

Death Lotus
Deal a great amount of AoE damage to up to three champions near you
Katarina's final move Death Lotus is her ultimate and works really well with her passive Voracity. Death Lotus has incredible AP Ratio and full build it does somewhere around 3000 damage to 3 people around you while being on a 40 second cooldown not counting the Voracity bonus from killing your victim. The only weakness is that Death Lotus can be interrupted with cc which will make Katarina EXTREMELY vulnerable to enemies.

Tips and Tricks
My basic combo as Katarina is "QEW" and "R" if it is fitting or Bouncing Blades, Shunpo, sinister steel, and Death Lotus. This combo maximizes the damage you can get and is very easy to execute. Also, make sure to "ward jump" or place a ward over a wall and Shunpo to it. You can Shunpo to minions, wards, champions, and monsters. You don't necessarily always have to go all in as in lane you always want to keep poking the enemy with a ton of Bouncing Blades. You can also Bouncing Blades then Shunpo then use sinister steel's speed buff to run away while doing a hefty amount of damage.
Spoiler: Click to view
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Magic Resistace
Ability Power

Deathfire Grasp is one of the, if not the most important item for Kat in my opinion. It gives you CD, a ridiculous amount of AP, and its active is perfect. By using your active before your combo, it amplifies you damage output tremendously.
Sorcerer's Shoes is a great pair of boots to give Kat movement speed and Magic Penetration. Depending on the situation you could swap it for Mercury Treads.
Void Staff is great for AP and shredding Magic Penetration because they will(I guarentee you) build AP. If they don't build MR, you can swap this for Liandry's Torment
Rabadon's is the Infinity Edge for AP carries.
Rylai's is insane for giving you survivability(Health), a lot of AP, and a slow so they can't run away from you while ulting, etc.
Zhonya's is perfect for the moments where you mess up and need to wait for your Shunpo. Its armor bonus is also great against bruisers, adc's, etc.
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Picking Katarina into the right Champions and learning to play against Lane

When picking Katarina, there are a few things that you want to keep in mind.
1. If you know your laning enemy, does he have easy access to cc?
2. Will you be able to jump on their carries?
3. Who is their jungler?

Katarina has a few champions that will give her a very hard time in lane. Personally, I feel that Malzahar is the hardest champion as he pokes you to death and can interupt your Death Lotus with a simple "q" or "r." He can easily ult you in fights and you will get "wrekt." I find the best way to play around this is to feed off of the bottom lane towards the end of the laning phase. Orianna offers heavy harass in lane against Kat and a fantastic ult to interupt your Death Lotus and change the team fight into the enemy's favor. Annie makes for a slow lane for Kat with her stun which is seemingly ALWAYS up. Lanes such as this you want to make SURE that you are not getting outfarmed. Also, ask your jungler for help! Annie and other champions similar( Fiddlesticks, Syndra, Fizz, Malzahar, Kassadin,and Diana) are all champions who will most likely get too comfortable and overextend.
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Gameplay-Early Game

Early Game
Katarina's early game is quite weak. What you want to do early is just focus on farm and poking down your adversary. If you are against a major lane bully such as LeBlanc it might be wise to farm with your Bouncing Blades. Once you hit six, your power grows significantly. The most important thing to me as a Kat player is to ROAM! If I am having trouble in my lane, or doing so well that I have extra time, bot is your best friend. You can burst that Lucian or Twitch adc in seconds and make a quick double kill thanks to your Deathfire Grasp. Beware, during this you might need your jungler to cover your lane or help your lane push. People always say that "You're letting your lane push. GG free farm for enemy. Report Kat." I love showing them wrong after a quick double I am put ahead of my lane enemy.
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Gameplay-Mid/Late Game

Mid/Late Game
Katarina either goes 30-0 in the mid/late game or has trouble. The teams that make you have trouble are the ones that have a devilish Leona or Malzahar that can focus you and just pretty much end you. Everyone complains that, "Kat takes no skill, nub." While I feel she is easy to play, I feel she is hard to master. For example, you don't want to be a Cardboard 7 who goes in when the Malz ult is up, but rather you want to look at the team and see when they use their cooldowns before they go in. I find the following video a perfect example of what to do. You want to stay in the back, but know when to go in around the middle or end of the teamfight
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Katarina has great synergy with a few champions. My personal favorite is Morgana because of the Black Shield which makes it close to impossible to interrupt your ult. Kayle is also mentionable because she can ult you while you ult and they cant do damage to you. Other great champions are Wukong because of his AoE knockup which makes it easy to Shunpo then Death Lotus onto them for a multikill. Champions that have similar abilities to this such as Malphite or Sona also work well.

Katarina's team fight and counter-assassination(I don't think that's a word xD)counters are everyone listed above that works well with her as they all have hard cc(except Kayle)and cc=death as Katarina. Soraka hurts greatly because of her long silence which leaves you virtually powerless. However note that due to the new Soraka update, her "e" is now similar to a Malzahar Null Zone however it silences everyone on it(duration of approximetly 1.5 seconds) and roots everyone on it after. This hurts Katarina greatly as not only does it leaver her powerless, but also it will root her disabling her Shunpo.
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All in all, I hope you take away great stuff from the guide! I hope you learned how to play Kat as well as other things you can probably take away for similar champions. I hope you enjoyed this guide and please leave an "upvote" if you liked it and if you didn't enjoy it, leave a comment so I can improve my guide. Have fun on the Fields and I hope you go Legendary!
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