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Katarina Build Guide by xIchi

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League of Legends Build Guide Author xIchi

Tankarina - Kittys don't need 9 lives

xIchi Last updated on October 11, 2012
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Middle Lane
Ranked #7 in
Middle Lane
Win 53%
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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: 9

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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First off: I won't be making a beautiful structured guide with many pictures and flashy BB-Codes. I just want to show you the way of Tankarina.

Hi everyone, this is my Tankarina guide. I used to play pre-prenerfed Tankarina all the time.
But after the nerfs on the ultimate (reducing hitable targets to 3) it has become rather weak.

Now Riot remaked her. Her early becomes even weaker but her base damage is still strong. This build gives her the needed tankyness and survability to cover that weak early game. Into the midgame you will become unbelievable tanky and your sustain damage in fights will be insane. You cannot be shut down easily anymore as you will be hopping in the fight and dealing sustained damage while not beeing killed as fast as other AP Mids.

Katarina as a tank is completely different to play as the squishy counterpart the Nuke Katarina. She can do as she pleases just like Mundo and still dish out tons of damage, even without Trinity Force

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Pro / Cons


+ Wins against most Melees on mid
+ Can still be the counterpick to what she used to be
+ Great farmer
+ Despite beeing tanky, still deals hard damage
+ Very mobile


- Crowd Control is still annoying for her
- Tankarina tends to overdo it sometimes and then die to the lack of actual burst damage
- Very item dependant, you cannot tank without tankitems
- Seems rather unusual and can lead your team to blame loses on you
- Is underestimated, thus peopel will attack you, which can destroy the tankyness part. No one focuses a tank, thats why tanks survive long.

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With these you have the minimum of magic damage amplifiers needed to dish out damage while going for tank items.

The Vigor Masteries will workt together with your Regrowth Pendant, giving you insane sustain on lane. It is like you are having a Health Potion on 24/7.

For more additional damage you can get 21-9-0. Katarina will deal a lot more damage and you are still tanky. Buying tank items supports the usage of offensive masteries aswell.

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For Runes I took the maximum of Magic Penentration and HP Regeneration per level, which will be noticeable through the whole game. Force of Nature, Warmog's Armor plus the HP Regeneration Runes let you regenerate huge amounts of Health Points just by not getting hit for a while. This can become handy in situations where you are not allowed to get back or you are beeing chased and need HP as fast as possible.

If you are aiming for Sorcerer's Shoes you will have 55 flat Magicpenetration, this leaves you with enough penetration to deal damage while beeing tanked.

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Summoner Spells

I took Flash and Ignite but you can adjust them to your likings.
Ghost is a Summoner Spell I always liked, but the Meta just made it a litle bit less usefull.
Teleport is an option as well. If you are going for Splitpushcomps or are more comfortable with extra mobility.

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Ability Explanation

Voracity is the most important Skill for the normal AP Katarina, for us it is good aswell but not that important anymore. The fact that it resets our cooldowns just raises our sustained damage.

Bouncing Blades is what we max first. You do everything with this skill. You kill with it, you farm with it, you poke with it, you scare them with it, you use it for fun, you use it to use it, you use it to be cool, you use it to piss of allys, you use it to piss off enemies...

Sinister Steel was remaked with the new Katarina. It has a nice amount of damage and you can easily trigger Bouncing Blades with it. Against Melees you can run up to them and harrass without beeing hit. Even against Ranged enemies this works. Just run up to them use Sinister Steel and run away with the extra gain on movement speed.

Shunpo is what makes Katarina. You gain Damage Reduction when using it, which is especially good for Tankarina. It is a gap claser which can be used as an escape. But only on targets so make sure you have at least one Sight Ward with you.

Death Lotus was one of Katarina's strong and weak parts everytime. It deals an huge amount of damage over 3 secondes (it was shorten) and can be stopped by every kind of cc that moves, stuns or silences you. As Tankarina you do not need to hesitate using Shunpo and Death Lotus.

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Ability Sequence Order

The Order is R>Q>W>E. You can change that anytime. If you find yourself using Sinister Steel more often and more efficiently, do not hesitate to max it out first.

Skilling Shunpo does not higher the percentage of damage reduced, but reduces the cooldown by 50%. So you will have 6 seconds cooldown instead of 12.

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I'll list the Item sequence shown in the cheat sheet again:
1. Regrowth Pendant + Health Potion
2. Boots of Speed
2.1 Upgrade to Boots of Choice
3. Force of Nature // Haunting Guise
4. What you did not get at 3.
5. Warmog's Armor // Sunfire Cape
6. What you did not get at 6.
7. Rylai's Crystal Scepter
So that is what you would do if everything is going fine and you can pull it off. But you can buy the alternative Items aswell. Tankarina is not fixed on only this build, it is situational.

At first it sounds impossible to get Force of Nature that fast, but indeed it is really easy. Sunfire Cape and Warmog's Armor are your Midgame items, you can afford them and stacking Warmog's Armor is really easy with Katarina.

You won't be going for actual AP-Items that do not give you any tankyness, that means:
Alternative Items:
Abyssal Mask - AP and Magicresistance
Randuin's Omen - HP, Armor, Slow on getting hit, active slow, lifereg!
Moonflair Spellblade - Well, it is an alternative item, but I would suggest not buying it, because Mercury's Treads
Atma's Impaler - Since you are stacking HP and 3 of your skills scale with AD, this is an option aswell.
Zhonya's Hourglass - Self explanatory

Boot Choices: I will list all the boots aviable ingame and say why you should buy them and why not, Tier 2 that is.

Berserker's Greaves - Attackspeed. Oh well not really what we are looking for...
Sorcerer's Shoes - The ones I prefer the most. It amplifies your damage greatly.
Mercury's Treads - My second choice. Tenacity and Magic Resistance. That is what we need as AP Tanks.
Boots of Mobility - If you need to roam hard because your enemy mid is some boring farmer, you can get these
Boots of Swiftness - Well these boots actually need some extra to be worth buying...
Ionian Boots of Lucidity - This are boots you can consider. But you already have your passive Voracity, no need for these.

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In teamfights Katarina is usually one of the first targets to get CCed or nuked.

As Tankarina you can survive that first wave of damage easily and jump in after the first few CCs.

But do not be too reckless and jump in without any followup from your teammates, your damage is average compared to the real AP Katarina, but you can stay way longer in there and do auto-attacks or deal dmg with Sunfire Cape.

That makes you and the low cooldowns on Bouncing Blades and Sinister Steel a real sustain damagedealer.

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Katarina is a champ that is fun to play and has a really fast gameplay. As AP Katarina you wil find yourself with an insane amount of raw damage but also very squishy and easy to shut down.

I made this Tank Katarina to keep up the fast gameplay while making her weak early easier and her teamfighting more reliable.

For sure, many of you will still think of this as a trollbuild and prefer the normal AP Katarina. I will admit that she may be more usefull, but at least try this out and do not instantly go on ****** mode when using this build, just to show me how hard it sucks.

I did not include comment to rate, because I believe that some of the Mmobafire community are mature enough to rate this one objectively.

Now have fun tanking with Katarina
- xIchi

Some games:This was against Zyra, she had 2-5 at the end of the game. My farm was not that good tho (147 at 20:15 when they surrendered)