I believe that Katarina has no hard counters in lane, much like Kennen, due to her resourceless nature and two abilities to disengage, as well as her ability to farm from a distance. Replays will be under the champion description if I have one for that champ.
An important thing to keep in mind is laning mentality. I like to call it Darius Syndrome - people are so afraid of him that their automatic reaction is to run away from him, rather than getting in his face and lowering the damage on his Q. If you go into lane being scared of the enemy, your chances of winning decrease dramatically. Have confidence in both your champion and your own skill!
I'll add more matchups when I feel like I know enough about them to actually give good advice.
Difficulty: refers to how hard it is to lane against an enemy champion, not about how hard it is duel/kill them.
Early 1-5 and General Laning
A very, very familiar face. I see her almost every one out of two games. You want to stay back and farm levels 1-2 due to her annoying autoattack range, but after level 3 it becomes interesting. Ahri will either skill all three skills or neglect either her charm or fox fire. Either way, this means that outside her Q she has tiny damage, and you can easily land a QEW combo if her orb is on cooldown. If she tries to retaliate with
simply laugh and run around with your 400+ movespeed or
to dodge it. Try to stand around creeps to bait out her Q so she pushes and leaves herself open for jungler ganks. She has decently high mana costs so if she spams her spells too much she will be forced to play passively and won't be able to outtrade you even if you
onto her face and start autoattacking.
At level six, if you manage to outharass her and have around the same/more health than her and want to go for the kill, you can bait out her charm by dancing around spamlaughing and throwing bouncing blades, or you can be ballsy and directly
to her, walk in a circle around her to dodge her charm, then begin ulting. You are probably not going to kill her because she can just trolldash away, so cancel your ult once she gets out of range with hers so you aren't a sitting duck for counterharass. Her ult cooldown is longer than yours, so try to play aggressive and go on her whenever she wastes her charm. Honestly unless you walk into her skillshots like three times in a row
really has no way to beat you unless you get camped. Late game she will be kiting a lot so unless she gets CC'd by a teammate it's better to get the enemy AD and deal with her later.
Max Q first if she gets ahead. Max W otherwise.
Akali is really, really annoying to face off against as a champ with no CC because you have no way to stop her from just dashing and Q'ing your face off. Her Q outtrades yours and doesn't push the lane, she isn't gimped by mana, she has the trollshroud, she has innate sustain, her mark is way better, AND her autoattacks hurt a lot more than yours. Never get into an extended engagement with her because you will certainly lose, just QEW and gtfo. You can try to harass before she hits six as she has no gap closer, but honestly she will just heal most of it off and bide her time. DO NOT let her proc her Q on you by walking up and autoattacking!
At level six she will just terror you and burst off about a third of your health every time she procs a Q with her ult. Push the lane to her tower with QW, rush a revolver when you get to base and play passively. Though she does beat you in lane, you will do a lot more damage in teamfights so just bide your time and remember to follow her if she chooses to roam. However, if you manage to get ahead for whatever reason (jungler gank, dragon, tower, etc), that is your chance. Ignite her, QEW and start spinning. Her shroud will not protect her from your ult and with the damage reduction on yourself coupled with the healing reduction on ignite you should be able to kill her. Chasing is easy with W.
Big Bird is one of the most powerful mid laners right now, but
can hold her own against her. Her Flash Frost is a very slow moving projectile which makes it very easy to dodge. Anivia is one of the few champions
and spam autoattacks on because without the stun or chill from Flash Frost, Anivia really has no way of deterring
as her Frostbite will hit like a piece of wet tissue without the chill effect. Be sure to bully her as much as possible before she hits 6 because the advantage will turn to her. Remember to be careful of the enemy jungler and her Crystallize wall.
At level six with blue or without Anivia will just push push and push with her ult and Q and chunk off huge bits of your HP with ER combo. Remember that you can
away after she casts Frostbite and thus avoiding the chill from her ult circle. Your pushing power with
+ Sinister Steel is still pretty weak and you will find yourself at turret most of the time trying to grab lasthits while she farms wraiths and wolves. If you manage to egg her, however, she is probably dead because you can just spam W or ult if you somehow egg her without ult. If you can't kill her before she revives, watch out for when she revives (there is a audio and video cue, like a whoooosh) and dodge her flash frost. In teamfights, remember that she has very low mobility and watch for her Flash Frost before jumping onto her with your teammates hopefully helping out.
Max Q if she is FAR ahead, as in capable of 1 shotting you. Max W otherwise.
Her autoattack range is pretty OP and will be very annoying to deal with in the early levels. Her burst harass is fairly easy to spot - she will charge up her stun, then Q to stun you with a follow up W. Most Annies do those two spells in quick succession, meaning sometimes if you can
before the fireball hits you, she will hit nothing with her W. If you find that she is maxing Q first, what you want to do is push as much as you can as her AOE W has low damage. If she is maxing her W first, just last hit normally staying away from the cone range.
At level six she will have access to the legendary Annie burst. If you see her Flash with her stun circle thing up, IMMEDIATELY Shunpo or counterflash because that means 1) she's confident she can solo you or 2) the enemy jungler is waiting to stomp you. If possible remember to use your Shunpo to reduce the damage on her burst. Annie is one of those mid champions that you cannot fight back against due to her Tibbers whacking away at you. If you manage to get the jump on HER when her stun stacks are like at 0-1, she is pretty squishy and has no way to stop your ultimate, and you WILL win a straight up DPS fight.
I honestly don't know why more people don't play Brand. He does the damages in a teamfight, has huge burst and some CC, and he's like a breath of fresh air because you actually have to think about what spells you use in order. That said, laning against Brand is fairly easy due to his delay on his pillar and the slow projectile that is his Sear. What you want to do is stand around in the middle of your creeps and simply
away if he tries to pillar you which will push the lane and make you safer from jungler ganks. Remember that if you want to try to harass with QEW he can easily pull a stun combo and pillar you for more damage than you dealt to him, so try to only harass when one of his skills, preferably his E, is on cooldown. His mana costs are pretty high so eventually you will force him out of lane or leave him unable to retaliate to a
Level six Brand just basically does a little more burst. What makes him really scary is in jungle and Dragon fights where if he can catch two people out alone he is going to put a LOT of pain on them. If you can dodge his Q or even
onto him right over it he will be helpless as you will outdps him.
One of my favorite matchups because it is entirely based on skill. Its a lot of fun if you manage to outplay her and an absolute nightmare if she outplays you. Remember that early level
doesn't do a lot of damage, and if you manage to avoid all her poisons, she really doesn't have a reliable way of hurting you. This is where your insane movespeed gets put to use, because most Cass players have a habit of leading their skillshots a certain way, and when you are over 20 ms faster than what they are used to, it throws them off a bit. Again, never be afraid to
to juke her Noxious Blasts or get away from her if she does manage to land it to avoid her Twin Fang. Remember to mix up your running pattern - sometimes run to the side, diagonally, backwards, even towards her. Even the best players get frustrated when everything is missing and this leads to slip ups that could shift the lane in your favor. Trying to QEW harass could lead to very unfortunate results so only try when her Q is on cooldown and run in zigzags away from her after landing your combo.
Level six Cass is pretty scary to deal with, but there are two ways that you can juke her ultimate that will leave her scratching her head. One way is to
onto her, turn around so that you are facing away from her, and begin your ult. I'm not really a fan of this because she still has her ult so she can easily flash to get into position to ult stun you, and if her jungler decides to come and you try to run she's just gonna make you sl000000w. The second and much more riskier way is to run up to her face chucking
and once she rears back her head to start her ult (there is like a 0.5s delay) you
right OVER it, completely avoiding the damage and the CC. This usually has less to do with godlike reflexes and more to do with prediction skills and a certain amount of ballsiness. In a teamfight she is going to be using this near the start of the fight so she is going to be a sitting duck to your burst. Most Cass players like to rush
. While this does the damages, it also leaves her very, very squishy.
There has been an influx of Cho mids lately, and it is REALLY annoying. Early on he can't keep up with your constant harass, and your movespeed from W makes it really easy to dodge his rupture. Like when playing against a Morde, stand away from your creeps so he can't farm and harass you at the same time with his scream. If you two are about on equal footing, I'd suggest rushing a guise anyway to counter his true damage nuke.
After he has feast stacks it become really hard to actually kill him, but you CAN harass him out of lane with extended fighting. He will silence you, but you can outrun his rupture and keep autoattacking and spamming W with an ult after his cooldowns have been blown (they have long cd) and you will at least out trade him to the point where a jungler gank will spell an easy death for him. He is not going to get a kill on you unless you derp out, but you will also have trouble killing him, so it's pretty much just a farm lane when you try to outroam each other.
Now that she isn't permabanned I've had a chance to face a couple in lane, and honestly it isn't that hard to beat her. I'm sure everyone has their own strategy for dodging her Q, what I do is simply run in the opposite direction that it curves (you run outside the hook shape, not inside). Her Moonfall has a pretty obvious animation you can
away from, her shield damage is close range and possible to outrun with Sinister Steel, and she does have fairly high mana costs in early levels. If you manage to dodge more than 70% of his Q's, you are in great shape to start heavy harass when his mana bar dips below ~30%. It gets a bit harder if she gets a couple kills, in that case I would max Q and just farm with revolver.
After 6, just save
to jump away after she ults you. It pretty much comes down to outplaying honestly, if you dodge enough of her Q's and avoid prolonged fights with her you should win the lane.
LOL. After all the QQ about Eve being OP I still laugh every time I see her picked against me. She has absolutely no way to out trade you when you combo her and run away, you can easily push lane harder than she can, countergank her, and just all around stomp her and make her your bitch. I've had games where Eve literally hides at her wraiths whenever I'm mid and waits for me to push the lane to the tower. If she spams Q early she will run OOM very fast, if she doesn't you can just auto and still win against her.
At level six, you still beat the crap out of her, doing about 70% of her health in a full rotation of her spells while she can only do around 40-50% in the same amount of time. Ping immediately when she leaves your field of vision and push the lane and gank gank gank. You do the exact same thing she does, except better, faster, and stronger, just not invisibly.
This is probably as close to a hardcounter to
as there will ever be. He has sustain, crazy CC, better DPS than you, and is ranged to boot. I personally have been lucky enough to never have played this lane post-rework against a really good Fiddle but I can imagine how much Fiddle would terror me. Your best bet would probably to spam push as much as possible before his fear gets to a higher duration and
out of his drain immediately. Don't try to jump on him, he will absolutely make you pay. He can also get away from ganks no problem with his stupid fear. I would probably just ward the shit out of the enemy jungle and try to convince my jungler to counterjungle and just roam everywhere because Fiddle can't really punish you by pushing.
Level six, Fiddle will do the thing where he hides somewhere in the jungle or river and ult + flash at you. Just ward both the enemy wraith camp and the river and push the heck out of the lane while he wastes time. If he ever uses both his fear and silence and and stands there draining you, don't even bother with Q or W, just immediately Shunpo into his face when the CC duration is over and Ignite + Ult him and follow him when he runs with W.
Gragas is the new FotM lately, and he's probably the mid I've faced off against the most post-rework. I don't know if Katarina inherently just counters Gragas, but you have a high, high chance to outplay him as everything in his kit is skillshot oriented. Level one he will probably take his Body Slam, so what you can actually do is stand near creeps and autoattack him as much as possible, and you will win trades to his damage being cut in half, your Q proc, and your defensive masteries. If he gets barrel at level two, you can just shunpo right over it and continue whacking the crap out of him. If he get his steroid instead, punish him by pushing his lane hard by getting Sinister Steel at level two instead. It is really easy to harass Gragas, take advantage of the time where his barrel is cooldown or he is standing there drinking his beer. It's always hilarious if you can predict their body slams and Shunpo him right before he uses it, making him charge forward hitting nothing and punishing him for being out of position with autoattacks and Sinister Steel.
At level six you do have to be careful of his burst, but honestly you have so much mobility that you can either avoid it completely or simply
away after getting displaced. If possible and SAFE, try to burn his ult with your own before backing, because that will make him more vulnerable to jungler ganks and his ult has a longer cooldown than your.
I feel this replay showcased how to successfully play early-mid game with Kat, but I failed late game and didn't make much of an impact in teamfights.
It kinda depends on the summoner spells he took. If he has exhaust, your going to have a fairly difficult time trying to kill him and he can easily turn a situation around for the kill. If he took ignite or teleport, you are in luck sir because he is very slow and has no way of stopping your ult. Most Karthus players are just content to farm at tower, however, which makes it difficult to try and kill him. If you do jump on him, eventually the movespeed buff from Sinister Steel will outweigh the slow from his wall enough for you to dodge his skittles. If he places his wall behind you and not on top of you, simply l0l and run around him in circles poking with auto's and Sinister Steel, and he will forced to run as his AoE Defile has crazy mana costs.
Karthus "ganks" lanes with his ultimate, so what you can try to do to counter that is keep an eye on your bot and top lanes in case an engagement is going to occur and try to get there ASAP so your teammates don't get too low. This would be one case where I would possibly consider getting
to help roam like a boss.
You actually beat Kassadin post-rework! What you have to remember is to never be dissuaded by his silence - his spells have a decently long cooldown and most players don't level up his W - and follow him after he silences you to retaliate with QEW and auto spam. Don't just trade Q's with him, it's never worth it. The most important thing is to never be intimidated by Kassadin. If you are scared of him, you've already lost the lane because of the terror he invokes by jumping into your face. Early on, just push push push and harass him when you can. Remember that pre-6 he is not that mobile and you can easily chase with Sinister Steel.
Post-6, you can get the jump on HIM by jumping onto his face and spamming W. He will not win an all out brawl with you so what you can force him to do is waste mana by using Riftwalk to get away. If you uses Riftwalk on you and silences you, chase after him and
-Sinister Steel -
to throw after he Riftwalks away. Lategame he will be extremely mobile, it's better to leave him alone and go after his team, though honestly assuming there are no walls, you can chase
and Sinister Steel.
Max either Q or W first, read below.
What's interesting is that you would naturally assume Kennen to hardcounter Katarina with his abundance of stuns, but it is honestly fairly even in laning phase. Both of you can farm forever with revolver sustain, and both of you have spammable pokes. If he chooses to max Q (his shuriken) then abuse your mobility as much as you can and go on him when his W passive is down. If he maxes W (his surge) then I would consider maxing Bouncing Blades first instead to punish him for not being able to trade Q's. Remember that he doesn't instantly stun you, but rather needs three marks to proc it. Also remember that he does have certain moments when his energy bar dips low, and that is your chance to unload pain onto him.
After 6 you will have a pretty hard time killing Kennen unless you get ahead of him. He is vulnerable after he burns his ult in a teamfight as his E and W both have long cooldowns early, so try to come in slightly after he does and proceed to ult unhindered. Lategame will be the problem once he manages to get his hourglass - your best bet will be to hope that the enemy AD carry isn't within his ult zone and jump him instead.
Max Q if falling behind. Max W otherwise.
The thing with LeBlanc is that people are conditioned to run away after she harasses with her QE/QW combo because they are silenced/they are scared of the big damages. You MUST play more aggressively than LeBlanc does to win this lane. Push the lane, QEW her when her Sigil is on cooldown, and you will beat her without a problem. She is much squishier than you are and is limited by mana, meaning that her mana bar will run out before your health potions do. Keep the lane pushed so she is forced to use skills to clear creeps, and simply Shunpo out if she tries to chain you for a jungler gank. Like many other matchups, you never want to trade skills, but instead wait for openings to do more damage to her than she can do to you. Don't be suicidally aggressive though, realize that she can 60%-0% you starting from level 4 assuming her full combo hits.
At 6 she has access to some insane burst, and I would build a ruby crystal or negatron cloak before my revolver to help survive it. Maintain a relatively high level of health and try to keep track of her ult cooldown to see when you can confidently out trade her. In this matchup, you will be the passive player that waits for a mistake like a missed E or wasted W and take advantage with a combo.
There are basically two types of Lux players - the ones that go triple gp10 items and just farm from their tower, or the ones that actively try to burst you down with their strong early game damage from her passive. Fortunately, Katarina beats both these types. Remember that Lux is a slow champion based entirely on skillshots, making juking very easy. If she tries to snare you, simply jump closer to her/right on her and pound on her. If she tries to shield to negate your damage, she will be burning her mana very quickly, and at the time she gets blue, your damage is way stronger than her level one shield. She is a very very squishy champion that is often forced to get mana regen yellows so take advantage with autoattack spam.
Basically spin on her whenever you want after level six, your combo outdamages her. If she chains a full combo on you, remember that she has very long cooldowns so you do have the ability to counterburst her. Never let her get cheap harass on you, you want to play almost suicidally aggressive and limit her mid game presence with her laser as much as possible.
It is fairly easy to harass Morgana, but she is really annoying to kill because of her shield and her sustain. Just remember not to run away from her in a straight line after harassing with QEW, also the skillshot is slow as heck so it is really easy to dodge with 400+ movespeed. You probably won't get to land a kill on Morgana early on unless she really screws up, but she can't do anything to you either. This is a farm lane, if you feel like you can't roam effectively you might as well just get a revolver and farm.
Level six is actually your opening to mess her up. If you get caught by her snare and she comboes you, simply Shunpo out of the tether range. If she opens up with her ultimate, assuming you two have relativley equal health and you're confident that her jungler isn't near, simply
onto her and start spinning and either she will take a ton of damage or be forced to break her tether. If she continues by snaring you and pooling you, remember to toss a
onto her and retaliate with Sinister Steel when you can. The damage reduction and your higher base damage will win this trade for you.
Very much like Cassio in that you can absolutely wreck her or you will get absolutely wrecked. The most annoying ones will bait you into jumping into her with her self shield -> QW combo. Her autoattacks hurt a lot in the early levels so try to only fight her at 5+ when her skill are hopefully on cooldown. Run in unpredictable patterns, use
to try and juke her ball. One thing you can do is
to a creep next to her and use Sinister Steel before backing off, which will slowly whittle down her HP while leaving her unable to retaliate because you are not on top of her for her to use W.
She is really hard to fight post-six because she outdps's you, can easily stop your ultimate, and has a fairly good chase mechanism. Honestly just farm and stay alert for opportunities for free harass.
One of Katarina's easier matchups. Never trade comboes with Ryze, he will outdamage you. What you want to do is for him to waste mana harassing you level 1-3 and wait until level 4+ to QEW after he blows his Q on a creep. Though Ryze has a scary QWQEQ combo, your autoattacks are far better than his and you also have your Sinister Steel on a low cooldown. You can continue fighting him for about 2 more seconds after he uses his combo where all his cooldowns are down and you will have a clear upper hand before retreating. Remember to be careful of his level 1 snare in conjunction with a strong ganker like
. Sometimes I derp out and eat a ton of early harass, try not to step into his range for his to throw cheap Q's at you.
Level six is where you will stomp on Ryze. You will win a straight up DPS fight by throwing your full combo on him, and if he chooses to retaliate he will be exerting his low pre-item mana pool, giving you lane dominance because without mana to combo spells, Ryze is nothing.
Either Q or W
You would expect to be able to beat this guy because he has no CC to stop your ult, but the cold hard truth is that Swain will pretty much outdps you until lategame. His damage amplifications cancels your reduction, his E is ridiculously long range and easy to hit, and his QW combo will get you at least once. I would suggest playing passive in this lane, saving Shunpo for when he uses his lazerbird so you can escape a combo, and just farming while doing some poke with Q. This is one matchup where I would consider maxing Q first because burst is much more important for dealing with Swain than DPS. Contrary to popular belief, you want to get damage over a revolver in this lane.
At level 6 you will outdamage him considering the healing reduction on Ignite and your ultimate, but he will probably be at a higher health percentage than you anyway. Assuming the lane is relatively equal, I would recommend rushing a DFG to just try and destroy him as soon as he comes into lane. This matchup is very snowbally, either he will kill you 10 times or you will kill him 10 times, it all comes down to skill and understanding how much pain either champion can take and dish out. If you are losing, rush Abyssal and try to farm as best you can and hope that your jungler knows where mid is.
This guy will just spam gold cards at your face all day from level one and stay back and farm with his crazy range Wild Cards. One thing you can do is lead him into your playing style - what I mean is backing off every time he pulls his gold card so you engrave in his head that you aren't going to take the risk, which will lead to him using blue or red instead to push the lane. This is your chance to jump him, because without his stun, he has no way of stopping you from just beating on his face with QEW autoattacks. You will miss last hits but that is ok - your midgame potential is so much higher than TF's.
Level six always try to ward one side of the river so if he goes MIA you know which lane he will be porting to and follow him immediately. Even though Katarina is not the best of gankers, she is one of the best countergankers as she can easily go in when everyone has blown their CD's and clean up. I would consider getting mobility boots to follow him so you make it there in time. When he isn't ganking, you can absolutely dominate him as you outdamage him and punish him with ult whenever he picks the wrong card.
Vlad is pretty easy to deal with, he's going to be fairly annoying at level one but after that you easily outdamage him due to his long cooldowns. He has no CC so you can afford to play aggro in lane without much fear. Wait for him to blow Q on creeps and then QEW autospam him, possibly getting a second W off before backing off. If you ever choose to all-in go for the kill, remember to use Ignite first so he can't heal with his pool or transfusion. Just remember DO NOT eat free Q harass. Get a revolver for this matchup, he will eventually be too hard to push out of lane.
After 6 you can just jump straight to him and ult, he will usually not pool immediately and will take a chunk of damage which lets you zone him out very easily. If you are afflicted with his debuff and you know you can't survive, just try to deal as much damage as possible, a level up might save you.
His skillshots will be very strange to understand and dodge at first, but over time you will get used to them. He is quite strong early due to his passive autoattack damage, but falls off past like level 3. His satchel and minefield are both on pretty long cooldowns, meaning you have almost free reign to harass him whenever either is down. Honestly he doesn't do that much damage in lane or teamfights, and you should have supremacy over him at almost every stage of the game.
At level 6 you can basically just Shunpo out of his ult or use you movespeed boost from W to run away to the outer zone.
I never understood the Zyra QQ. She has two easily avoided skillshots and a passive that doesn't help for skirmishes at all. Yes, her ult is good, but so is Tibbers, Cass stun, etc etc. Basically the only annoying thing in this matchup is her plants that terrorize melee laners such as yourself. When she tries to root + Q you simply Shunpo to either a creep near her or onto Zyra herself and proceed to smack the shit out of her because she has nothing to retaliate with. Don't get cheeky and step on her plants though, because if she does manage to snare you, you will be in a world of hurt. With 400+ movespeed and Shunpo, the only harass you should be taking is plant shots and her autos.
Post six, remember that her ult knocks up people only after
two seconds - the same duration as your ult. That means that she cant actually stop you from spinning on her face. Go in for the kill anytime you feel comfortable with because she is very squishy and can't out damage or stop you.