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Hey there guys, I'm Xvs. After writing my Evelynn guide and seeing that it was pretty successful, I figured I'd write a guide for Katarina to go with my Youtube video (www.Youtube.com/Xvslol). If you're wondering who I am, S2 I was 2200 in Solo Queue and acquired Diamond in every bracket. I main AP Mid and will be releasing several guides for various ap mid champs, I enjoy playing roamers for the most part but will upload and release guides for any other champion that I play a lot and am successful with.
Anyways, before we get to the guide, if you could please take a few seconds to subscribe to my Youtube Channel @ www.Youtube.com/Xvslol, that'd be amazing! I'm trying to get big and almost have 3000 subscribers. Now, on to the guide itself!
Pros & ConsHere are the pros and cons of Katarina.
1. [+] High Mobility
2. [+] Extremely High Damage
3. [+] Extremely to farm with
4. [+] Great at Ganking
5. [+] Amazing at escaping
1. [-] Vulnerable to stuns
2. [-] Falls off if you don't snowball
1. When you get the movement speed runes on Katarina and combine them with you Shunpo, you'll be able to roam so well and control the game by cleaning up fights or even forcing them. Do not hesitate when you're thinking about ganking, go for it! Hesitation will make you miss out on great opportunities.
2. Your Q & W deal insane damage, engage on to the enemy with your Q them shunpo and use your W, the enemy will deal reduced damage due to your Shunpo and you'll be dealing massive amounts of damage. If you have your ultimate, make sure that you wait for the enemy to use his stuns/spells that can stop your ultimate.
3. All you have to do in lane is use your Q on the minions and W them then (depending on your level) you finish them off OR you can go to the enemy wraith camp or your wraith camp and farm those too. Make sure you ALWAYS look for opportunities to gank!
4. You can clean up ganks or just force ganks so well by catching the enemy off guard with your ganks. I enjoy ganking through tri-bush and coming up from behind (generally bot lane), then using all my spells on them (keep shunpo) and when they've used their escapes (Flash) then I shunpo and clean up, it works so well!
5. Make sure you always have a ward in your inventory or you have really good ward placement, you can shunpo on to your wards and get away very easily in so many situations! It acts like the Lee Sin "W" spell in some way.
1. You really have to be careful when it comes down to using your ult, make sure that you're in a position where you can't be stunned or force the enemy team to stun you before using it. A full ultimate does massive amounts of damage so you really need to save it & use it when enemy stuns are on cooldown or not in range.
2. It's very difficult not to snowball with Katarina (you don't even have to gank, you can have 100 cs by 11 minutes pretty easily and you'll be set) but in the case that it does happen, it'll be hard to recover if you're not able to KS in team fights. You'll end up being a tank for the most part.
The masteries for Katarina really depend on your play style, I used to play more a defensive style Katarina but with the nerfs and addition of new masteries, this is what I'll be using. If you decide to use the item build I'm using, you already have a lot of defensive stuff so getting a lot of points in defence will just up end being overkill.
Season 3 Patch Masteries!
Season 3 Patch Masteries!
RunesKatarina used to be really good with more of a tanky rune set and build, focused on straight Magic Penetration, but that build isn't as viable anymore, so I've decided to switch it up to more of a normal ap carry rune page. It'll give you very nice damage & some great survivability in lane with the health and resists you've racked up. You'll also do great with the extra AP & Magic Penetration.
Pretty straight forward, there really aren't any other options when it comes down to summoner spells with Katarina. Flash and Ignite are everything you need, you'll be able to get out of sticky situations with your flash and you'll be able to finish off people with barely any hp left with your ignite.
Make sure that you don't go too aggressive when your flash is down, I've found myself dying at the enemy wraith camp because they knew I was there and I didn't have my flash to get me out of that situation.
Heal can be good if you enjoy baiting, it's really up to you and your play style. I'd stick to ignite but heal is interesting and isn't used very often, so you can easily bait people who don't have much awareness and forget that you have a heal.
Once again, it can be good, but it's very situational, if the enemy team is really high on Crowd Control, you can take this. I've never seen it done but anything is possible.
Scoring a kill or assist will reduce the cooldowns of Katarina's abilities by 15 seconds.
This passive is just plain overpowered, upon killing a champion or getting an assist, all of your spells' (except your ultimate) cooldowns are reset. A full rotation of your spells generally gets someone down to approximately 40-50% hp, that means if you do your combo twice that person should be dead and you can move on to the next closest opponent (who should already be at 50% due to the ridiculous amount of AoE damage you do) and you can kill him too, rinse and repeat.
Q: Bouncing Blade
Active: Katarina throws a dagger that bounces quickly from enemy to enemy, damaging and marking them. Each subsequent hit deals 10% less damage. Bouncing Blades hits a total of 5 unique targets (4 bounces), each striking the closest next target. Striking a marked target with an ability or basic attack will consume the mark to deal additional damage.
Cooldown: 10/9.5/9/8.5/8 seconds
Magic Damage: 60/90/120/150/180 (+0.45 per ability power)
On-hit magic damage: 15/30/45/60/75 (+0.15 per ability power)
If you're in lane, you generally want to use it to last or to poke the enemy. It applies a mark on to the target and when you attack the target with the mark on it, you'll deal increased damage, so try and follow up with an auto-attack or something after you've sent out your bouncing blade, you'll deal much more damage. Try and get bounces off to nearby enemies too, all the damage you do adds up!
W: Sinister Steel
Active: Katarina damages all enemies in range. If she damages an enemy champion, she gains movement speed for 1 second.
Cooldown: 8 seconds
Magic Damage: 40/75/110/145/180 (+0.25 per ability power)(+0.60 per attack damage)
Movement speed: 12/20/28/36/44 %
This spell is just amazing, it's a phenomenal wave clearer, it does massive damage, it hits everyone around you. Max this spell as soon as possible and use it after you've sent out your Bouncing Blade for tons of damage. You should be clearing waves extremely quickly after you have this spell & your CS should be really high. With Magic Penetration and your Bouncing Blade, you'll be melting your enemies with this spell.
Active: Katarina teleports to target unit and gains 15% damage reduction for 3 seconds. If the target is an enemy, the target takes damage.
Cooldown: 12/10.5/9/7.5/6 seconds
Magic Damage: 60/85/110/135/160 (+0.40 per ability power)
Such a great spell, you can make offensive plays with it, you can disengage really well, and you deal damage too. This is really useful if you're good at juking too. If you're really experienced and know what people do, you can shunpo stuff like Sona Ults or Lux Binds and this can save you, get you kills and essentially make you look like a god. Make sure you have a ward in your inventory at all times, you can place it and shunpo on to it & do some sick escapes!
R: Death Lotus
Active: Katarina throws up to 30 daggers at the closest 3 enemy champions within range during the 2 second channel, damaging them and applying Grievous Wounds. Grievous wound reduces incoming healing by 50%.
Death Lotus can hit a single enemy champion no more than 10 times.
Radius of AoE: 550
Cooldown: 60/55/50 seconds
Magic Damage Per Dagger: 40/50/60/(+0.30 per bonus attack damage)/ (+0.175 per ability power)
Maximum Magic Damage to the Same Target: 400/500/600/(+3 per bonus attack damage)/ (+1.75 per ability power)
Death Lotus is phenomenal in most cases, if you're able to channel the entire thing, anyone in your AoE should be dropped to 30% (depending on your items of course). It's pretty hard to get the entire ultimate off so you're going to have to watch your opponents and make sure that they've used most of their cooldowns before jumping in and using your ultimate. Most people tend to just stun you whenever they see that you're in the middle of the fight, regardless if you're ulting or not. Just jump in and disengage when you're getting stunned then go back in with your ultimate to finish people off, you should have a pretty easy time cleaning everything up.
Skill OrderAs Katarina, you have two choices, if you're playing against a very difficult lane and you're getting zoned, it may be a good idea to max your Bouncing Blades (Q) so you can farm easier and poke down the enemy from a distance. I haven't really ran in to this problem and have always maxed W but maxing Q is a viable alternative.
99% of the time I'll be maxing my W, the damage output is ridiculous and you can clear waves/jungle camps extremely easily. The cooldown is really low too and if you combine this with your Q & E you can harass the enemy laner down really well. It's a good idea to start with your Q at level 1 because of the mark it applies, it should help you last hit. I tend to get W at level 2 so I can start clearing waves easily and Shunpo at level 3, then I move on to maxing my W for maximum damage and clear potential.
Summary of the Skill Order
Level 1 : Bouncing Blade
Level 2 : Sinister Steel
Level 3 : Shunpo
Level 4 : Sinister Steel
Level 5 : Sinister Steel
Level 6 : Death Lotus
Level 7 : Sinister Steel
Level 8 : Bouncing Blade
Level 9 : Sinister Steel
Level 10 : Bouncing Blade
Level 11 : Death Lotus
Level 12 : Bouncing Blade
Level 13 : Bouncing Blade
Level 14 : Shunpo
Level 15 : Shunpo
Level 16 : Death Lotus
Level 17 : Shunpo
Level 18 : Shunpo
Item BuildsThere are many different builds you can go for, it really depends on what kind of a lane you're playing against.
When you enter the game, buy and run to the jungle to help your jungler with some damage on creeps and a nice leash. Once you're in your lane, just farm up with your spells and try to avoid as much damage as possible.
I tend to recall when I'm low on hitpoints or have enough gold for . Once you have that item, you're going to work on your and your . When you have you should really be looking at the minimap and taking advantage of every situation where there might be a gank or a fight going on. You'll have lots of mobility so you can get there quickly and clean up/fight.
After you have those core items, you should go for an just so you can keep wrecking people and reducing their Magic Resist. You should then get a and complete my build with a .
Why pick these items Xvs?
Penetrate the enemy's magic resistance and get lots of speed from these boots. It good to get these really early so you can have good presence in the map and you can keep killing your lane.
& Amazing tankyness, damage over time & spell penetration. Great item overall.
Once again, another item that is really good and will just help you burst done people in general, you can't overlook this item, it's too good! Build it every game!
Such a great item, Magic Penetration, you'll deal big damage early on. You'll be ahead in your lane because of the attributes that this items gives you.
You're always in melee range of your opponents, why wouldn't you build this item? It gives you a great amount of ability power & reduces their magic resist! It's great for your team & great for you!
Even with the nerfs, this item is still viable, although I do not advise rushing it, it's really useful for 1-shotting the enemy team's carry champions & getting early resets off. Definitely viable!
A second life is always great, after bursting down 3 of the enemy team's players you might go down, so get this and make sure you get the last 2 players when you've revived! Lets also not forget about the extra magic resistance and armor you get from this item. You'll end up being a deadly tank with the Guardian Angel.
These are both really good elixirs to buy, they're situational (buy them before going for objectives or before making plays). The Fortitude potion is good because it'll increase your auto-attack and damage and just give you more hitpoints. The Brilliance exilir is self-explanatory, you get Cooldown Reduction (amazing for Katarina) and ability power, great item in general!
Early GameYour early is pretty strong once you've gotten your three main abilities (Bouncing Blade, Sinister Steel & Shunpo) because you can harass your lane opponent down really easily and farm your minions efficiently. Try and get an early ward on their wraith camp so you can have an idea of where their jungler is & if you're safe to get their wraith camp. Do not overlook jungle creeps, they're EASY extra gold! You clear waves so easily and quickly that you'll have a lot of time where you'll just be sitting around not doing much, kill the jungle creeps if your jungler isn't around and let the snowballing begin!
You should always be playing aggressive once you hit level 3, as you'll have your shunpo to get away from sticky situations and you'll have your flash too, just in case something goes wrong. Other then that there really isn't that much to say about the early game, just keep an open mind and don't be scared to gank and invade the enemy jungler, as you can catch him with low hitpoints and potentially get yourself some really nice buffs from that.
Mid GameKatarina shines in the mid game part of the match. You really need to take advantage of this part of the game, as it will probably determine if you'll be doing good late game or not. Keep farming & make sure that you're not missing cs, also get all the camps you can, when your jungler isn't around of course.
Keep a ward up on wraith camp and gank over and over where ever there is potential. Believe it or not, mid game you should be pretty darn tanky, you'll be able to dive pretty much any lane they'll panic when you're under tower ulting them to death. Seeing you're really good mid game, try and capitalize on that factor and control dragon. Dragon fights are amazing for you seeing you're in a small area and you'll be destroying the enemy with all your area of effect spells (Q, W & R)
Just keep farming your lane whenever you can and try to have as much presence as possible, you should be ganking as much as your jungler is at this point of the game.
Late GameKatarina's late game isn't amazing, but it's still good. You still deal amazing damage and can focus carries down insanely easily. The problem is you're going to be getting focused down & stunlocked a lot seeing you're the biggest terror ever. Your positioning is really what will decide how good of a Katarina you are. You need to think a lot and react quickly in this part of the game. One mistake and it could be over for you and your team.
Wait for your team to engage before doing anything at this point, you can harass with your Q but you won't be doing much damage unless you can get a W off, which obviously requires you to be in melee range of the enemy champions. There's no reason for you to be in the front line of your team so as I said, wait for an engagement then shunpo in once most big cooldowns from the enemy team have been used. Once you've shunpo'd in, blow your Q and your W, Ultimate, etc. You'll be getting resets from everyone dying due to your AoE damage. If no one is dying you can just focus down their ad carry or anyone who's near with your Deathfire Grasp.
You'll be able to clean up really easily too, just focus on catching people out of position or be a terror and go all out once cooldowns have been blown.
Team FightsAs Katarina, you need to be swift, in and out. You need to focus down the squishiest champions first so you can get early resets and then you'll be able to finish off what's left. Your damage will be AoE and everyone around you should die. In team fights, as I've said before, you need to be extremely patient and chose your time to go in. I've already explained most of the tricks of team fighting with Katarina in previous chapters but I'll go over it again just so you can get a general understanding.
Wait until the enemy team has used most cooldowns (stuns) or try to bait them by rushing in. Once they've used them, go all out and use your ultimate. Also try and get damage on everyone so you get assists and you're able to get resets on all of your spells, even if you're not doing much work on other people and just focusing someone down.
You should be going for supports, ap carries & ad carries, generally in that order but it really depends on the positioning of the enemy champions. It important to go for squishy champions first because you'll be getting the reset off of them.
3. Pushing & Defending
Katarina isn't a very good pusher, but you have amazing wave clear so you can easily defend and hold towers while your team is doing other stuff or pushing other stuff. Make sure that you're always aware of what's going on in the game so you can adapt & move to certain positions to hold points (towers)
As Katarina it's extremely difficult to steal big objectives such as Dragon or Baron, you can be a huge threat to the enemy team, they'll be so concentrated on doing Baron or the objective that you'll be able to jump and drop all your spells including your ultimate to melt down people.
Lane Match-UpsIn this chapter, we'll be discussing lane match-ups. I'll explain certain match-ups, how to play them & what you should do against certain champions. I'll also give you some insight on what does well against Katarina and who Katarina does well against.
Difficulty Level : Hard
Mordekaiser is extremely hard to beat as Katarina, he'll just shield all of your damage & there really isn't much you can do to win against him. I'd recommend just farming at your tower while trying to get wraiths. Make sure that you have your wraith camp warded so he can't just run up and take them every single time they're up. Just make sure you look for the gank opportunities because they're probably your only chance at getting a lead on Mordekaiser.
Diana will be a pain for you after level 6 as she'll become really strong and your ultimate won't be very useful against her seeing she can just interrupt it with her E. You should win early game so try and take advantage of it as much as possible, try to kill whenever you can while denying her farm & taking her wraith camp. It's still possible for you to win this match-up if you really know what you're doing. You also have much more ganking potential so that'll help you if you're good at watching the map and taking advantage of ganks.
Fiddle is pretty difficult, if you're not able to combo him down really quickly, you're going to be in big trouble. You don't have anything to interrupt his drain so it's just going to be hard for you. You should be able to outfarm him by a lot though, keep him pushed to his tower so he'll have trouble farming and you'll be able to snowball. Don't try fighting him early though, you need to wait 'till later if you're actually going to try to kill him. Also wait for the jungler to help you, overall difficult matchup but it's possible to win.
You're probably going to end up getting zoned if you're playing against Annie. Try to keep minions at your tower if you can and just turtle it out, you'll probably end up winning later in the game. There's no point in trying to fight her in the earlier levels, even mid game. She'll just stun you whenever you attempt to make a play. Reaaaaally annoying matchup! Farm your jungle and farm at your tower, your goal is to not die in this lane.
Cho'Gath... I'd recommend getting a lane switch if you find yourself against a Cho'Gath. You might do well early levels but if you don't get any support from your jungler, you're probably not going to end up winning the lane. If you're forced to play against him just farm at tower & farm wraiths, it's your only hope. He'll just regenerate his hp from his passive so it'll be difficult to actually kill him.
Difficulty Level : Medium
Kassadin is an okay matchup, he can't really kill you and there's no way you'll kill him. Just farm against him and build an early negatron cloak. You can push the crap out of your lane and it'll be difficult for him to get CS. Make sure you follow him around when he goes to gank, as you'll be able to clean up and get easy kills doing so.
Gragas is somewhat difficult to go up against, it really depends what kind of a player you're going up against, take advantage of the early levels & get lots of harass out on to him. Obviously try and get as much CS as you can (really not difficult against Gragas) You should be able to shunpo away from his barrels too. This is more of a skill based matchup, the more you play it, the easier it'll get!
You can't really kill him and he can't really kill you either, his level 6 might become scary so watch out for that, nonetheless you should be outfarming him or atleast be equal to him. You can gank much more than he can too so take advantage of his low mobility!
Difficulty Level : Easy
Harass him over and over, you'll be outfarming & killing him so easily. Really really easy matchup, he has no ganking potential and you should just murder him in the lane. Just focus him late game for free resets too!
Ryze is pretty easy, he can't interrupt your ultimate so you can just combo him down & deny his experience and farm over and over. Really easy lane, you can just gank & do whatever you want in this matchup, just make sure you don't let him catch up!
Final CommentsHopefully you guys enjoyed this guide on Katarina, it's my second guide & I put lots of work in to it! If you have a few moments, please take a second to go to my Youtube Channel www.Youtube.com/Xvslol and subscribe please! I'd really appreciate it! :D
Anyways, thanks for reading my guide guys! Please leave feedback and constructive criticism and I'll do whatever I can to improve! Don't be shy, leave comments and I'll answer them!