Katarina Build Guide

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AP Katarina

written by Nakali

Katarina Build

Table of Contents

  • Abilities

    One of my favorite passives. Being in a team fight pretty much enables you to spam your skills as long as you're on the winning side thanks to this. That, and the bonus gold is wonderful.

    Bouncing Blade
    Your main harassing skill and last hitting device during the lane phase.

    [spell=Killer Instincts]
    Really good synergy with your other skills. Nothing really more to say.

    Your gap closer, as well as escape mechanism. Deals pretty decent damage as well.

    Death Lotus
    Your ultimate. Does a pretty decent amount of damage.

  • Introduction

    This is my first guide, all constructive criticism is welcome. This is a guide to help people looking to play AP Kat as well as my personal play style and builds for her. As of right now my summoner level is only 19, so the mastery build is what I would have if I were 30. Same with runes. If I've made any mistakes, there is anything you don't agree on or something you think I should add please leave a comment. Thank you!

  • Pros / Cons

    Good skill damage
    Blink skill
    No mana/energy

    Poor auto attacker

  • Masteries + Runes

    Masteries: I really haven't found a variant of my mastery build that I like or with any significant improvement.


    Runes: I find M. Pen. runes to be the most useful, you get enough AP through items, though AP runes aren't horrible.

    Greater Mark of Insight Really no contest here.

    Either Greater Seal of Evasion or Greater Seal of Vitality Really up to you, I prefer the evasion.

    Either Greater Glyph of Insight or Greater Glyph of Force Again, up to you. Prefer the Pen.

    Either Greater Quintessence of Insight or Greater Quintessence of Potency I prefer Pen again.

  • Skilling Order

    If you're in a lane where you can afford to Shunpo in and harass. I generally go this build regardless, there are very few reasons I wouldn't. Stuns/snares being the major reason.

    If you're being kept down or Shunpo is too dangerous.

  • Items

    Your items by the end of the game should look something like:
    Sorcerer's Shoes or Mercury's Treads Haunting Guise Mejai's Soulstealer [item=Rylai's Scepter] or Void Staff or [item=Zhonya's Ring].

    Start off the game with Amplifying Tome and Health Potion. This should be enough to stay in the lane and harass.

    You generally want to stay in your lane until you can afford Haunting Guise and Sorcerer's Shoes or Mercury's Treads. Your choice in boots is determined by the enemy team's composition and whether or not they have a ton of slow/snare/stun.

    Your next item will be Mejai's Soulstealer. It's cheap and you should be ganking around now, so you should get this relatively quickly.

    The next item is up to you. Either [item=Rylai's Scepter] if your team needs the supporting slow, Void Staff if you need to push in more damage or [item=Zhonya's Ring] if you like being mean.

    Optional Items:
    Lich Bane I love this item, it's useful but it just seems overshadowed by the items in my core build for Kat.
    Banshee's Veil Getting stunned/nuked too much? Banshee's is lovely.

  • Summoner Abilities

    I generally use Ignite and Exhaust. Ignite is great early off and can get you kills that would have gotten away, as well as synergy with [spell=Burning Embers]. Exhaust is useful for stopping people from getting away, catching you/someone else. That simple.

    If you were to choose other SAs, I would say either Clairvoyance or Cleanse.

  • Working in the team

    Do not, I repeat, do NOT go in first. Also don't go in last or sit back just throwing Bouncing Blade. Your job is to go in after your tank hero, Shunpo in to a squishy hero or a premarked target, cast Bouncing Blade then Death Lotus. Rinse and repeat when your skills come back up. Catch escaping enemy heroes from getting away if they are, you have Shunpo, after all. When you should cast [spell=Killer Instincts] is really determined on whether the other team has healers or not. If they do, cast it before using Bouncing Blade. If not, before Shunpo for survivability.

  • Early game

    During early game, it's your job to harass your lane enemy as well as farm up to help carry your team. I would advise against going mid, as Kat isn't as much of a mid hero as many other heroes. Though, she can survive and succeed with going mid. Your priority should be last hitting enemy creeps via auto attack or Bouncing Blade. While there's no creeps low enough to last hit, try casting Bouncing Blade on an enemy. Shunpo is also really good for harassing as long as it causes more damage to them than you. Do not hit enemies near their towers unless you can handle a few tower hits.

  • Mid game

    During mid game, you should be ganking. Getting stacks for your Mejai's, shutting down the enemy team, pushing towers, out-leveling your opponents and farming up are your priorities during this stage of the game. An Elixir of Brilliance really helps out in your ganks, pick one up for an extra boost. Vision Ward is incredibly useful. Pick a few up and place them in key places (Baron, enemy jungle and your jungle). Remember, you can Shunpo to Vision Wards!

  • Late game

    During late game you should be finished with, or really close to being finished with, your item build. Your teams main focus should be to eliminate lone enemy champions and push in for the win. Remember, inhibitors respawn so you will want to just push straight in to the Nexus instead of running around pushing down the two other towers/inhibitors. Going for the win when you can is much more satisfying than going for all the inhibitors only to be stopped and counter-pushed for the loss.

  • Closing statement

    Well, I hope you enjoyed my guide and I hope it helped someone out in some way.

Do you have your own
Build Guide?

Submitted by Nakali

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