Katarina Build Guide

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Katarina: AD burst DPS guide

written by whizbang67

Katarina Build

Table of Contents

  • Introduction

    Hi, this is my first guide I have written for leaguecraft, and as I have played many, many games as Katarina, I thought I would share my knowledge on her. She is currently my favorite DPS champion to play as, due to her versatility. There are many great builds one can use on her, however this guide will cover a purely Attack Damage build, which in my opinion is the most powerful build for her. Enjoy!

  • Abilities

    This skill is great on all counts, and especially helpful during team fights. It allows you to blink in, ult, then rinse and repeat as you get assists/kills.

    Bouncing Blade
    Amazing harass, nets you lots of last hits on creeps (and champs) at all stages of the game. Especially helpful early on, allows you to dominate your lane due to its relatively low cooldown.

    [spell=Killer Instincts]
    This is Katarina's most useless skill, in my opinion. It's uses are very situational, but in those various situations it does tend to shine, such as against healers or big dps champs, the dmg reduction and heal reduction is a big plus. The increased physical damage doesn't hurt either.

    Yet another amazing skill. A free blink every few seconds, assuming there are minions or champs in range. It is also an amazing harasser as well, and forms a great combo with bouncing blade. Shunpo onto enemy, hit them a couple times, then throw a blade after them as they run away.

    Death Lotus
    This ultimate is really the ultimate for team fights. If you aren't being focused, it allows you to net tons of kills and assists, for you will be hitting most, if not all the enemy champs. Also, due to its low cooldown, voracity almost instantly refreshes this skill.

  • Masteries + Runes

    For Masteries, I go with a standard 21-0-9 offensive setup, however I take ability power instead of crit damage (for we are not getting any crit items), and cooldown reduction and spell penetration. All her skills deal magic damage, so magic penetration is a must have. As for runes, there are many different possible setups. I personally go with a set of armor penetration runes, although attack damage and cooldown reductions are also good to have.

  • Summoner Abilities

    As far as Summoner Abilities go, personal preference always takes precedence, but I usually go with Flash and Exhaust. Flash for the double teleport (combined with shunpo) that screws with peoples minds, plus its a great escape/chase mechanism for when you are in between lanes (i.e. no minions around to shunpo to). Exhaust is great for chasing, escaping, and for when you want to keep them in range of your Death Lotus (ex. Shunpo, Death Lotus, exhaust so they cant get out of range, then hit with a Bouncing Blade).
    However, Ignite and Ghost are both good too, if you prefer those.

  • Items

    Items. The real juicy part of the guide. This guide is meant to lay down a path that you may choose to follow, or break off at a certain point. By all means you should not follow it to the letter, if it does not suit your playing style.
    Boots of Speed, Health Potionx3
    I always start with boots of speed, as they give you extra mobility over your opponents, allowing you to chase them down to hit them with that last Bouncing Blade or Shunpo.

    From there, I tend to get
    Sorcerer's Shoes
    The Brutalizer
    Spirit Visage
    in any order that I deem necessary. Now, you might ask about the Brutalizer and Visage, but my answer is simple: cooldown reduction. As Katarina, we love it. We want it. We will do anything to get it, because our skills are all cooldown based, no costs involved. If you have both of these items, you can cast a shunpo every 2 or 3 seconds, and bouncing blade every 3 or 4 seconds, depending on your rune setup. This allows you to spam with no fear, dealing lots of damage and harassing your enemies to no end.

    If you are one of those aggressive, kill greedy players, then you might want to consider purchasing a Sword of the Occult. However, only do this if you are confidant in your ability to survive and kill, otherwise it is a waste of space.

    From there, I either buy
    The Bloodthirsterx3
    The Bloodthirsterx2 and a The Black Cleaver if they have armor-heavy tanks.

    The reason for stacking Bloodthirsters is obvious to the expert Katarina: she has very good minion slaughtering abilities, so stacking 2 or 3 Bloodthirsters gives you 2 or 3 attack damage per minion kill, meaning your AD will scale very quickly.

    Also, if you are being focused a lot in team fights, you may want to consider buying Warmog's Armor for the same reasons listed above. It will put you up to around 3000 hp with its full bonus at level 18. I would sell the [item=Spirit's Visage] to buy this, seeing as Spirit Visage gives no AD.
    Additionally, if you want the extra HP, but don't want to sacrifice AD, one can opt for the Frozen Mallet. This item is also helpful for its passive slow, allowing one to chase and snare more easily.

  • Skilling Order

    As far as skilling goes, I tend to max bouncing blade first, then shunpo, then ult, then killer instincts, giving an order something like:
    Bouncing Blade
    Bouncing Blade
    Bouncing Blade
    Death Lotus
    Bouncing Blade
    Bouncing Blade
    Death Lotus
    [spell=Killer Instincts]
    [spell=Killer Instincts]
    [spell=Killer Instincts]
    Death Lotus
    [spell=Killer Instincts]
    [spell=Killer Instincts]

    However if you want to add in killer instincts earlier on to counter annoying champions such as soraka, warwick etc. feel free to do so.

  • Creep Jungling

    Jungling is inherently easy as pie for Katarina. All you have to do is spam bouncing blade and shunpo the tough targets. Picking up golem early is always helpful, as it will reduce your cooldowns even further, allowing even more spamming awesomeness. Dragon should never be a problem past level 8 or so, assuming you have both [item=Brutalizer] and [item=Spirit's Visage]

  • Working in the team

    Team fights are where Katarina shines the strongest. It's better to run in a second after everyone else does, so you are not focused, then pick a target, Shunpo then Bouncing Blade then Death Lotus to inflict some serious hurt on all surrounding enemies. If one dies, rinse and repeat. This technique allows one to quickly annihilate the enemy team.

  • Pros / Cons

    Great Burst Damage
    Great at harassing
    Great in team fights
    Great at farming minions and Jungle
    Good heal supression (with bouncing blade)
    Great at escapes/chases

    Squishy unless you buy Warmog's or Frozen Mallet
    Slow attack speed

Do you have your own
Build Guide?

Submitted by whizbang67

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