KATARINA Guide - by dignitas/Scarra
A guide section wouldn't be very good without having
Special thanks to Serina 'Nidarina' Lane for
Katarina is a snowball cleanup champion. She excels at being the janitor, cleaning up at the end of fights, and brings extremely potent damage when ahead.
Pros: she's a very fun mobile assassin that excels at doing damage when ahead and flickering around the map quickly.
Cons: she's an extremely weak mid laner and has pretty much only bad matchups in lane. She is hard to gank for and brings nothing outside of damage to a team (no cc). She cannot collapse for jungle invades or really pressure before getting items and levels.
The problem with Katarina is she can never really be balanced because she either gets too far ahead and reset pentakills people or she's useless.
Quick tips: There's a few things you can do with Katarina. The most obvious one is using shunpo (E) to wards/Jarvan flag/Thresh lantern to be able to connect distances very quickly. The only unique trick that's interesting is when you shunpo on an enemy ward, you can make it stay alive for another 1.5s~ which can allow you to single handedly kill wards by doing auto attack -> shunpo -> auto attack -> auto attack.
Unless you're against a very potent assassin, an AP top/mid duo or jungle/mid duo, I largely prefer:
Quintessences (x3) can be movespeed or AP flats. It's entirely situational and I end up using either page pretty frequently. Movespeed allows you higher mobility off her already very high base movespeed. This allows you to space better in lane and approach team fights/roam more effectively. AP quints are just more damage,and I'vealready explained why damage is extremely important on this champ.
AP/LVL (scaling) glyphs (x9) because she has magic resist scaling per level and starts with extra magic resist from defense masteries. I feel like she's a champion that needs to maximize her damage to play effectively and a lot oftimes that extra damage is the hit or miss factor for a triple kill from your reset passive.
Hybrid penetration or magic penetration for marks (x9), depending on matchup or preference. Hybrid is more useful against melee champions that you can actually get auto harass on but kat's early game is so pitiful that a lot ofgames end without you doing much auto damage at all during the laning phase.
Armor seals (x9), it's standard to have some armor.
Masteries 21-9-0 taking standard rune setup. Not much to talk about here because you're just going to optimize burst. You can take 2/2 brute force over the +4 AP though.
Typically it's always flash and ignite. There's some room for teleport to be able to make an impact globally on the map but it's highly situational and dependent on matchup. I'm actually not too used to teleport Katarina so I can't really give you too much insight into it.
Maxing R->Q->W->E is good against champions who are ranged and hard to commit on to. A good example is Orianna because she's a champion where you're going to need to harass down from range before being able to commit for an all-in.
Alternative: Another variant is maxing W for more consistent melee dps but not much ranged poke damage. Typically going Q W E W W R W Maxing W->Q->E is only possible against melee mids such as Gragas. It definitely helps your mobility though because the mini speed-boost allows you to chase and space well.
Kat actually has a wide diversity of items she can go.
All 4 of these work fine. I typically go Doran Shield or Cloth Armor and 5 pots though.
Item buys are always situational with the champion. Sometimes if you are playing against a heavy assassin lane (Le Blanc/Kassadin), you need to buy a first item negatron to even stay in the laning phase. Regardless, your initial backs should probably have boots somewhere as well as pieces to either abyssal scepter, haunting guise or deathfire grasp.
If you can afford it, you could rush one of the following:
Other times, rushing sorceror shoes to roam better or haunting guise is a very good choice. Another very good Katarina player, tiensinoakuma, prefers an early Deathfire Grasp (DFG) rush.
Early game you want to focus on roaming a lot because she's got insanely high base movement speed. Being able to roam and turn a gank is what she excels at. She's mainly a janitor in terms of role for the team, but if you clean up a lot of stuff early, she becomes a huge threat and can almost 1v5 carry teams due to her team fight presence. Power spikes often occur around buys like haunting guise + sorcerer shoes, abyssal scepter or DFG.
Mid/late game buys are all situational as well. Zhonyas is a really strong item on her because she has to go in to tank damage, but sometimes your team really lacks damage and you need to opt for a deathcap in situations where the other carries are behind. Often times during mid/late game teamfights you want to just outposition them during teamfights so you have easy access to priority targets. Item buys like void staff are probably required as the game goes on later and later.
I like this champion because she's fun to play. However, I admit she's a very weak mid lane champion right now especially after multiple base damage nerfs.