Hello, my IGN is Tuoooor and I am a diamond ranked player on the NA server. This guide is for the most fun, unique, and deadly champion in the game, Katarina. I have loved playing her since my noob days from levels 1-29 and continue to main her in ranked play even now. Though [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] is one of the oldest champions released by Riot, her mechanics remain one of the most challenging and creative to utilize. Known as "KS master" and "wtf op" among low levels, and "gg troll pick" in low elo, this guide will attempt to show off the true potential that lies within Katarina. Katarina's playstyle has taken an entire 180 degree shift after the rework that Riot sprang upon us. Instead of a crafty, single target assassin who waits to blow up the enemy carry in fights, her designated role is now to deal heavy AoE damage in lategame teamfights. While they nerfed the damage every single one of her remaining skills, she still remains a dominant force in capable hands thanks to her revamped W ability, Sinister Steel. I've pretty much exclusively played Katarina for the past couple weeks in ranked and climbed ~400 elo. [highlight]The road to diamond[/highlight] [imgext=http://imageshack.us/a/img688/6725/roadm.png] [imgext=http://imageshack.us/a/img809/8049/profpicj.png] [imgext=http://imageshack.us/a/img15/1276/rankstatsq.png]
August 26th: Guide Released August 29th: League of Legends v220.127.116.11 Voracity Cooldown reduction on kill or assist increased to 15 seconds from 10 seconds Bouncing Blade Base damage increased to 60/95/130/165/200 from 50/85/120/155/190 Ability Power Ratio decreased to 0.45 from 0.5 Mark detonation Ability Power ratio reduced to 0.15 from 0.2 Sinister Steel Ability Power Ratio decreased to 0.25 from 0.3 Shunpo Damage increased to 60/85/110/135/160 from 40/70/100/130/160 Cooldown reduced to 12/10.5/9/7.5/6 from 14/12/10/8/6 Fixed: Tooltip now states the correct Damage Reduction amount (15%, not 20%) A strong buff in my opinion, maxing W is even more worth it now that early levels of Q and E have been buffed, and my magic pen build does even better in comparison to the rush AP build due to the ratio nerfs. The CDR on her ult also helps her a lot in fullblown 5v5's. September 7th: Added more matchups and edited guide to reflect patch changes. Replays added for Gragas, Fiddle, Anivia, TF, Ziggs. September 8th: Added Gameplay Video September 16th: Added Cho MU, added videos for various champions. Now testing rushing DFG after Abyssal. September 23rd: Added Diana MU, removed revolver from core items. It is still good if you are playing in a relatively passive lane, just not absolutely necessary. September 25th: Added Eve MU, ganking section to mid-game. October 3rd: Added enemy jungler section. Added Lux to MU October 16th: Revised item build. November 1st: Nerf to DFG -> Revised Build December 14th: Changed to reflect S3 changes.
Old lore >>>>> New lore. [title]Lore[/title] As a militaristic state, it would perhaps come as no surprise that the primary responsibilities of Noxian women are raising strong children and providing succor for husbands who walk the path of soldiery. There are some, however, for whom nurture is not nature, and Katarina is just such a creature. Born the daughter of the feared Noxian General Du Couteau, the girl was always more interested in her father's knives than in the dresses, jewelry, and other trifles that her sisters spent so much time fussing over. A childhood dispute soon unveiled her uncanny knack for bloodshed, and her father, ever the opportunist, happily fostered her killer instincts. After training under the tutelage of the finest assassins the mighty city-state had to offer, Katarina first cut her teeth performing assassinations in the Ionian War. There, her ruthless mastery of the knife and dagger combined with her sadistic temperament to earn her the title Sinister Blade, a moniker that would follow her for the remainder of her career. She is most famous, however, for her exploits in the campaigns against Demacia, especially those surrounding her engagements with the nation's champion, Garen; a rivalry that began when she recovered the remains of Sion from a vanguard under his protection. With the demand for warfare somewhat arrested by the tenuous peace settling over Valoran, Katarina sought the allure of violence in its last remaining haven: The League of Legends. Some might say it was an inevitability that Katarina's chosen path would draw her to become a champion of the League, continuing to enforce the will of Noxus and bring prestige of war to her noble family. There, she continues to perform her bloody work - esteemed and reviled, feared and adored. [title]Base Stats[/title] Health: 395 (+83) HP Regen: 6.95 (+0.55) Move Speed: 325 Attack Damage: 53 (+3.2) Attack Speed: 0.658 (+2.74%) Range: 125 Armor: 14.75 (+4) Magic Resist: 30 (+1.25) Pros: Absolutely insane damage potential through snowballing a fight with [imgsmall=skills/katarina/p.png] High ability to outplay the opposing mid with [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] Easy to learn Strong midgame Resourceless Good towerdiving potential Cons: Easily interrupted ultimate Very low 1 spell burst. Weak level 1 No hard CC Low single target burst before items (burst, not dps) Fairly reliant on teammates - a fed [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] will generally have a harder time carrying a bad team than an equally fed [imgsmall=champ/karthus.png] or [imgsmall=champ/ryze.png] Note: Though it's probably ideal to wait to see the rest of the enemy team comp before picking Kat, I usually first/second pick her and do absolutely fine. Don't be scared if the enemy team has like 10 stuns, there is very little coordination in solo Q and you can easily get 70%+ of your ult off in most cases.
[own3d]http://www.own3d.tv/tuoooor/video/790894[/own3d] I was a little under the weather at the time of this commentary but my good guy roommate helped me with the audio parts, so enjoy guys :)
[center]Runes[/center] [highlight]Marks[/highlight] I take Insight marks for the magic penetration, Best in Slot for pretty much all mages. The goal with the new Katarina, imo, is to abuse her low cooldown W with stacking as much magic penetration as possible. [highlight]Seals[/highlight] I choose to take armor seals over health per level because [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] will take a large amount of auto attack harassment when going in for last hits. [highlight]Glyphs[/highlight] Flat Mres does the best job here, as the goal of my runes and masteries are to shore up Katarinas weak early game and susceptibility to spell and auto harass. Ability Power will not add much to Katarinas early game which revolves around [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] spam, which has a very low AP ratio. [highlight]Quints[/highlight] Movement Speed Purples are my quints of choice, because so much of [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png]'s ability to survive and possibly dominate laning phase is based around slow attrition and the ability to out trade the enemy mid by avoiding their skills while poking them with sure-hit [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png]. With my runes and masteries set up, I start the game with 403 MS with boots, which allows me to easily chase enemies and simply run away from junglers such as [imgsmall=champ/shyvana.png]. [center]Masteries[/center] These are my standard Katarina masteries. I take 9 into Offensive for the 8% Magic Penetration and the Ignite mastery - the rest of the points can be used for a small boost in CDR or improved last hitting. I choose not to go 21 in offense because of the very small gains to be had. I don't focus on building a large amount of AP, as stacking AP isn't a very efficient way to build Katarina who only has a good ratio on her ultimate. Spellsword seems intriguing but in reality it's tthe equivalent of 4 extra damage on autoattacks. Executioner is great, but the prerequisites are not worth it. The 21 in Defensive are the best place to put them in my opinion. You get improved sustain in lane from Perseverance, extra health which stacks with the bonus % health from Juggernaut, and very important CC reduction. Katarina is very squishy in the early laning phase and needs to get in sticky situations to deal much of her damage, so building her tanky is a requirement.
[title][img=skills/katarina/p.png] Passive: Voracity[/title] After a kill or assist, Katarina refreshes her cooldowns on her basic abilities and reduced her ultimate cooldown by 10 seconds. [title]Explanation:[/title] The cog that makes [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] turn. While it has experienced a huge nerf and you will generally not be able to ult twice in teamfights anymore, it still helps her snowball and output large amounts of AoE damage in teamfights with her Q and W. This passive also makes [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] a fantastic towerdiver. [title][img=skills/katarina/q.png] Q: Bouncing Blade[/title] Katarina throws a dagger that bounces quickly from enemy to enemy, dealing magic damage 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. Blade Damage: 60/95/130/165/200 (+0.4 AP) Mark Proc Damage: 15/30/45/60/75 (+0.15 AP) Cooldown 10 / 9.5 / 9 / 8.5 / 8seconds Range 600[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] We used to max this first because it was really the only thing worth maxing. I choose to max W over this because W just offers so much more in terms of farming, dps, and utility. Never underestimate the proc damage from the mark, Katarina is now all about piling on damage in small increments in a battle of attrition before finishing off her opponent. In teamfights: Used to poke before teamfights, useful for a little burst to help finish off opponents. Bouncing Blade damage does stack up over the course of a fight especially if you can throw 3-4 over the course of a 10 second teamfight and consistently proc the marks with Sinister Steel. [title][img=skills/katarina/w.png] W: Sinister Steel[/title] [number]Sinister Steel Whirls daggers in a circle dealing 40/80/120/160/200 (+0.5 bonus Attack Damage) (+0.25 Ability Power) magic damage. If she hits an enemy Champion, Katarina gains 12/20/28/36/44% Movement Speed for 1 second Range 400 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] The new skill that every loves to hate on. At first, I too was like "WTF 40 DMG LOL GG", but after much experimenting I found this skill was actually very, very strong. A spammable 200+ AoE nuke that gives you 44% more movement speed for dragon fights? Hell yes. We max this first to harass in lane, farm, and deal incredible damage in midgame skirmishes while allowing you to be highly mobile. In conjunction with [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png], NOTHING will get away from [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png], not even asdf [imgsmall=champ/nidalee.png]. In teamfights: If you are certain that you can get a full duration ult off, use this before your ult, either after Shunpoing in or using this to get in position for an ult in a situation where Shunpo can't be used. Extremely useful in chasing stragglers and also when snowballing in a teamfight, now [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] has TWO spammable AoE semi-nukes to deal insane damage to the enemy team. [title][img=skills/katarina/e.png] E: Shunpo[/title] [number]Moves to a target's location. Deals 60/85/110/135/160 (+0.4 Ability Power) magic damage if the target is an enemy After using Shunpo, Katarina gains 15% damage reduction for 3 seconds 12/10.5/9/7.5/6 second cooldown Range 700 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This is what makes or breaks Katarina. Being your only gapcloser as well as your escape, much of your success or failure as [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] depends on deciding when to use this spell and where you end up. Before in lane you would save this to run away because a) you didn't max this first so it did no real damage and b) Bouncing Blade was a ranged ability anyway. Now, however, I believe that the correct playstyle for [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] is aggressive, aggressive, aggressive. It's different for different matchups, but you want to [highlight]juke[/highlight] their skills [highlight]by[/highlight] jumping onto their face. This is really nice for the damage reduction which can help you survive burst, ganks, even helps you tank monsters. Also remember you don't necessarily have to Shunpo onto the enemy champion to harass them. Using [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] on a creep to get in range for Sinister Steeel gives you killing power from over 1000 range away. In teamfights: You never want to initiate a teamfight with [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] unless you are hella fed and their team is something like [imgsmall=champ/missfortune.png] [imgsmall=champ/drmundo.png][imgsmall=champ/lux.png] [imgsmall=champ/olaf.png] and support [imgsmall=champ/karma.png]. There are a few ways to aggressively use [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] in teamfights - for example to jump straight to your target squishy and burst him to about 50% without ulting, or jumping in the middle of the enemy team while you have powerful initiation that leaves them helpless to retaliate like [imgsmall=champ/amumu.png] [imgsmall=champ/galio.png] combo. [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] is not just a nuke, it is also a gapcloser, an escape, and a repositioning tool, similar to AP [imgsmall=champ/ezreal.png] Arcane Shift. [title][img=skills/katarina/r.png] R: Death Lotus[/title] [number]Katarina becomes a flurry of blades, throwing daggers at the closest 3 enemy Champions dealing 400/500/600 (+3 bonus Attack Damage) (+1.75 Ability Power) magic damage over 2 seconds Daggers apply Grievous Wounds, reducing incoming healing by 50% for 3 seconds An enemy champion can be hit by a maximum of 10 daggers over the 2 seconds. Cooldown 60/55/50 seconds Range 550 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This skill has one of the highest damage potentials in the game. Sadly, this is just potential, and generally in lane and in teamfights hitting 60-70% of your ult is considered pretty good already. Just like Nunu ult, when activated it does not make your champion visible in bushes and does not require line of sight to activate and deal damage. Also, remember that you do not necessarily have to [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] before using [imgsmall=skills/katarina/r.png], you can simply walk into a good position with the movespeed buff from Sinister Steel to begin your ult and use [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] and Sinister Steel to clean up. [highlight][center]Skill Order[/center][/highlight] [imgsmall=skills/katarina/r.png] > [imgsmall=skills/katarina/w.png] > [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] > [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] Maxing W first allows for the most consistent DPS, is good for farming, chasing, running away, and taking jungle camps. Q is maxed second as it offers additional damage and lets you poke harder in lane/dragon/tower standoffs. I like to get 2 points in E before maxing Q because the reduced cooldown helps a lot. People might argue that maxing Q helps farming from a safe distance much easier, but honestly a) it doesn't help you farm at tower as much as W and b) have fun being useless midgame because you have no consistent damage. Remember that W has half the cooldown of Q, is about the same damage, grants a movespeed boost, and doesn't have reduced damage on multiple targets. I would say max W if you want to try and play more aggressive and try to snowball a game, and Q if you want to just play passive and wait for ganks. Another way to look at it is max Q for opponents that can retaliate heavily ex. [imgsmall=champ/rumble.png] and max W for opponents you can bully like [imgsmall=champ/gragas.png].
[highlight]Always start:[/highlight] [img=items/boots-of-speed.png][img=items/health-potion3.png] as [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] needs the movement speed much more than anything else you cant start with. [highlight]First Back:[/highlight] REVOLVER IS NOT CORE ON KATARINA. Why? There a a couple of reasons: First, most of your damage is AoE. This means 33% of your damage is going toward the 12% spellvamp...that means a max rank W heals 8 hp per target hit. Your big nuke from pre-rework, Shunpo, has pretty much got its damage cut in half. More importantly, revolver slows down your snowballing potential; you can buy haunting guise with almost the same amount of money. Revolver was core when you wanted to just farm, and [highlight]it is still fairly good if you are playing in a relatively passive lane[/highlight], but with my aggressive playstyle I choose to forgo sustain and go for battle stats instead. I am not saying that you should never get revolver, just not to consider it as a must-have item anymore. Most of the time now, I will rush [imgsmall=items/sorcerers-shoes.png]. Why? It offers more mobility to escape and chase, and more damage as well for only 750g. There is literally no other item in the game better for [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] at such a cost. Stock up on pots and play aggressive. Next, I start building some survivability along with damage. I usually end up working towards [imgsmall=items/haunting-guise.png] and getting a ruby crystal. If your forced to back with only that much gold, your probably getting stomped anyway and need the extra defense. DONT BE STINGY ON POTS AND WARDS. [imgsmall=items/haunting-guise.png] is honestly one of the best items in the game. Yes, it is space-inefficient but many games only last until you build your third core item anyway. It is a hyperefficient Doran's item and the cheapest source of magic pen in the game. Remember, you are only paying ~500g for 15 magic pen that allows you to do upwards of 15% more magic damage. [highlight]Next Buy:[/highlight] [img=items/void-staff.png] With the new changes to how magic penetration works (% before flat) this becomes monstrous. Combined with the ~37 magic pen from runes and items you will be doing true damage to almost every champion in the game, even if they have bought some MR. [highlight]Next Items[/highlight] From there, you have a few choices. Mana is completely wasted on Katarina so items such as [imgsmall=items/athenes-unholy-grail.png] and [imgsmall=items/rod-of-ages.png] aren't worth getting, leaving a fairly small pool of items to work with. [img=items/liandrys-torment.png] THIS ITEM IS NOT GOOD FOR KAT. This mainly benefits DoT users such as Swain and Singed who tend to have slows/build Rylai's anyway. This is absolutely worthless and you should pretend it doesn't exist and sell Haunting Guise at the end of your build like usual. [img=items/rylais-crystal-scepter.png] This item is OK but you already stick to enemies very well and if you wanted to play a slowbot you might as well go play Anivia or Cass or something. This item doesn't grant the offensive bonuses of an Abyssal or Deathcap and fails to match the survivability offered by a Guardian Angel or Zhonya's Hourglass. I do love to get this item when our team lacks hard CC and we need more sticking power. [img=items/lich-bane.png] I can see lichbane being an OK 6th item on her if you are completely dominating and don't care about survivability, but generally other items offer either better offensive stats like dcap and void or offer survivability like Zhonya's. [img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] for tons of damage. Not worth rushing in laning phase because of her low ratio's, but definitely offers tons of endgame damage when fights will let you snowball and pump out her AP ratios, however small they might be. I would recommend rushing this only when you are confident in getting a full ult off, because her ult is really the main beneficiary of AP. [img=items/guardian-angel.png] For defense/getting focused cause you're a baller. Zhonya's is probably the better item in general for Katarina but this also helps dissuade the enemy team from focusing you. [img=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] Mix of offense and defense. Going into stasis with all your skills down and waiting for an enemy to die to refresh them all after coming out can determine victory or defeat in a teamfight. [img=items/hextech-gunblade.png] No longer a real core item, its good for the extra nuke/slow but can now be challenged by WotA in terms of utility due to the less bursty nature of [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] and her decreased AD ratios, and other non-revolver items as well. [img=items/will-of-the-ancients.png] If your team is bursty/double AP. [img=items/deathfire-grasp.png] Now pretty much only good an endgame Kat to help burst down an important target. Adds burst damage to Kat's kit which is very important because lategame teamfights can end in the blink of an eye. [img=items/randuins-omen.png] Makes you automatically tanky and even more scary for AD carries. [highlight]Les Boots[/highlight] [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png] For damage. The best early game boots without a doubt. [img=items/mercurys-treads.png] Not as needed as before with the advent of CC reduction masteries, but helps against long silences and stuns. [img=items/boots-of-swiftness.png] All purpose boots. Helps with roaming, pursuit, and running away. Definitely consider. [highlight]Why Not Rush AP?[/highlight] [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] simply does not have the high AP ratios on individual spells that make a deathcap rush strong on her the same way it would work for [imgsmall=champ/cassiopeia.png] or [imgsmall=champ/gragas.png]. Especially with the new patch that buffs her base damage but nerfs her AP ratios, it makes more sense to build tanky/penetration in order to maximize the base damage you deal along with being able to consistently use it in skirmishes. [highlight]About the DFG Nerf[/highlight] As we all know one of the best items in the game, Deathfire Grasp, has been pillaged by the nerfbat. Looking at the changes we can see that the base damage of the active has been reduced respectively, making DFG suboptimal to rush. However, it may still function well as a lategame source of damage. If you wish to achieve early game dominance, rushing Hextech is an acceptable replacement for DFG. You get some sustain and a slow for about 1k more gold, with the nuke doing about the same damage throughout midgame that DFG did but tapering off a bit endgame. [highlight]Final Item Builds In-Depth[/highlight] BUILD #1: BIG DAMAGE [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png] [img=items/void-staff.png] [img=items/abyssal-scepter.png] [img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] [img=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] [img=items/deathfire-grasp.png] OR [img=items/guardian-angel.png] Cookie cutter build that does maximum damage combined with good survivability. This build can be used in and against any comp and do fairly well, though it does run into a wall against high CC/tanky comps. BUILD #2: PSEUDO TANKY DPS [img=items/mercurys-treads.png] OR [img=items/boots-of-swiftness.png] [img=items/void-staff.png] [img=items/randuins-omen.png] [img=items/rylais-crystal-scepter.png] [img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] [img=items/guardian-angel.png] Though this might seem like a troll build, I've recently had a lot of success with it lately. The premise is to still rush Sorcs/Haunting/Void but then diverge into tankiness with Randuin/Rylai. Instead of waiting for your opportunity to go in and ult which might never come, you dive in straight after the initiate and slow the entire enemy team, peeling, and helping your divers at the same time, with enough damage to still finish off the enemy team with your ult/passive. With over 3.5k health and 100+ armor and mres, you become an anti-AD carry even after you've been peeled off, like an Irelia of sorts. Try it before you diss it!
[highlight]Using your ult creatively[/highlight] One of the best parts of [imgsmall=skills/katarina/r.png] is that it keeps your invisible while ulting in a bush similar to Nunu ult. With this you can perform sneaky assassinations on your enemy mid laner when he comes back to the lane after blue/ganking or, later in the game, assassinate one of their carries in the jungle. Another strategy I love to pull is when the enemy mid laner is around 50% and their jungler comes to gank, I run into the side bush and start ulting as they chase me, quickly burst down the enemy mid and Shunpo back to the creep line. [highlight]Shunpo Juking/Ward Hopping[/highlight] [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnWQ-i4P8oI[/youtube] Random YouTube video I found. Ward jumping with Kat is basically the same concept with Lee Sin. Now, you can Sinister Steel after Shunpoing onto somebody to get behind them and the speedboost will let you get away. [highlight]Combos[/highlight] Basic Harass Combo: [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] -> [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] -> Sinister Steel -> Disengage Advanced Harass Combo: [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] -> Sinister Steel -> Auto Attack -> [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] -> Sinister Steel -> Disengage. This combo can be dragged on long enough for you to actually use [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] to disengage and relies on the knowledge of the enemies cooldowns and correct juking. I Want This Guy To Base/Die: Full Combo [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] -> [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] -> Sinister Steel -> [imgsmall=skills/katarina/r.png] -> Sinister Steel -> ([imgsmall=summoners/ignite.png]) Bush Combo for Single Target: [imgsmall=skills/katarina/r.png] -> They run away [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] -> Sinister Steel -> Chase down for killz.
[highlight]Level 1 Fight[/highlight] [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] is fairly terrible at early level teamfights and skirmishes, lacking the CC that other midlaners could offer such as [imgsmall=champ/ahri.png] Charm. I suppose if your team has heavy AOE CC and damage you could snowball with [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] jumping on everyones face, but in general Kat is one of the worst early fighters. You probably want to get [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] or Sinister Steel depending on if you are defending or invading. [highlight]Skill Start[/highlight] There are only two circumstances in which I would start [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] over [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png]: if I am expecting a level 2 gank from the likes of [imgsmall=champ/alistar.png] and co. or if I get caught and need to run like a boss. You start [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] as it lets you do some poke, helps you last hit, and allows you to leash. [highlight]Laning[/highlight] Generally you want to just stay back and farm until level three where you have access to all your skills. A level one [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] deals pretty pitiful damage and in most cases is easily outraded by ranged autoattacks + the enemy laner's own spell. An important thing to keep in mind is the risk/reward of completing objectives (farming and harassing/zoning/killing the opposing mid) in lane. Accept that as a melee mid laner with weak early presence that you will get harassed by competent opponents with access to range and higher damaging spells. If you have to walk up right next to a [imgsmall=champ/twistedfate.png] to lasthit a ranged creep with your [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] on cooldown, most of the time it's better to simply let it go and not risk a gold card + wildcard to the face. You give up some early CS in exchange for the ability to dominate midgame skirmishes. That said, I still usually manage to break even or even lead in CS against common mid laners such as [imgsmall=champ/ahri.png] and [imgsmall=champ/zyra.png]. Harassing in lane as [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] is, as stated above, completely a battle of attrition and outplaying your opponent. You won't be able to chunk people like [imgsmall=champ/brand.png] EQW because that's simply not how Kat is designed. Instead, focus on the fact that [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] has no cost, good range, and is targeted to keep poking down your opponent, using [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] and Sinister Steel when you feel confident you can outrade, either because an important skill on is on CD or you predict and juke a skillshot. Though [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] bounces seem random at times, throwing one to last hit a low HP minion while the opposing laner is standing near it is pretty reliable harass. Remember to always keep track of where the enemy jungler is. A focal point for [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] in the early game is to harass with autoattacks, which her Sinister Steel helps greatly. Most mid laners do not run reduced minion damage masteries, meaning that any engagement with minion support automatically shifts into your favor. Your auto animation is faster than common mids such as [imgsmall=champ/anivia.png] and [imgsmall=champ/karthus.png], so if you can get some cheap hits in at level 1-3 it could very well determine how the rest of the laning phase goes. Remember not to get carried away though and try only to AA harass in between enemy cooldowns. At level six you'll have access to your ult which deals pretty crazy damage for a rank one ultimate. Because it has such a low cooldown and really no other use than damage, sometimes depending on the enemy laner I like to use it to just harass them out of lane and push the wave to their tower and possibly taking wraiths before backing. With your damage reduction [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] at level six you pretty much outdamage almost all mids in the game assuming all ten daggers hit. For example, disregarding magic resist and ability power, Ahri at 6 will do 620 base damage assuming all skillshots hit. Your full combo at 6, also disregarding magic resist and AP and assuming everything hits, will do 655. Factor in the damage reduction and your ability to juke (and also her ability to gtfo from you ult) you will see that the myth of [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] doing "no damage" is just that - a myth. When and who to fight at level six will be discussed in the lane matchup section. Remember that your ultimate has a lower cooldown than almost all other ultimates and if you can make them waste theirs, you will have a window of time where you can put heavy pressure on the opposing mid.
[highlight]Objectives[/highlight] With [imgsmall=skills/katarina/r.png] at your disposal and the ability to push waves with your [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] and Sinister Steel, mid game is where [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] begins to show her dominance. With around 420 movespeed with tier two boots, you can easily roam around the map, doing what [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] excels at, cleaning up small skirmishes with [imgsmall=skills/katarina/r.png] and [imgsmall=skills/katarina/p.png]. At this point you want to complete your [imgsmall=items/void-staff.png] and [imgsmall=items/haunting-guise.png]. [highlight]Dragon/Baron[/highlight] [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] excels in Dragon and Baron fights not only because the enemies will be clumped up, but also due to the abundance of bushes and ledges around those areas. As people will have higher cooldowns, lower damage, and lower health in the midgame compared to the lategame, you ultimate can also force teams to split apart much like a well place [imgsmall=champ/nunu.png] ultimate. [highlight]Ganking![/highlight] [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] is a snowball champion, and there is no better way to snowball than to start killing other lanes as well as your own. My favorite lane to gank is bot, because you have more CC to hold a person down, and supports and AD carries are far squishier than top laners. Always keep an eye out for when either side has significantly lower health than the other, so that you can tower dive/counter a dive. Even when I get ganked and fall behind at mid, I still can easily catch up by going bot either through lane or through jungler (always carry a ward!) and killing someone with my combo. Even your mere presence will cause the enemies to play differently, sometimes running away when they could've easily killed your allies, etc.
Late game [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] is an absolute wrecking ball post-rework. Though a fully channeled ultimate is no longer able to shred through teams, it still deals a fantastic chunk of damage. Your Sinister Steel and Shunpo allow you to be highly mobile in teamfights, being able to escape focus and reposition and focus your target better. Until you've reached full build, try to carry some wards with you to escape, as being caught late game easily means a possible Baron or inhibitor. Your role is still exactly the same as mid-game, and that is to get as close to as many targets while remaining relatively safe and unleash AoE havoc. One of the most important things to remember is to maintain your farm! It is very easy to get caught up in roaming and camping around the map and neglecting to farm. It is extremely easy to farm a wave now with [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] so there should be no excuse for not keeping up!
[highlight]What To Do In Teamfights[/highlight] Before a teamfight, you want to keep poking with daggers to try and soften up the enemy team. Once it has been engaged, either by your team or the enemy, you generally have three things you want to do: 1) If there is a clear target out of position everyone is focusing, like someone caught by [imgsmall=champ/skarner.png] Impale, help focus him down. Your cooldowns will refresh anyway and preventing a champion from doing ANYTHING in the fight gives your team a massive advantage. 2) Get into position to ult as many people for as long as you can. Generally you want the squishies to be in the range of your ultimate unless you find you do a lot of damage to the bruisers and tanks as well. Sometimes ulting two people for the full duration is better than ulting three for half the duration. Everything depends on the game in question. No two teamfights are the same. 3) Clean up. Don't just randomly EQW anything you see, but use a logical progression that will let you keep your cooldowns up. Either combo the enemies that your own team is finishing off or those that you know will die for sure. Even if there are four enemies with low hp, depending on who you decide to burst it can end up being a quadra kill or an embarrassing death. Remember though you usually want to jump on the squishies, sometimes it is better to become a spinning shield of death for your AD carry if he is being dived. Because you have such consistent DPS even without your ult, DON'T be afraid of "wasting" a skill. If you need your ultimate to kill that one guy diving your carry, use it! A skill is not a waste just because it's not used to its highest potential. [highlight]How To Do It[/highlight] Teamfights for [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] are all about timing. Deciding when to jump in with [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] or when to begin [imgsmall=skills/katarina/r.png] are both crucial decisions which determine whether you get congratulated for grabbing that quadra or penta on the enemy team or flamed for being completely useless. Your sense of timing is gained through experience with similar situations - if you've played squishy melee carries like [imgsmall=champ/fiora.png] and [imgsmall=champ/masteryi.png] you will probably have a decent sense of when to jump in as [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png]. Generally, you want to wait for the initiation and teams spreading apart to go in. It also helps a lot if you know the skills of every champion and have a general idea of the cooldown - for example if I see an [imgsmall=champ/ahri.png] E I know that it won't be available for her to stop my ult if I jump on her immediately. There are three main ways to land an ult in a teamfight: 1) EMPIRE (ulting out of Line of Sight) 2) BALLS DEEP (ulting in the middle of everyone knowing that most AOE CC is down) 3) Ulting directly on top of your chosen, preferably relatively isolated target to kill him ASAP.
[img=champ/katarina.png] works best within a relatively tanky team composition that has at least one AoE disable. Her top lane should be a champion with a strong teamfight presence like [imgsmall=champ/kennen.png] or a tanky bruiser like [imgsmall=champ/jax.png]. A squishy laner or one that lacks CC like [imgsmall=champ/teemo.png] is not ideal because you want teamfights to last longer so you can truly benefit your passive and your AoE Sinister Steel. Champions that synergize well with Kat: [img=champ/kennen.png] One of Kennen's problems is trying to clean up after his ult is blown in a fight, and one of Kat's problems is getting them low enough to clean up. Match made in heaven. [img=champ/amumu.png] AoE ult with CC. The best way to pull this off is lie in wait in a bush and both ult at the same time when they facecheck. Remember that his ultimate is more of a snare than a stun, and people can still cast spells within it. [img=champ/chogath.png] Not only does he contribute two AoE CCs to a fight, his true damage nuke also helps finish off a target which will activate your passive. [img=champ/hecarim.png] He has a godly initiate with his ultimate and the amount of damage you will be pumping out during a fight will help make him immortal thanks to his Spirit of Dread. [img=champ/olaf.png] You love having him on your team because he automatically forces the enemy team to save their CCs for when his ult ends to peel for their carry. [img=champ/alistar.png] AoE knockup, can also help peel enemy bruisers off you and your AD. [img=champ/yorick.png] Ever have those situations where the entire enemy team has less than 200 health but you die? Never fear, with Yorick you will have the opportunity to get a pentakill even after death. [img=champ/leona.png] She stuns everyone for you, you ignite all her Sunlight procs for her, it's win-win. [img=champ/morgana.png] Not only does she make you invincible to crowd control, she also offers and AoE slow/stun and MR reduction from her pool. An ideal team composition would probably be [img=champ/olaf.png] [img=champ/chogath.png] [img=champ/leona.png] [img=champ/graves.png]
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. Template: [img=champ/katarina.png] Champion 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 Level 6+ [img=champ/ahri.png] Difficulty: 4/10 W>Q 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 [imgsmall=skills/ahri/q.png] or [imgsmall=skills/ahri/e.png] simply laugh and run around with your 400+ movespeed or [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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 [imgsmall=champ/ahri.png] 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. [img=champ/akali.png] Difficulty: 7/10 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. [img=champ/anivia.png] Difficulty: 7/10 W>Q Big Bird is one of the most powerful mid laners right now, but [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] 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 [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] can simply [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] and spam autoattacks on because without the stun or chill from Flash Frost, Anivia really has no way of deterring [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] away after she casts Frostbite and thus avoiding the chill from her ult circle. Your pushing power with [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] + 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. http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/1883763/ [img=champ/annie.png] Difficulty: 6/10 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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. [img=champ/brand.png] Difficulty: 4/10 W>Q 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png]. 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] onto him right over it he will be helpless as you will outdps him. [img=champ/cassiopeia.png] Difficulty: 6/10 W>Q 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 [imgsmall=skills/cassiopeia/e.png] 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] and once she rears back her head to start her ult (there is like a 0.5s delay) you [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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 [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] [imgsmall=items/will-of-the-ancients.png]. While this does the damages, it also leaves her very, very squishy. [img=champ/chogath.png] Difficulty: 6/10 W>Q 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. [img=champ/diana.png] Difficulty: 6/10 W>Q 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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. [img=champ/evelynn.png] Difficulty: 3/10 W>Q 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. [img=champ/fiddlesticks.png] Difficulty: 8/10 W>Q This is probably as close to a hardcounter to [imgsmall=champ/katarina.png] 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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. http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/1964588/ [img=champ/gragas.png] Difficulty: 4/10 W>Q 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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. http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/1852995/ 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. http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/1964588/ [img=champ/karthus.png] Difficulty: 4-7/10 W>Q 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 [imgsmall=items/boots-of-mobility.png] to help roam like a boss. [img=champ/kassadin.png] Difficulty: 5/10 W>Q 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png]-Sinister Steel - [imgsmall=skills/katarina/r.png], leaving [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] 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 [imgsmall=champ/kassadin.png] forever with [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] and Sinister Steel. [img=champ/kennen.png] Difficulty: 6/10 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. http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/816124 [img=champ/leblanc.png] Difficulty: 5/10 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. [img=champ/lux.png] Difficulty: 4/10 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. [img=champ/morgana.png] Difficulty: 5/10 W>Q 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/q.png] onto her and retaliate with Sinister Steel when you can. The damage reduction and your higher base damage will win this trade for you. http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/2012411/ [img=champ/orianna.png] Difficulty: 7/10 W>Q 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 [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] to try and juke her ball. One thing you can do is [imgsmall=skills/katarina/e.png] 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. http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/807259 http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/816121 [img=champ/ryze.png] Difficulty: 5/10 W>Q 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 [imgsmall=champ/alistar.png]. 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. [img=champ/swain.png] Difficulty: 7/10 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. [img=champ/twistedfate.png] Difficulty: Annoying W>Q 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. http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/1964785/ [img=champ/vladimir.png] Difficulty: 5/10 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. [img=champ/ziggs.png] Difficulty: 4/10 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. http://www.leaguereplays.com/replays/match/1863365/ [img=champ/zyra.png] Difficulty: 5/10 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 [highlight]only after[/highlight] 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.
Inevitably, the enemy jungler will start noticing how hard you are dunking on your lane opponent and come in for the gankings. Here are some general notes on what to do when getting ganked. - Champions like [imgsmall=champ/amumu.png] [imgsmall=champ/alistar.png] [imgsmall=champ/chogath.png] [imgsmall=champ/jarvaniv.png] [imgsmall=champ/olaf.png] have dodgeable gapclosers that you can dodge with Shunpo. Remember to try and wait until they actually activate the ability to dodge it, even something like Malphite's Unstoppable Force is dodgeable through good timing. - If the jungler has red buff and you are extended down the lane with no Shunpo, you generally don't want to run through the lane to get back to tower. - If the jungler comes from behind you and you do have Shunpo up, what you want to do is SHunpo to him, W and flash immediately so you have distance and a speed boost to get away. - If you notice the enemy jungler or mid has low enough hp (~300 hp at level 5, ~400 hp at level 6), you can burst them down with a full combo and use the Shunpo reset to get away. Use the sidebushes effectively to juke or ult unseen! - [imgsmall=champ/rammus.png] is rarely seen, but as Shunpo takes you behind him, you can EW and run away without his powerball even hitting you. - You can Shunpo right before [imgsmall=champ/alistar.png] WQ's you to have him waste it entirely on a patch of ground. - My Katarina build outruns every commonly seen jungler with base ms except [imgsmall=champ/pantheon.png] [imgsmall=champ/masteryi.png], and 0/21/9 variants of Trundle, Udyr, Olaf, and Xin. She ties with Jax. Add in a Sinister Steel and you will find yourself simply just running away without any damage taken. - Your worst nightmare jungler is without a doubt [imgsmall=champ/leesin.png]. He has two gapclosers, a slow, can follow you through a Shunpo, can interrupt your ult with displacement, and even reveal you so you can't successfully ult in a bush. - This guy [imgsmall=champ/nautilus.png] is actually really squishy before items and you can easily land surprise kill on him.
This is one rework I think Riot nailed absolutely spot on. Katarina has transformed into a QQQQQQQ poke machine in lane to a champion that has to creatively outplay her opponent to get ahead. She has all the aspects of a good AP middle - mobility, low cooldowns, AoE damage, and ability to win her lane. Though everyone is hating on the rework right now, I strongly believe that with enough practice and understanding, Katarina has the ability to be among the top champions in the game. Thank you for reading.