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[img=] Hi there! My name's Geoff, a.k.a. Geoffazor. My homeland's Australia and I main Katarina as my AP Mid champion. I'm a Gold ranked player on the OCE server, however due to circumstances involving the consistency of my internet, I am unable to play as much ranked as I would like to, which has left Normal games as my only salvation. In Normal games, I am frequently matched with Gold, Platinum, and Diamond players of all tiers, and have over 200 positive wins in Normal Blind Pick, if that provides any indication of my skill level. I have over 3000 normal games played, with well over 1000 total games played on Katarina since her rework, frequently follow professional streams and tournaments, and also do my own theorycrafting, so I have profound knowledge of Katarina, and League of Legends in general. I decided to pick up Katarina after her rework in the Rengar patch. The moment I saw her Champion Spotlight, I knew she was the kind of champion I would love to play. Jumping in after a fight has started and everybody has blown their cooldowns, dropping the first champion and completely snowballing throughout the fight from that point onward was incredibly appealing to me. So I bought her with RP the moment the servers were back up (about 3 in the morning) because there was no way I was going to wait for her first free week. I played a few games and felt completely dumbfounded, letting all my friends know about the amazing new Katarina. No one believed me so she became my secret OP for a very short while. She is my favourite champion and I have not regretted my decision to main her from the day that I bought her. I will warn you now that this guide is longer than most guides I have stumbled across, and I am continually adding to it. [center][highlight]________________________________________________________________________[/highlight][/center] Katarina's role in the game is to annihilate the enemy team through incredible AoE damage. Wise usage of her skill set often determines the outcome of a fight. Go in too early, and you'll be focused and killed, too late and your team will die without you. She is a champion based upon clarity and understanding, in that you must understand the enemy team, your team, and your own abilities, while assessing situations within a 1-2 second window. That 1-2 second window could be the difference between a pentakill and dying without making an impact. Excuse the cliché but, quick actions and reactions often separate good Katarina players from great Katarina players. Her abilities are all based on cooldowns, rather than a silly resource system such as mana or energy. This means that you do not have to manage anything other than cooldowns on Katarina, but with this bonus comes the trade-off of not being able to build certain items, and also having relatively low base damages. This resourceless system synergises well with Katarina's kit as she needs to be spamming abilities off cooldown to have any real impact in a game situation. [center][highlight]________________________________________________________________________[/highlight][/center] [title]AD/Hybrid Kat[/title] Katarina has seen huge changes in her builds since her inception. Going from multiple Bloodthirster with Void Staff builds, to Gunblade, to squishy AP and tanky AP. Sadly, the number of viable builds with Katarina is no longer so high, and she is now rather pigeonholed into building AP. This is because she simply doesn't scale as well with other stats. Building pure Attack Damage or hybrid items are mostly sub optimal due to dealing less damage with no other noteworthy stats or niches to justify building these items. [center][highlight]________________________________________________________________________[/highlight][/center] [title]Pros[/title] [.]Very high damage output - even a half channelled ultimate can murder squishy champions [.]Resets - one kill or assist immediately refreshes your basic abilities and lowers the cooldown on your ultimate by 15 seconds [.]Resourceless - free harass, free waveclear, and nothing to stop you from continuously wrecking an enemy team [.]Brilliant harass - a targeted nuke which can hit through creeps, a low cooldown large AoE spell, and even a low cooldown ultimate allow her to harass the enemy with ease [.]Great escape - Shunpo makes Katarina's laning incredibly safe, allowing her to target wards, friendly champions, minions, monsters, or even a ganking enemy jungler [.]Healing reduction - stops enemy teams from being able to heal up while you are channelling Death Lotus [.]Relatively simple to learn - her skills are very clear and easy to understand, allowing new players to pick her up with ease [.]Very fun - resets which lead to multiple kills is one of the most fun aspects about playing Katarina [.]Pubstomp - uncoordinated teams will fall incredibly quickly to a well-executed Katarina [title]Cons[/title] [.]No utility or crowd control - the only thing Katarina brings to a team comp is raw damage, thus requiring a team built slightly around her. [.]Classic easy to learn, hard to master syndrome - if you cannot take advantage of situations with precise timing, you will have little impact. [.]Shunpo is on a fairly high cooldown early game - if you use Shunpo at the wrong time, you can die without Flash. [.]Squishy - Katarina cannot take many hits, and is required to be in the middle of a fight in order to be effective. High risk, high reward. [center][highlight]________________________________________________________________________[/highlight][/center] Here's a little something to get you pumped! Probably the most insane Katarina mechanics I've ever seen. I'm a little jealous, mostly because it's literally impossible to ward hop this quickly without >10 ping. Koreans OP. [youtube][/youtube] [imgext=]

[center][imgext=][/center] In patch 5.13, ability power items have received some pretty big changes. Needlessly Large Rod builds into more items, costs less money, and grants less ability power. As a result of this, there is less pressure to farm up a lot of gold in order to build the three core items, because you will be able to recall much earlier while having the ability to build your big items. Luden's Echo and Zhonya's Hourglass also give less ability power, making the mid game of every champion that had to build these weaker. Despite the fact that some other items have been given more ability power, this doesn't affect Katarina's build path. Luden's, Zhonya's, and Rabadon's are all items that simply give Katarina the perfect level of damage and utility. Note that despite Zhonya's and Luden's giving less AP, you still end up with roughly the same amount of ability power late game with a full build. [b]Haunting Guise[/b] I'm not too sure where this item would sit. With Needlessly Large Rod's price decrease, it means that if you have enough money to purchase this, you also have enough for an NLR. My thought process with this item on Katarina is that it is basically a better Doran's item: you can't build it into anything but the boost it offers is definitely noticeable. While I'm of the opinion that it would still be a strong item versus champions like LeBlanc and Veigar, the decrease in cost of Katarina's core items grants you access to the strong active of Zhonya's and the additional damage of Luden's much quicker than before. I think the changes takes away a bit of value from Haunting Guise.

[center][imgext=][/center] Generally, there are a few factors that should be looked at before a Katarina pick is considered. She is generally considered a bad first pick due to numerous bad match ups, and the possibility of the enemy team picking an incredibly tanky team. In general, Katarina is in a similar light as other assassins, but I see her as a much more versatile assassin pick thanks to her skillset. She is a sort of hybrid between an assassin and AoE mage, dealing incredible single-target and AoE damage (though specialising in AoE). She pays for this versatility by still being easy to shut down however. There are times when Katarina is a good and bad pick. She is a good pick when: [.]Your team has crowd control and initiation - Katarina's weakest area is crowd control and getting into fights: having a team which compensates for this makes Katarina a great pick [.]Multiple damage sources - because she is so easy to shut down, it's beneficial to have multiple champions that can contribute to outputting as much damage as possible as they help Katarina in securing resets [.]Enemy mid is picked first - if the enemy picks a champion that you can beat in lane, it makes Katarina's rough early game much easier [.]Squishy enemy team - enemy teams that are heavy in damage but low in tanky champions will be torn apart by Katarina's damage output Katarina as a bad pick is pretty much an inverse of the above list: [.]Little crowd control on your team, heavy on enemy team - means you can't enter fights as early as you'd like to [.]You are the only damage source on your team - less damage means less likely to get a reset, and you can be focused hard [.]As a first pick - Katarina is very open to getting counter-picked [.]Tanky enemy team - although not as big of a handicap for Katarina, it still makes playing the match harder as resets will be harder to come by [.]Abundant champ-saving mechanics and shields on enemy team - Karma and Lulu are examples of champs that can shut Katarina down hard To further reiterate on when Katarina is a good and bad pick, due to Katarina's lack of disables, picking her in a team which already has very heavy CC is generally best. Champions like Amumu and Malphite synergise excellently with her because of the excellent disruption they can bring to the team, and they allow her to fully channel her ultimate uninterrupted. If your team significantly lacks any form of CC or high value targets, Katarina is not a good pick as she is still easy to shut down. Choosing another AP who can bring more to a team than just damage will serve to benefit you much more. You wouldn't pick Katarina against a team comp that consists of the following: [center][img=champ/garen.png][img=champ/amumu.png][img=champ/malzahar.png][img=champ/vayne.png][img=champ/blitzcrank.png][/center] Every champion here has a way to stop your ultimate and shut you down completely. Lets take a look at a team you would pick Katarina against: [center][img=champ/olaf.png][img=champ/xinzhao.png][img=champ/karthus.png][img=champ/kogmaw.png][img=champ/nunu.png][/center] This would be a much easier team to play against with Katarina. The lack of crowd control on the team allows you to enter a team fight much easier and earlier without losing out on damage. Katarina NEEDS a hard initiator, otherwise her effectiveness drops significantly. If you're last pick and no one has chosen a character with a strong initiation, you should probably pick a champ that can. Orianna's ultimate has great displacement, Malphite's AoE knock up can cause huge disarray within a team and set up a lot of easy kills, the list goes on: Katarina can not and should not initiate fights. [b]I [i]highly[/i] recommend reading Markovicius' guide in the generic section of this website: specifically the parts regarding team compositions. It will help you see when Katarina is an awesome pick, and when she should be put aside for a better pick, as well as helping you better understand League of Legends in general. Check it out at [i][/i][/b]

[center][imgext=][/center] In League of Legends, there are certain champions that have great synergy with one another. Usually these champions can shut down an entire team just through a few ability uses and some coordination. A basic but incredibly good example of champions with great synergy is Orianna+Malphite. Malphite's [img=skills/malphite/r.png] gives Orianna an easy way to deliver her ball for [img=skills/orianna/r.png], that can set them up for the rest of the team's damage. Although Katarina does not have a high impacting crowd control skill like Orianna or Malphite's ultimate, she synergises with a number of champions, most of whom have the ability to set up an easy Death Lotus. [center][b]Top Lane[/b] [img=champ/kennen.png][img=champ/ryze.png][img=champ/malphite.png][img=champ/vladimir.png][img=champ/kayle.png][/center] [.]He can stun an entire team and usually gets them low enough for you to clean up immediately after [.]So very tanky, and does excellent complementary damage. If you have to use Zhonya's, Ryze can normally guarantee a reset [.]Best initiation in the game. If he uses his ultimate correctly, you won't have any trouble cleaning up [.]12% to all damage dealt means you will win almost every fight [.]Listed as a top laner, but Kayle can fulfill pretty much any role. Absolutely devastating when combined with Morgana [center][b]Jungle[/b] [img=champ/amumu.png][img=champ/jarvaniv.png][img=champ/leesin.png][img=champ/nautilus.png][img=champ/sejuani.png][/center] [.]Amumu/Kat is a brilliant combo. If he initiates properly you will usually be able to kill any squishy character caught instantly [.]Jarvan brings great damage, crowd control, and tankiness to a team [.]When Lee Sin is played correctly, he is just an all-around strong pick, he can give you huge advantages in lane, and a Lee Sin/Kat roam squad is amazing with stupidly strong damage and ganks, but he becomes less relevant the longer the game goes on [.]Nautilus can provide all the crowd control a team needs by himself [.]She has okay ganks in the early game, but she is a monster in mid and late game thanks to her long ranged initiate and her 70% slow for 2.5 seconds [center][b]Marksmen (AD Carries)[/b] [img=champ/ezreal.png][img=champ/kogmaw.png][img=champ/corki.png][img=champ/vayne.png][/center] [.]Ezreal is incredibly mobile and self-sufficient [.]Has a nice amount of range and does a ton of damage late game: though very risky due to immobility [.]Good combination of poke, damage, safety. Corki's damage makes resets easier [.]Risky because Vayne is normally collapsed on asap, but a well-executed Vayne can be safe, mobile, and output ridiculous damage [center][b]Supports[/b] [img=champ/braum.png][img=champ/alistar.png][img=champ/morgana.png][img=champ/thresh.png][/center] [.]Ends up being so damn tanky as the game goes on. His counter-initiation and the amount of protection he offers is insane - definitely causes a lot of chaos [.]Basically in the same boat as Braum: has strong initiation, counter-engage, and is tanky to boot [.]The immunity to crowd control really helps you deal with teams structured around shutting you down [.]If he catches a squishy target, they're dead. His skill set can keep champions in place for extended amounts of time

[center][imgext=][/center] Sometimes known as freesets, generally Marksmen are squishy enough that using this build you can kill them in one combo and a half-channeled Death Lotus, however some Marksmen are tougher to kill. Note that while killing carry champions significantly improves the odds of winning, Katarina's biggest goal in fights is to ace enemy teams, rather than individually pick off targets, so it may prove more useful to fight three clumped enemies than focusing on the backline, due to Katarina's all-in nature. [img=champ/ashe.png] [b]Ashe Difficulty: 2/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/ashe/q.png][img=skills/ashe/r.png] Ashe's strength is her initiation and kiting ability, but being an immobile champion, she is susceptible to gap closing assassins. Note that she might opt to save her ultimate to shut you down in a team fight. She can't really kite you because your burst is normally high enough to kill her extremely quickly. If Ashe is consistent in landing her Enchanted Crystal Arrows, you might want to pick up Banshee's Veil in order to avoid getting caught out. Shunpo is normally enough to handle her, however. [img=champ/caitlyn.png] [b]Caitlyn Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/caitlyn/w.png][img=skills/caitlyn/e.png] Catching Caitlyn is a task in itself, her attack range is huge so she can stay at the very back of fights and fully contribute anyway. She has potent escape abilities with her Traps and .90 Caliber Net. Be sure not to accidentally step on one of these traps in team fights, as the short trap time can result in your death. You might need another dive champion with you if you wish to kill Caitlyn, because she will have to blow her net before you will be able to kill her. Focus her teammates if you cannot get a favourable pick on her. [img=champ/corki.png] [b]Corki Difficulty: 4/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/corki/w.png] Corki is easy to kill, but Valkyrie's long range mean it's unlikely you'll be able to catch up with him. If he blows the ability, he is very easy to drop. Focus on other targets unless your team can force Corki to use his escape.. [img=champ/draven.png] [b]Draven Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of:[/b][img=skills/draven/q.png][img=skills/draven/e.png] You mustn't engage until Draven's interrupt does on cooldown. As soon as this happens, he is a very easy target to assassinate. Beware that his Q adds a lot of damage onto his basic attacks, but he usually cannot constantly catch the axes during team fight situations unless he plays perfectly. [img=champ/ezreal.png] [b]Ezreal Difficulty: 4/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/ezreal/e.png] Ezreal basically has a Flash on a 10 second cooldown, making him very hard to kill. If you ever catch him without his Arcane Shift and Flash, Ezreal will die very quickly because he is one of the squishiest Marksmen. [img=champ/graves.png] [b]Graves Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/graves/p.png][img=skills/graves/w.png][img=skills/graves/e.png] Graves' passive grants him free tank stats when in combat, so he will become harder to burst over the course of a fight. His Smokescreen (W) can potentially mess you up in a team fight because you will have no idea where he is. Graves' usually doesn't blow his E until he has to. Let him use his abilities before you bother engaging on him as he has ample escape options. [img=champ/jinx.png] [b]Jinx Difficulty: 1/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/jinx/p.png][img=skills/jinx/e.png] Jinx lacks interrupts for your abilities late game and has no mobility without her passive. She is very easy to burst down, and I recommend taking her out early in a fight to ensure that she cannot simply run away from Death Lotus. She is one of the champions who I would prefer being able to get a pick on early, rather than waiting out a team fight, because her damage over the course of the team fight is huge, but she can be dealt with easily. [img=champ/kogmaw.png] [b]Kog'maw Difficulty: 1/5 Be wary of: [img=skills/kogmaw/p.png][/b] Kog'maw is a potent siege champion, but his lack of mobility and general squishiness means you can kill him very quickly. Be careful of his passive if you are on low health, but Shunpo or Zhonya's will usually let you avoid his damage anyway. As is the case with Jinx, I'd prefer being able to kill Kog'maw at the start of the fight because his damage is so high. [img=champ/lucian.png] [b]Lucian Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/lucian/w.png][img=skills/lucian/e.png] Lucian has very high damage and potent escape abilities thanks to his ability to kite with his W, and Relentless Pursuit's short dash. Wait for him to use this ability before attempting to kill him. [img=champ/missfortune.png] [b]Miss Fortune Difficulty: 1/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/missfortune/r.png] Incredibly easy to kill. She will stand still when she begins channeling her ultimate, so Shunpo behind her and start channeling your own. [img=champ/quinn.png] [b]Quinn Difficulty: 4/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/quinn/e.png] Her knock back can be a problem to deal with, and she isn't really easy to burst down. You'll have to wait until she uses her knock back: another dive champion helps you considerably. [img=champ/sivir.png] [b]Sivir Difficulty: 5/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/sivir/e.png][img=skills/sivir/r.png] She is incredibly hard to kill in team fights. Her Spell Shield can block Deathfire Grasp, and her ultimate allows her to simply run out of Death Lotus' cast range. She normally starts fights with her ultimate, as it is a sort of \"Go!\" button. The speed buff lasts for around 8 seconds, you can wait it out unless you can get a good pick off on a target, it allows her teammates to also run out of Death Lotus' range rather easily. [img=champ/tristana.png] [b]Tristana Difficulty: 5/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/tristana/w.png][img=skills/tristana/r.png] Tristana has a very strong knock back and, if you even manage to get back into range, she can just jump away from you. You will need another dive champion on your team to kill her. Very scary because her huge attack speed steroid and escape abilities make her hard to kill. [img=champ/twitch.png] [b]Twitch Difficulty: 2/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/twitch/q.png] Squishy, squishy rat is usually a free kill. You don't even have to wait for him to stealth during a team fight, thanks to Death Lotus' ability to hit him through invisibility anyway. However, to ensure a kill, you will probably want to wait for him to reveal himself beforehand, just to be safe. Bursting him down at the start of a fight is preferable because the damage this guy does over the course of a team fight is insane. [img=champ/urgot.png] [b]Urgot to be kidding me Difficulty: why/5 Be wary of:[/b][img=skills/urgot/p.png][img=skills/urgot/q.png][img=skills/urgot/w.png][img=skills/urgot/e.png][img=skills/urgot/r.png] While not a traditional Marksman, Urgot can be played in the position, and he just works so damn well against Assassin champions. His passive will reduce all of your damage by 15%, and his E>Q spam will kill a fifth of your armour and put out a LOT of damage. Urgot's W lets him kite to a degree and grants him a small shield, and his ultimate grants hit a ton of resistances and suppresses you for a period of time. He is a huge pain to deal with, and you will most definitely need help from another champion to kill him. His damage falls off when compared to other Marksmen, so he is a lesser threat as the game drags on. Remember that the huge boost to his resistances lasts for 5 seconds, so don't go out of your way trying to kill him. He is short ranged and will not be far from fights. [img=champ/varus.png] [b]Varus Difficulty: 2/5 Be wary of:[/b] [img=skills/varus/q.png][img=skills/varus/r.png] Don't get locked up by his ultimate. If he catches you out with it and his team begins focusing you, just pop Zhonya's Hourglass. Varus lacks mobility and is very easy to burst down. Beware his high damage poke with Piercing Arrow, the range is extremely far and tanking one of these arrows as the first target will stack the odds of living through a team fight heavily against you. [img=champ/vayne.png] [b]Vayne Difficulty: 5/5 Be wary of:[/b][img=skills/vayne/q.png][img=skills/vayne/w.png][img=skills/vayne/e.png][img=skills/vayne/r.png] You NEED help to kill vayne. She can deal with single champions diving her very easily, but multiple champions are a problem for her. Her invisibility means you will probably need to pick up the Sweeping Lens (Red Trinket). Allow me to reiterate, [b]always[/b] bring help when fighting a Vayne, or she will kill you. If she blows her Condemn on another target and begins focusing them, jump straight onto Vayne and try your best to save your teammate. Without an interrupt, Vayne becomes incredibly easy to burst down due to her general squishiness.

[center][imgext=][/center] Generally supports are one of the biggest threats towards Katarina, they have extensive crowd control and depending on circumstances, can save their spells to shut you down in team fights with ease. Supports are either in the very front lines diving with their tanks, or at the back of fights protecting their precious carries. They are the champions that you have to be most aware of in team fights. [img=champ/alistar.png] [b]Alistar[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/alistar/q.png][imgsmall=skills/alistar/w.png][imgsmall=skills/alistar/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 5/5[/highlight] You won't be able to touch his carry unless he is on initiation duty. His crowd control abilities are on rather long cooldowns, so look out for those before entering the fight. Try to position yourself in a way that Alistar won't be a target of Death Lotus, as he can shrug off Death Lotus with ease, but this is not a priority: as long as you go in after his crowd control is blown, you will be fine. [img=champ/blitzcrank.png] [b]Blitzcrank[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/blitzcrank/q.png][imgsmall=skills/blitzcrank/e.png][imgsmall=skills/blitzcrank/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 4/5[/highlight] Don't get grabbed and you won't die. He should be peeling for his Marksman unless he can land a good grab on an essential member of your team. Blitzcrank can be incredibly annoying in team fights because his ultimate can be saved for you, and his knock up is on an incredibly low cooldown of 5 seconds without CDR. [img=champ/janna.png] [b]Janna[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/janna/q.png][imgsmall=skills/janna/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 4/5[/highlight] Janna provides pretty good peel for her marksman, and can reset bad fights rather easily with her ultimate. Unfortunately for you, she can save her ultimate for after you use Shunpo, rendering you useless for a short period of time. If your team has a champion that can dive into a fight before you, have them force Janna's ultimate first. [img=champ/kayle.png] [b]Kayle[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/kayle/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 5/5[/highlight] Do not enter a fight before Kayle has blown her ultimate, it makes the target immune to all damage, effectively preventing any form of resets if you focus the wrong target. [img=champ/leona.png] [b]Leona[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/leona/q.png][imgsmall=skills/leona/w.png][imgsmall=skills/leona/e.png][imgsmall=skills/leona/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 5/5[/highlight] Leona is almost always on initiation duty: she packs extensive crowd control that will destroy you in a team fight should you get caught out by her. She ends up incredibly tanky, has an autoattack modifer on a 7 second cooldown that stuns. Definitely one of the hardest champions to play against in team fights. [img=champ/lulu.png] [b]Lulu[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/lulu/w.png][imgsmall=skills/lulu/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 5/5[/highlight] Best noob-save champion in the game. You won't kill her carries when both W and R are off cooldown. In similar respects to Janna, you will need another dive champion on your team to force Lulu to blow her ultimate and W. [img=champ/morgana.png] [b]Morgana[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/morgana/q.png][imgsmall=skills/morgana/e.png][imgsmall=skills/morgana/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 4/5[/highlight] Her playstyle is exactly the same as when she's played against in mid lane: avoid her snare, pop Zhonya's if you get caught by it, and do not enter team fights until she uses her ultimate unless you are 100% sure you can kill her before the stun portion of the ability activates. Black Shield will buffer a significant amount of your damage, so unless you have snowballed incredibly hard, focus the target she doesn't use black shield on. [img=champ/nami.png] [b]Nami[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/nami/q.png][imgsmall=skills/nami/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 3/5[/highlight] She can either initiate or reset a fight with her ultimate. Flash+Shunpo over it if you want a chance to kill her and her Marksman. She is normally at the very back of the fight and she is a very easy to burst champion. [img=champ/sona.png] [b]Sona[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/sona/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 2/5[/highlight] Without her ultimate she has mediocre peel for her Marksman. She will usually be initiating fights with her ultimate. If you can catch her, she is basically a free reset. [img=champ/soraka.png] [b]Soraka[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/soraka/w.png][imgsmall=skills/soraka/e.png][imgsmall=skills/soraka/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 4/5[/highlight] She might have little in the way of peel, but her silence and heals will almost always prevent you from killing her Marksman. You're better off waiting for Soraka to use her abilities before entering a fight, specifically her silence. [img=champ/thresh.png] [b]Thresh[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/thresh/q.png][imgsmall=skills/thresh/e.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 4/5[/highlight] Shunpo nullifies any peel potential that Thresh's box offers. His long ranged initiation (Q) and low cooldown peel on his E is what you should be afraid of. [img=champ/zilean.png] [b]Zilean[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/zilean/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 3/5[/highlight] Can be really annoying because you'll be forced to kill a target twice over and it prevents resets. Not necessarily a big deal unless the target you're focusing is rather split off from the rest of their team. If the target he's saved is a carry, you can burst them in one combo any way. [img=champ/zyra.png] [b]Zyra[/b] [highlight]Be wary of:[/highlight][imgsmall=skills/zyra/e.png][imgsmall=skills/zyra/r.png] [highlight]Protection rating: 3/5[/highlight] Do not get rooted by her E, and avoid the knock up as best you can. Try to wait until she at least casts her ultimate before opting to engage.

[center][imgext=][/center] Junglers have a very decisive role in the early game, so you have to be aware of the location of the enemy jungler at all times. They can be anywhere on the map, and potent junglers will have no trouble punishing your mistakes. Shunpo makes Katarina one of the hardest champions to gank, but unless you use your skills wisely, you won't make it out of laning phase. Here's a list of popular junglers and the difficulty they pose throughout the laning phase, and afterwards. [img=champ/aatrox.png] [b]Aatrox Difficulty: 4/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/aatrox/p.png][img=skills/aatrox/q.png][img=skills/aatrox/e.png][img=skills/aatrox/r.png] Flying man with big sword's abilities work well for ganking. His passive allows for great survivability and tower diving potential, his Q is a quick knock up that can be avoided with Shunpo if you have fast reflexes, his slow (E) is powerful due to its duration, and his ultimate adds a ton of damage should you try to fight him. In team fights he usually ends up relatively squishy, but in most cases he cannot be bursted down thanks to his passive. He is a very high damage fighter jungler, and should be avoided if you happen to come across him. [img=champ/amumu.png] [b]Amumu Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/amumu/q.png][img=skills/amumu/r.png] Amumu's ganks aren't a big deal during the early game as his Bandage Toss (Q) can easily be avoided with Shunpo, and his damage output isn't high. Even if you are caught by his Q, you can usually Shunpo straight out after and not suffer too much anyway. After 6 his ganking power gets kicked up a notch, but you can easily avoid his ultimate with Shunpo again. In team fights, Amumu is expected to initiate. You should not be in range of this or you will die thanks to his team's damage output. [img=champ/chogath.png] [b]Cho'gath Difficulty: 5/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/chogath/q.png][img=skills/chogath/w.png][img=skills/chogath/r.png] Like Amumu, he only has one ganking tool before level 6, which is his Rupture (Q). This is easily avoided as there is a channel time and a small delay before knock up is applied. Unlike Amumu, Cho'gath has the ability to lock you up for quite a while and put out a lot of damage if he lands his Rupture. His Feral Scream (W) silences for between 1.5-2.5 seconds, depending on level. When silenced, you cannot use any abilities, summoner spells, or active items. But the key to avoiding his damage is to dodge Rupture with Shunpo. Try to avoid getting close to Cho'gath in team fights because of the extensive crowd control he has, how tanky he is, as well as his surprising burst damage. He becomes an absolute monster in team fights due to the amount of crowd control he has: Cho'gath excels at shutting down champions that rely on casting abilities constantly. I recommend not picking Katarina into Cho'gath because he can shut you down very easily. [img=champ/darius.png] [b]Darius Difficulty: 2/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/darius/e.png] Darius has crappy ganks throughout the game. A champion must be severely out of place to be caught by a Darius gank. His grab range (E) is very short, and even when grabbed, Shunpo can be used to easily escape. Note that he can put out a lot of damage with just basic abilities and autoattacks, so if you do get caught out, you will likely die. In team fights, he will usually end up tanky while dealing respectable damage, but overall he will not be a big threat. [img=champ/drmundo.png] [b]Dr. Mundo Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/drmundo/q.png] Just dodge his cleaver (Q) when he ganks and you're fine. Getting hit with it hurts and slows for two seconds, but you will usually be able to get out in time. Counter jungling is what he does best, so take note of what is happening in your jungle as you may have to help out. In team fights, he won't usually deal a lot of damage to you in particular, but he is beefy as hell and will take a lot of punishment, so don't bother fighting him until last. [img=champ/elise.png] [b]Elise Difficulty: 4/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/elise/e.png] She isn't difficult to get away from in a gank situation because you can easily dodge her only real ganking tool (E) with your Shunpo. The problem is that when she does land it, she does a lot of damage with other abilities. But the skillshot is very slow and isn't much of an issue. In team fights, she will build tanky while still dealing respectable damage, akin to Darius. [img=champ/evelynn.png] [b]Evelynn Difficulty: 4/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/evelynn/p.png][img=skills/evelynn/q.png][img=skills/evelynn/r.png] The problem with Evelynn is her constant stealth and ability to pass through Stealth Wards. Her ganking is very potent because she can sneak into an opportune position without you seeing, and wait for you to make a mistake. From there, her damage output is very high, and she can chase thanks to the interaction between her Q and W. You have to be sure to never make a mistake when playing against her as Evelynn can snowball hard. She will build squishy, with the only form of tankiness coming from her ultimate, but she has the ability to kill your carries very quickly, so try to go for hers. After level 6, if she messes up a gank you can kill her very easily with Death Lotus. [img=champ/fiddlesticks.png] [b]Fiddlesticks Difficulty: 4/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/fiddlesticks/q.png][img=skills/fiddlesticks/e.png][img=skills/fiddlesticks/r.png] Fiddlesticks as a jungler is less scary than Fiddlesticks in mid lane, but his ability to beat you in team fight situation is still there. His ganking is mediocre because he has to walk fairly close in order to crowd control you. You definitely have to keep your lane warded, because if Fiddlesticks catches you by surprise he will kill you. He will not be leveling up his Fear (Q) first because he will be jungling, so the duration will mostly be one second. Again though, in late game team fights you mus beware the amount of damage he can put out, and his crowd control potential. [img=champ/hecarim.png] [b]Hecarim Difficulty: 2/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/hecarim/e.png][img=skills/hecarim/r.png] Hecarim is a very fast ganker: with a proper item build he can usually run either through wards, or straight down a lane in order to gank. He packs a lot of damage early on and can very easily destroy most mid laners who overextend. Of course, Shunpo works well in your favour here. If you see Hecarim running towards you, you should try to Shunpo away so as to avoid his knock back (E). If however, you are unable to Shunpo away early, you still have the ability to escape and put some distance between each other just by using Shunpo straight onto him when the animation for his knock back plays. The timing isn't hard, and interaction is strange because Hecarim follows through with the knock back, and travels in the direction you were in before you used Shunpo, but you will be knocked in the opposite direction of Hecarim. After 6 and in team fights, Hecarim's initiation potential becomes very strong. You must be hiding when you think Hecarim is going to initiate, because if you get caught you, you can die very quickly. [img=champ/jarvaniv.png] [b]Jarvan IV Difficulty: 5/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/jarvaniv/q.png][img=skills/jarvaniv/w.png][img=skills/jarvaniv/e.png][img=skills/jarvaniv/r.png] Dunkmaster Jarvan is a pain to deal with. A well executed Jarvan works very well against Katarina. Most Jarvan players will walk into lane, activate their W in order to slow you, then apply red buff through autoattacks. If you try to use Shunpo to escape before Jarvan uses his E>Q combo (knock up), he can follow you easily. The best way to avoid a Jarvan gank is to keep both sides of your lane warded to avoid getting surprised by him. As soon as you see Jarvan walk into lane, don't let him land his W. It operates similarly to Leona's W, except it is instant and slows. If the Jarvan is not smart, he will use his E>Q combo to initiate on you, in which case you can simply Shunpo straight onto him if he is behind you, or to another entity if he is in front of you. Beware of his ultimate in ganks, as he can lock you up for a long time if you don't have Shunpo or Flash available. Usually, Jarvan will follow up his E>Q combo with his ultimate after you have used Shunpo to escape. Try not to let this happen to you. [img=champ/leesin.png] [b]Lee Sin Difficulty: 5/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/leesin/q.png][img=skills/leesin/w.png][img=skills/leesin/e.png][img=skills/leesin/r.png] Nightmare to face on Katarina. Much like the Dunkmaster, a well-played Lee Sin can destroy your early game if you do not play carefully. Luckily, Lee Sin is a hard champion to play, so your chances of facing a formidable Lee Sin are slim. He has two gap closers with his Q and his W, a potent slow on his E, as well as very high damage early in the game. Getting caught out by a Lee Sin usually spells death unless you can outplay him with clever Shunpo use. His ultimate is a huge damage and displacement tool, but it can be played around if he attempts to gank post-6 from behind. If Lee Sin does attempt to gank from behind, you can Shunpo straight to him, and it is likely you will be kicked away from him and the enemy laner. Be careful of a Q follow up kick as it will do a lot of damage. [img=champ/maokai.png] [b]Maokai Difficulty: 2/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/maokai/q.png][img=skills/maokai/w.png][img=skills/maokai/r.png] Maokai is a very early-game gank-centric jungler. To most mid laners, Maokai's ganks can be very punishing, but Shunpo affords a great deal of safety, and even kill potential over Maokai. Arcane Smash (Q) is a very low cooldown knock back and slow that you should be wary of in team fights, as he can easily crowd control you mid Death Lotus. His Twisted Advance (W) is a targeted gap closing snare. During the time Maokai will become untargettable, but will follow you regardless of distance. This is very punishable during the early game, as using Shunpo and Flash can cause him to snare you under turret, resulting in a blown Flash or an easy kill. You can see an example of this in Katarina's Champion Spotlight. Maokai's ultimate reduces all damage taken by his allies within the AoE, which can be very annoying to deal with, but should not hinder your abilities too much. You might be able to catch his back line outside of his ultimate's area, in which case you will usually be able to deal with them quickly. [img=champ/nasus.png] [b]Nasus Difficulty: 1/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/nasus/w.png] Jungle Nasus isn't a big deal when playing Katarina, as Shunpo basically nullifies any threat his Wither (W) has. He will usually end up building very tanky for late game, but early on, if you can ever catch him out in the jungle with your own jungler, it's likely you can kill him because he is very squishy at this stage. In team fights he can cut your Marksman's damage in half with his Wither because of its attack speed slow. In combination with another dive champion, Nasus can make short work of your back line while being very tanky to boot. Oftentimes you will be able to kill his back line faster with another dive champion, or you can simply opt to peel for your marksman, but he is very hard to take down. [img=champ/nautilus.png] [b]Nautilus Difficulty: 5/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/nautilus/p.png][img=skills/nautilus/q.png][img=skills/nautilus/e.png][img=skills/nautilus/r.png] Nautilus can provide all the crowd control a team needs by himself. He has four different types of crowd control, two of which are hard crowd control that can interrupt your ultimate. Nautilus' ganks are prominent after level 3, as he can very easily lock you up, but Shunpo is a great tool for avoiding his crowd control, but as is the case with almost every other jungler, you should never use Shunpo unless you are sure of where he is, because of his lock down ability, as well as his surprising damage during the early game. Nautilus is a champion that can snowball very hard and become an unkillable beast, but he can also be shut down very hard. Try to hunt him down with the aid of your jungler, and you will kill him. His dueling capabilities are pathetic and he is not very mobile. Do not get caught out by Nautilus in team fights, and beware of his Depth Charge as it is an ability he can save for when you begin channeling Death Lotus in order to shut you down. [img=champ/olaf.png] [b]Olaf Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of: [img=skills/olaf/q.png][/b] Olaf is a 3/5 because of his amazing scaling. Jungle Olaf has seen recent play in Korea, naturally translating to increased play across all other servers, and it seems to be working very well. He is unkitable thanks to the 2.5 second slows that come from his axes, and his amazing dueling and diving capabilities can destroy. His ganks do rely on landing his axes which, even if hit with, can be Shunpo'd away from anyway. He brings good damage to ganks, but he will never be able to touch you as long as you have Shunpo available. In team fights, he can either stick to you, or he will try to dive your carries. If he goes for you, you will not be able to kill him but he will not be able to crowd control you. This is not necessarily a problem for Olaf as he can deal a ton of damage with his true damage and very high attack speed values. You won't be able to help your carries if he opts to dive them, so go straight for his carries when it is safe to do so. [img=champ/rammus.png] [b]Rammus Difficulty: 4/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/rammus/q.png][img=skills/rammus/e.png] In a similar fashion to Hecarim, Rammus is a very fast ganker. Unfortunately, he is harder to get away from than Hecarim is, and provides much better peel for his carries. You must be wary if you see Rammus attempting a gank as Powerball (Q) will bring him into lane very quickly. As soon as you see him approaching, you must have something to Shunpo to, or he can lock you up with his taunt ability, which can actually trigger after you have used Shunpo, causing you to walk back towards Rammus. In team fights, Rammus can peel well for his carries: if you get caught by his taunt, you will die to his team's damage output. [img=champ/sejuani.png] [b]Sejuani Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/sejuani/q.png][img=skills/sejuani/r.png] Sejuani has fairly strong ganks in that she has a permaslow, but she has to be up close to do anything to do. Her Q will launch her towards you however, as is the case with Hecarim, you can simply Shunpo to her to avoid getting caught by her if she is behind you, or you can Shunpo to another object nearby. Either way, she cannot catch you easily. Sejuani's ultimate is basically a ranged Amumu ultimate, but it is easier to dodge because it has a travel time. In team fights, handle the situation similarly to when playing versus Amumu, stay away from your team, and let your front line tank Sejuani's ultimate. [img=champ/shaco.png] [b]Shaco Difficulty: 1/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/shaco/q.png][img=skills/shaco/w.png][img=skills/shaco/r.png] Shaco is very non-threatening to Katarina. The only strength he has in terms of ganking is his stealthed blink, serving as his only method of getting close and fighting you. While this could be considered a broken mechanic, Shaco doesn't have the damage to back it up, nor does he have sufficient crowd control. He'll usually be able to stealth into your lane, put a Jack in the Box (W) down, and then begin autoattacking you. The only way I could fathom him being a threat is if he is fed on purpose. [img=champ/shyvana.png] [b]Shyvana Difficulty: 4/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/shyvana/r.png] Her ganks suck, so why is Shyvana a 4/5? Because, after a certain point, you can't kill her, and your carries will die when she jumps on them. Shyvana mostly relies on being able to counter-jungle, and counter-gank lanes, with farming being her biggest goal, and with Season 4's jungle giving a boost of gold to junglers, Shyvana is able to build up the items she needs easily and quickly through simply taking camps. Her team fighting is her biggest strength, as she will dive your carries, and she will kill them, while also being unkillable in the process. Even when focused, Shyvana has lots of mobility in team fights, so you usually won't be able to pin her down anyway. The only advice I can give is to try to kill her back line as soon as you can. [img=champ/skarner.png] [b]Skarner Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/skarner/q.png][img=skills/skarner/r.png] Have not seen a Skarner for a very long while, but I'm sure that he is still strong when used correctly. As is the case with every other matchup, don't blow Shunpo unless you know where Skarner is. His Q can lock you up for a very long time, and he has very high damage in the early game, especially with double buffs. Skarner's ultimate allows him to pull you out of position after getting close to you. Luckily, Shunpo can save you very easily both before and after he uses the ability. In team fights, his biggest goal will be to catch a squishy champion out of position: don't be that squishy champion because you will die. [img=champ/trundle.png] [b]Trundle Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/trundle/q.png][img=skills/trundle/w.png][img=skills/trundle/e.png][img=skills/trundle/r.png] Very rarely will you see a Trundle player in your games. This is a good thing because a well played Trundle can be hell for your team. I don't know why he isn't picked more, because he can provide great peel for his squishies, and he can also dive enemy carries incredibly easily and tear them apart, all while stripping other champions of their offensive and defensive stats. Trundle's wall (E) is a strong crowd-control that creates an impassable pillar of ice. As you've probably come to expect, Shunpo handles the problems this poses easily. His W grants him additional stats while he stands on the AoE, so don't bother fighting him, and his Q lowers your Attack Damage by a certain amount. His ultimate allows him to steal defensive stats off of champions, but he will likely use this on tanks, so it is not a worry for you. [img=champ/udyr.png] [b]Udyr Difficulty: 4/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/udyr/q.png][img=skills/udyr/e.png] Udyr's Tiger Stance places a very hard hitting DoT effect that will chunk you very hard, should he catch you out with his Bear Stance. Bear Stance is an ability that increases his movement speed, and is Udyr's only method of ganking. Because Udyr physically has to run up to you to proc the stun, you can simply Shunpo away from him and you will be fine. If Udyr manages to catch you out without Shunpo, you will probably die due to the overwhelming damage coming from his Tiger Stance. In team fights, he will usually be peeling, slapping anybody in team fights with his Bear Stance's stun. This is a problem for you because you have to let Udyr stun you before you can even think about channeling Death Lotus. Banshee's Veil is a good counter to this stun, provided the enemy team has little in the way to proc the passive. [img=champ/vi.png] [b]Vi Difficulty: 4/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/vi/q.png][img=skills/vi/r.png] Vi isn't great at ganking before level 6, further accentuated by her having Hecarim Syndrome (you can Shunpo to her when she activates her gap closer). The only problem you'll have with Vi is the amount of damage she can put out if she ever manages to catch you out, and her ability to follow you over walls, should you attempt to escape with a ward jump. After level 6, Vi gains access to her ultimate, a knock up/suppression that deals a good amount of damage. During laning, this isn't a big problem unless you are caught without Shunpo and Flash. Similarly to Maokai, you can turn an unwise gank into an easy kill if you manage to take her under your turret. In team fights, Vi can opt to save her ultimate for when you use Death Lotus, so as to shut you down very quickly. Vi does a good job of locking down individual targets, so do try to wait for her to use her ultimate on someone else. Banshee's Veil and Zhonya's Hourglass are brilliant counters to her ultimate. If you cannot enter a team fight because Vi is saving her ultimate for you, Shunpo into the fight and activate Zhonya's either as she hits you or before she hits you. Pulling off the former puts the ability on its full cooldown, and thelatter puts it on cooldown for 5 seconds. [img=champ/volibear.png] [b]Volibear Difficulty: 2/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/volibear/p.png][img=skills/volibear/q.png] Volibear has no gap closers other than simply running up to you in order you flip you and lock you up with his Q. As is the case with Udyr, easily avoided with Shunpo, but don't get caught out as Volibear packs a punch. He is fairly hard to kill thanks to his passive, allowing him to regenerate health incredibly rapidly when he gets to low levels of health, but this ability has a two minute cooldown and displays an icon under his champion card. In team fights, he aims to disrupt as much as possible, peeling for his carries when necessary. He deals a surprising amount of damage, so try to not fight him directly. [img=champ/warwick.png] [b]Warwick Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/warwick/r.png] Warwick has no ganking prowess before level 6. He has to run up to a target, with no reliable means to close the gap, and apply red buff. Even if he gets close, just Shunpo away from him. No threat whatsoever. After 6, he has the ability to Flash and use his ultimate, a suppression ability which locks you up for 1.8 seconds. The only way you can escape this ability is if somebody crowd controls him mid channel. In team fights, count on him to save his ultimate for Death Lotus - this is the only reason I have not rated him lower - because he can stop your ultimate whenever he wants. Banshee's Veil works wonders against Warwick. [img=champ/xinzhao.png] [b]Xin Zhao Difficulty: 3/5 Be wary of: [/b][img=skills/xinzhao/q.png][img=skills/xinzhao/e.png][img=skills/xinzhao/r.png] A well played Xin Zhao can peel easily for his carries, and becomes a very tanky threat in the late game. While his ganking is strong, he too suffers from Hecarim Syndrome. If you time it right, you can Shunpo straight onto Xin Zhao as he dashes towards you with his E. Xin Zhao's Q lets him knock up a target after attacking three times. You will see him play a different animation for each autoattack when he activates this ability, and the third autoattack in this sequence will knock the target up into the air. You will have to worry about his ultimate though: he can knock you away from his carries rather easily with this ability, and probably waste your Death Lotus. There's no remedy other than simply waiting for him to use it.

[center][imgext=][/center] [big]24/11/2014*[/big] [center][b]PRIORITY CHAMPIONS[/b] [img=champ/kassadin.png][img=champ/nidalee.png][img=champ/janna.png][/center] [.]I just really hate Kassadin [.]Outdamages you from range, outdamages you in melee, will kill your marksman with a spear or two [.]Really not a fan of playing against Janna: her kit works well when it comes to denying resets [center][b]NOTABLE CHAMPIONS[/b] [img=champ/sona.png][img=champ/lulu.png][img=champ/alistar.png][img=champ/draven.png][img=champ/morgana.png][img=champ/yasuo.png][/center] [.]Sona can actually be pretty threatening in the mid lane, and as a support she can easily give her marksman big advantages coming out of lane phase [.]Lulu has a lot of the tools to counter you: strong early game, abundant crowd control, and champ saving mechanics [.]Alistar's headbutt and pulverize are stupidly strong. He can be played top or support: he gets too tanky with his ultimate and does a lot of damage when it's up [.]Highest win rate marksmen at the moment are Jinx, Sivir, Ashe (wtf), Corki, Draven. Talk to your team if you wish to ban one of them [.]Morgana has a three second snare that's incredibly easy to hit, come on Riot [.]I actually don't really care for Yasuo in a 1v1, it's not hard to shut him down as Katarina. The problem is that when paired with champions he can combo with (Lee Sin), he actually becomes a pretty ridiculous threat. Also, your team will probably cry if he's not banned [i]Because it's a new season, I'm still trying to see what's strong. I'm updating this soon, but for the most part I'm looking at charts to determine what's ban-worthy right now. I have to toss up between what's strong in solo queue, versus what's good against Katarina to determine what champions make this list.[/i] *Australian format (DD/MM/YYYY)

[center][imgext=][/center] In order to explain my reasoning behind some of my decisions in this guide, I decided to add this section. If you see something I missed out on, or are having trouble with homework, ask me so in the comments, and I will deliver any answers. All math in this guide assumes that you have taken the default masteries, runes, and items I have listed unless stated otherwise. [center][highlight]-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------[/highlight][/center] [center][big][img=items/liandrys-torment.png] Why I hate Liandry's! [img=items/liandrys-torment.png][/big][/center] [i]This section is out of date, but the point still stands: Liandry's is a terrible item for assassins like Katarina[/i] Another commonality amongst Katarina players is building Haunting Guise. I don't mind this, in fact I wholeheartedly support building Haunting Guise early. It's such a brilliant item for the early game with its health, ability power, and magic penetration. Oh, they've upgraded it into Liandry's. Well then. Honestly Liandry's is an item that is brilliant to build when facing high health tanks, as long as you can make effective use of the passive. Liandry's costs 2900 gold, but in terms of raw stats it only provides 1888 worth of gold, not including its passive effects. Which means that the passive effect will need to be worth over 1000 gold in order to be cost effective on Katarina, which is simply not possible. Lets look at a few examples of champions that do build this item: [img=champ/brand.png][img=champ/malzahar.png][img=champ/rumble.png]. What do these champions have in common? All of these champions have DoT effects that can constantly apply Liandry's burn to multiple targets. In laning, Katarina can apply the burn once with her abilities, having nothing to constantly reapply the effect. Lets look at the things I could buy with 2900 gold. Hypothetically, lets say I've started the game with boots+4, have 2900 gold for my first back, I've picked up a few kills and I'm really good at last hitting. Option one: [img=items/liandrys-torment.png] [.]2900 gold [.]300 Health (800 gold) [.]50 Ability Power (1088 gold) [.]15 Magic Pen [.]DoT that deals 2% of target's current health per second, doubling if their movement is impaired [i][.]Total gold efficiency: 1888 gold[/i] Option two: [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png][img=items/haunting-guise.png][img=items/amplifying-tome.png] [.]775+1485+435=2695 gold, 205 gold remaining [.]+45 Movement Speed (585 gold) [.]200 Health (533 gold) [.]45 Ability Power (979 gold) [.]30 Magic Pen [i][.]Total gold efficiency: 2097[/i] Obviously, neither item takes the gold efficiency of their passives into account, because doing so would have to account for too many situations, many more than I would have the willpower to document, but 30 magic pen does in fact penetrate more than 15 magic pen does (!). Another interesting point to note is that Liandry's costs 2900, and sells for 2030 gold. Haunting Guise costs 1485, and sells for 1040 gold, which means that Haunting Guise is much less of a \"commitment\" item than Liandry's Torment is. The item itself is bad on Katarina just because it doesn't give enough damage, and there's no reasonable slot for you to replace it with. You won't want to swap any of your core items out for Liandry's, and if you need more damage why not just build any of the other situational items I mentioned. It has no place on Katarina, so [b]don't build it.[/b]

[center][imgext=][/center] [b]Invasions[/b] We've all had to deal with invasions before, sometimes we've gotten invaded and scored first blood, other times we've invaded and gotten aced. Invasions used to be one of the most deciding factors of the game and, although no longer being such a deciding factor in a game, can still grant huge advantages to either teams. This chapter goes over what happens before the laning phase begins. The brushes on either side of mid lane are an ideal place to sit on lookout. Generally, teams invading from the middle of the map will only follow two routes: mid lane or from the river. This means that you're in total safety as you can either spot a team approaching through river, or you can run away from a team that walks in through mid lane. In the event of a collapse, Katarina has the added safety of being able to escape from a pincer move without blowing Flash by simply using Shunpo to get out of a potentially disastrous situation. This is why you must [b]never take a skill at level one until you absolutely have to.[/b] [img=] First of all, lets talk about what your team wants to accomplish at level one. In general, most teams are either looking out for invasions and standing by their jungler, or looking at invading the enemy team's jungle. Lets look at both situations: [b]Defending[/b] If you're on lookout, always be aware that the enemy team could very easily try invading. If you think there's a high chance of this happening i.e. they have a very strong early game team with Blitzcrank, Lee Sin, Ezreal, or champions of a similar vein, you will have to stay on your toes. Katarina's early game is very weak and if you're getting invaded, you will want to run away. Solo-queue has such little communication that in the event of an invade two of your teammates might want to fight the invade, but the other two won't want to fight. Running away from an invade is the safest option here, at the most your jungler will miss out on a buff. Choosing to fight however, could result in giving up first blood and more. That being said it might also result in receiving first blood and more. Whether you fight or back off is simply a matter of preference, and it's clear that my preference is to back off in the event of an invasion unless I can guarantee that we would gain more than we would lose. Katarina's early game is too weak, stacking the odds of potential gains against her, but her teammates can very well compensate for this. If however, you'd rather fight with the chance of gaining a kill, Shunpo is infinitely more useful than any other skill this early in the game (if you're invading). This will be explained below. [b]Invading[/b] Going for an invade eh? I'm personally not a fan of this because you can potentially set your jungler or even your entire team behind if the invade does not go to plan. If your team is adamant on invading - and I mean adamant, your jungler should have made the decision and everybody is following them without question - then follow your team. If the jungler has any doubts by asking \"should we invade?\" or something of similar sorts, don't opt for it because hesitation could result in things going wrong for your team. Remember that solo-queue is horribly disorganised, so an invade is usually heavily in the invading team's favour. Catching the enemy team by surprise and netting three kills is truly a beautiful sight, but even stealing a buff is a successful invasion. If you see any form of fighting erupting from a potential invade, Shunpo is by-and-large the most useful skill to take in these situations, but only if you can guarantee a kill. [b]But why Shunpo?[/b] It's the best skill to take if you want to secure kills. Put it this way: Katarina's abilities don't do damage at rank one. She can't accomplish anything with Bouncing Blade, you'll be doing 60 damage with the mark activated, and then the enemy will simply Flash away from your team anyway. Are you going to Flash after them, putting yourself in a potentially more dangerous situation while having no escape available? What about Sinister Steel? Katarina will do around 25-30 damage in an AoE, gaining a 15% speed boost for one second. Again, Flash is the key factor here: if you let the enemy use it and then use your own, you're giving up your only escape ability at this stage for five minutes, and potentially putting yourself in a bad situation. So why do we take Shunpo? Well, this is a case of utility rather than damage. Shunpo is an amazing utility spell, but as a trade-off it doesn't do a lot of damage. Consider the following: everybody starts with 30 magic resistance at level one, but the amount of armour champions have ranges from 10-25 (not including runes and masteries), but the case is almost always that champions will have a higher amount of magic resist than they will armour, meaning your already weak abilities will end up doing even less damage. How is low armour relevant to a champion that only deals magic damage? Basic attacks. Katarina's basic attacks in the early game are her highest form of damage. She mightn't have any form of scaling or enhancement to her autoattacks, but the ability to do ~40 damage every 1.5 seconds and then being able to follow them even after they've blown their escape ability, while still having an escape of your own available is simply stronger than having the burst of Bouncing Blade or the AoE and chasing power of Sinister Steel. Katarina's ability to chase and kill a low health target is incredibly strong even early on: ignite, Shunpo, and autoattacks are bound to net you an early kill with your team's help.

[center][imgext=][/center] I consider early game to be the stages from level 1-6. Katarina's early game is very weak. Her damage is abysmal, her skirmishing is laughable, she has very little going for her at this stage of the game. You will want to play according to your matchup. Is the enemy champion someone you can take advantage of? Will they zone you out of creeps? The matchups section of this guide provides a look into what you should be doing and how you should play against certain matchups. [b]Level 1-2[/b] Before going to lane, you'll want to be standing around on the lookout for your jungler. Getting invaded can be quite stressful and may put your team far behind. My favourite place to stand when looking out for invades is in the long brushes on either side of mid lane. When invading, the majority of teams will either come in through top or mid (the previous chapter covers this scenario). Head to lane at around 1:50, and take either Bouncing Blade or Sinister Steel, depending on the matchup. Immediately begin pushing the lane out - you should try your hardest to not fall behind your enemy laner in terms of levels, as this opens up the ability for the enemy to begin zoning you due to a level advantage. Generally, you should wait until level two to harass the enemy, because you will have access to Shunpo by then, which means that harassing becomes much safer. [b]Level 3-5[/b] Poke, poke, poke! Poke the enemy like crazy. Katarina's harassment costs absolutely nothing, so continuously poke the enemy laner and establish dominance. Remember that the ability has a cast time and has relatively low damage early on. Do not try to harass with Q if you suspect the enemy laner will be able to land easy abilities on you, because they will likely out-damage you so having Shunpo available to dodge any counter-harassment is essential to winning laning phase. Ideally, you will want to harass them when they are about to last hit a creep, as this is essentially free damage. Against melee matchups, you should hit them with Sinister Steel whenever it is smart to do so. You should try to get your enemy laner down to 60% HP. Your kill potential isn't very high, but if your jungler ever visits to gank, your combined kill potential can net you an easy kill and will cause the lane to snowball. [b]Level 6[/b] Katarina gains a huge spike in power at level 6 when she obtains Death Lotus. Your enemy laner will be aware of this and will play more cautiously around you, especially if they have no means to respond to your damage. Around now is when you will obtain your first major item. This changes depending on how your laning phase has been thus far, and your laning opponent. For a solid first item, consider [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png] as it increases both your roaming strength as well as your damage. If I am facing a hard AP opponent such as Viktor or Syndra, I usually opt for [img=items/haunting-guise.png] and/or [img=items/mercurys-treads.png]. The health, magic resist, tenacity, and damage combine nicely to bolster Katarina's early game, ensuring she does not fall far behind. Against AD assassins, [img=items/seekers-armguard.png] should be picked up 100% of the time without a doubt. If you have snowballed early game hard enough with 2+ kills against your enemy laner, you can opt for a [img=items/needlessly-large-rod.png] to significantly boost your damage, although ability power is the only stat you will gain with this item. Your ultimate goal during the early game is to force your opponent to recall at the very least. This isn't always possible, especially with high sustain matchups like Morgana, but for most champions, Katarina's harassment during the early game is usually enough to force them to recall. If you can successfully make them recall before level 6, or keep them at a significantly low health percentage, your chance to kill them at level 6 skyrockets. How your early game goes will largely affect your mid game, but know that Katarina is a champion that can come back easily even if you have been denied hard early on.

[center][imgext=][/center] I consider mid game to last from level 6 until 30 minutes into the game. Mid game is Katarina's strongest point. By this stage, you should have at least two major items, and should be roaming hard. Kat's wave clear comes from using Bouncing Blade and Sinister Steel, which won't kill all creeps in a lane but this is still a fast method to kill a wave. From here, this opens up the ability to gank other lanes with ease. Katarina's ganks and counter-ganks are astonishing, so you should attempt to visit other lanes as frequently as you can, preferably with your jungler. Roaming with a jungler as a mid laner often ensures that you will be able to kill a lane and cause it to snowball extremely hard. Mid game is centered around roaming and objectives. Top lane usually consists of hard to gank bruisers, and there is really only one way to gank top from mid lane. In bottom lane, both champions are usually squishy, your support can provide ample crowd control, and the payoff for ganking bot lane is usually much higher. When roaming, if you manage to clean up a lane, either start pushing the tower down or make your way towards Dragon. You will want to weigh up your options at this point: towers grant map control and a global gold bonus; and Dragon grants a bigger global gold bonus, and prevents the enemy team from taking it for the next 6 minutes. This doesn't mean that you should shy away from ganking top lane, if the opportunity ever arises it is your job as a mid laner to take advantage of such a situation, but bot lane provides much greater rewards. Katarina excels at small skirmishes and team fights, and you should look for opportunities to fight these whenever you can. In the mid game phase, you'll want to focus your efforts on either grouping or split-pushing. Usually, if your team isn't good at team fighting, they will be better at split-pushing, and vice versa. Either tactic is a viable option with Katarina, but you will want to stick in groups of atleast 2 or more teammates in order to force engages. Your ideal build at the end of mid game should look like this: [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png][img=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png][img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png][img=items/deathfire-grasp.png][img=items/void-staff.png]. If you aren't quite here, try to finish up your offensive items quickly, or look for a defensive item if you feel you need that first.

[center][imgext=][/center] [b]Roaming[/b] When roaming, look at the conditions of your side lanes. You have to take into account whether roaming will net you an advantage, because by leaving your lane you lose out on at least 100 gold per minion wave. Katarina is a champion that does not create opportunities, she capitalises on them. Compare this to a champion like Orianna, her ball grants her huge play-making potential: she can roam to any lane and make a gank happen while disregarding almost all circumstances prior to her arriving there. Katarina can't do that, she cannot simply walk to a lane and make ganks happen, but she arguably capitalises on advantageous situations better than almost any other mid laner. I'd like to upload VODs showing successful ganks and counter-ganks, but due to some inconsistencies with my internet and computer, I won't be able to upload them. Rest assured, they will be available soon. [b]Ganking[/b] After pushing your lane out, immediately look at where your jungler is. If they are pining for a gank in another lane and they're a champion who can create opportunities (Amumu, Jarvan, etc), they immediately shoot the likelihood of a successful gank happening up, follow them to the lane. If your jungler is not in a position to assist with a gank, you must instead look to the enemy side laners. The first thing you should look for is how healthy the enemy laners are. Lane skirmishes happen quite frequently around the early-mid game, and it's likely that one if not both parties will be low on health. Low health in my books constitutes an enemy champion below 50% health. I've already expressed my preference for ganking bot lane due to the potentially higher pay-offs, but top lane should also be ganked if you cannot find an advantage in bot lane. Of course, your enemy mid laner will also be looking to gank enemy lanes, and might even try to counter-gank you. [b]Counter-Ganking[/b] Katarina's ganks might be strong, but her ability to counter-gank puts most champions to shame. The act of counter-ganking is predicting when an enemy champion will gank one of your own laners, be they overextended, low health, or anything else that would put them at a serious disadvantage. Counter-ganking is the reason you should watch your own laners, because you can potentially net even bigger rewards by counter-ganking than through ganking. This is because counter-ganking entails entering a fight during or after a fight has occurred in your selected lane. This is extremely advantageous for Katarina because entering now means that most if not all enemy crowd control will be on cooldown. Cleaning up a lane with a counter-gank is extremely satisfying, but you must also be aware of the danger that opposing laners will hold by baiting you into a counter-gank. LeBlanc and Cassiopeia are champions that can bait you into a situation favourable for them, and then instantly kill you. Counter this by keeping your surrounding area warded.

[center][imgext=][/center] I consider late game to be any point in the game past the 35 minute mark. Late game is rough for assassins because everybody else's damage will start to catch up to your own. At this point you should start building towards your finals items. Finish your core damage items, and start looking for a final item. This can either be a defensive option like Guardian Angel, or an offensive option such as Abyssal Scepter. You will have to choose your last item according to the situation. Late game is centered around inhibitors and Baron Nashor, and you will prefer to be grouped for this stage of the game. If your item slots allow it, try to carry 3 wards with you. Vision in late game is invaluable, as you can easily set up ambushes on unsuspecting enemies when you have a vision advantage. If you ever manage to catch out an enemy carry, have vision on the rest of the enemy team, and are completely sure that you won't die, you can assassinate them instantly. 5v4s put your team at a huge advantage, as you will have extensive control over Baron and towers thanks to your numbers. In the late game, this is when your very last item comes into play. The Situational Items chapter lists a few of my preferred items that I have for late game. When going into late game, you will have to consider a whole heap of different situations. It's impossible to list every possible situation as there are too many variations, but there are three general ways in which you enter late game. You can either be ahead of, even with, or behind the enemy team. [b]Ahead[/b] Being ahead in gold and objectives normally means that you have the game in the bag when playing Katarina, but know that throws can still happen. Basically your team fight presence will be huge, and your team should be looking to take control of the map through wards. You should be keeping the enemy pressured, have their side of the jungle warded and constantly look for favourable engages. Getting a pick on a valuable member of the team usually spells game. But above all else remember that you should stick with your team. You are probably going to be your team's highest source of damage, so you getting caught out is one of the biggest disadvantages your team will face. Having the enemy team pressured like this makes it more likely for them to make mistakes, and Katarina is one of the best at taking advantage of preferable situations. [b]Even[/b] Being in an even state with the enemy team puts pressure on both teams, so you have to be sure to not let it go to your head. This is because one team fight can decide the course of the game at this point. Generally, your mindset should be similar to when you're ahead, but you should also be handling all situations a lot more cautiously. Warding is still the most important part of late game, having knowledge of the enemy's positions can dramatically help you in all engages, and getting a pick on an enemy pushes things into your favour. Again, always stick with your team and try to keep the enemy pressured. [b]Behind[/b] Losing in gold and objectives is pretty bad for Katarina. Assassins don't like being behind other champions. Thankfully, Katarina's team fighting ability is still pretty strong. The enemy team will likely be keeping you pressured heavily at this stage of the game. Again, only ever look for engages when you are sure that the engage is in your favour. Comebacks are always possible in the late stages of the game, as this is when the advantages from earlier in the game start to even out, although being behind in objectives like towers makes coming back harder. Still, you shouldn't lose hope because with some semblance of coordination, you can win out in fights. If you can keep your jungle warded, you can start to look for favourable engages there. Picks are probably most important when you're behind like this, as they allow you to play more aggressively against the enemy team. You must however always remember that you are behind, and that even the smallest mistakes can be punished incredibly hard in situations like this. Stick with your team, only ever going for favourable engages and you can come back, despite the odds.

[center][imgext=][/center] A lot of people assume that Katarina is an extremely easy champion when it comes to team fights. On numerous occasions I've been belittled for plays I've made because Katarina is a \"lol press R\" champion and, you know what, I agree with these people. It's true that Katarina is a press R champion when the entire enemy team wants to blow all of their crowd control on the wrong targets and opt to leave their squishy back line open for me to take advantage of. But what about when this doesn't happen? You've jumped onto their back line and started channeling Death Lotus, but you've been focused and killed instantly. Why is that? A lot of this guide talks about how squishy certain champions are, so you might've gotten the impression that these are the only champions you should opt for in team fights. I have no doubt in my mind that assassinating carries in team fights is one of the biggest contributing factors to winning team fights, if you ever manage to pull this off in a team fight you can most definitely follow up and lay the hurt onto the rest of the enemy team thanks to Voracity. But I've talked about how Katarina is also an opportunist, and one that can arguably make the biggest impact out of a situation that is advantageous for her. I've talked about how Katarina is basically all about her passive. In team fights, if you don't get a reset, you will get focused down and you will die incredibly quickly. Your mindset for Katarina should always be \"I'm going to enter this fight and I'm going to ace the enemy team\". This means that you will have to wait outside of a team fight until you've seen a golden opportunity to enter. You will need to look at things such as: [.]The enemy teams positioning [.]Understanding individual champions [.]Enemy health percentages [.]Enemy team's items These are the biggest contributing factors when playing Katarina. If an enemy Ezreal is out of position at the very beginning of a team fight, this doesn't mean you should automatically try to capitalise on this because the enemy team may very well have been expecting your attempt to kill their carry. However, as fights drag on teams tend to become less and less cohesive, and as the cogs of the clock begin to fail, Katarina's time to shine comes about. A lot of success when playing Katarina comes from playing other champions. I've spent a lot of time playing every other champion in the game in an effort to memorize their champion kits. For example, I know that at most Taric can only stun a target once every 14-8 seconds, and I know that Blitzcrank's knock up is the most readily available hard crowd control in the game with a base cooldown of 5 seconds at max rank. If you can categorize each and every champion before a game begins, you'll be able to look out for key points in when to enter fights. Enemy health percentages is one of the most important factors, as this can determine whether you will be able to receive a reset or not. [i]Of course I could kill that full health Ezreal standing outside of the team fight in one combo with my Deathfire Grasp, but what would I gain by doing that? A reset, and my ultimate would be on cooldown. What if he has Flash available? I wouldn't even have a reset. What about this half health Nasus in the middle of my team? He might be tanky as hell, but he's got two teammates right next to him.[/i] Focusing the Nasus here is the better option, assuming proper timing and entry, being able to finish off a major tank, deal a 75%-100% channeled Death Lotus to two other champions, and score a reset. That's the biggest possible advantage you can net for your team. The enemy team's items would also have to be taken into account. [i]I can't hope to assassinate the enemy Ahri because she is going to pop Zhonya's the moment I jump onto her, and even if I managed to focus the Jinx down as well, her Guardian Angel would prevent me from getting a reset anyway.[/i] Do you see where I'm going with this? Although squishy carries are theoretically free kills, when items start to get built the concept is entirely spun on its head and you've suddenly become the free kill yourself. Of course, if you ever see that enemy Ahri blow her Zhonya's early, or it just so happens that Jinx's Guardian Angel isn't available yet, well that's called being an opportunist. One last thing about team fights, remember that when playing Katarina, Death Lotus can deal in excess of 2500 magic damage to three different targets by itself. This means that in 90% of your games, you're responsible for the vast majority of your team's damage, whether you can land it all or not is entirely up to you. No pressure.

[center][imgext=][/center] [b]Quick note[/b] I'm trying out a different type of build that comes from Korea. The most striking thing about this build is the new runes and mastery page. The build focuses on Katarina building items defensive items early. E.g. DFG is basically a must buy for Kat, but it's not even an item you have to pick up on Korean Kat. Normally, Kat's builds focuses on making sure she has a safer early game while rushing items that were of more offensive nature. This chapter will be more or less a \"mini-guide\" to playing Korean Katarina: though her core gameplay remains the same, there are some differences between what you can and can't do with regular Kat and Korean Kat. I might even consider changing the guide around to this Korean playstyle, seeings as how well it's worked for me thus far. I think this build is tailored more towards those who are experienced with Katarina. It focuses particularly on early laning and lane dominance to transition into a strong mid game. The inspiration for the build came from the video showcased in the first chapter, and you can find the user that sparked this entire idea at the following URL:인천검객 [big]Introduction[/big] The Korean Katarina build. That's probably enough to incite excitement in you, right? I was always wondering just how the build is supposed to work, it's not really something I'd considered before. Forego any sort of defenses early for offensive power. \"But how, that's not how you play Katarina\", I thought to myself. \"The build order's all wrong, the masteries make no sense, you're a wet piece of bread with these runes. What the hell?\" Then I tried it out, and by God I'm in love with this build. You see, the basic idea behind this build is to make Katarina a monster coming out of the laning phase. My typical playstyle for Katarina has always been \"play safe early, scale hard into mid and late game\", and there's nothing wrong with this style: you play safe, you come out even with the enemy laner, you make some great decisions in team fights and win the game. Simple. But you know what's even better? Grabbing the game by the reins and steering the victory in, waiting for no one. It's easily one of the most satisfying things to accomplish, and something you should always look to do. It's just easier to be the play-making monster your team needs. The starkest difference between the build I'm used to, and the Korean build is how the runes and masteries are overloaded with offense, and the items focus on defensive items early on. Normally this puts Kat in a pretty bad spot in terms of team fight potential, her damage is severely lacking with such early defensive items, but the runes and masteries actually make up for this lack of damage. The build is heavily focused on survivability through items, living long enough to put out as much damage as you possibly can. Though you must keep in mind that this does put down your early game durability with the lack of defensive masteries, so I don't think it's a build that players inexperienced with League of Legends should try. Lets get down to the build then. [big]Runes[/big] [img=] [i]Red: Magic Penetration; Yellow: Flat Health; Blue: Flat AP; Quintessence: Flat AP[/i] Probably the most normal part of the build - except for the glyphs, you'd normally find these runes on any magic damage carry. Early game is Katarina's weakest point, simply because she lacks damage early on. These runes attempt to bring you into a much scarier position, and set you up for kills during the early levels. These runes mean that you will dominate your lane early on as they boost your damage up to levels that the enemy actually has to account for now. I'm looking at more defensive ways to have the runes be built as well. [big]Masteries[/big] [img=] Easily the craziest thing about this build is the new masteries. Most people will write this page off as a troll because it forgoes the Defense tree entirely for the Utility and Offense trees. Yes, Katarina is a melee AP champion; yes, she does have trouble with durability, but what people fail to recognise is that Katarina is a safe champion that snowballs, and she does so very effectively. As far as I'm concerned, defensive stats can come from rune pages and items, the mastery tree is used solely for offensive purposes. [big]Items[/big] My favourite part about this build is that the item builds are much more versatile. Because Katarina's damage is so high with this build, you can rush more defensive oriented items like Zhonya's Hourglass, while still putting out comparable damage. This section of the chapter will show what items should be picked up on Katarina. [b]Must Buy[/b] [i]Zhonya's Hourglass [img=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png][/i] - Core item, it holds this build together. Pick this as a first or second item every game, the active is way too useful in mid game team fights to not have. [i]Sorcerer's Shoes [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png][/i] - You'll want this around the time you have your Zhonya's, the damage increase, as well as the increased roaming ability is absolutely vital. [i]Void Staff [img=items/void-staff.png][/i] - If you want to win, build Void Staff. Scales excellently as the game goes on, incredibly cheap. There are no reasons why you shouldn't have Void Staff. If the enemy team starts stacking magic resistance, pick this up before another item like Rabadon's. [i]Rabadon's Deathcap [img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png][/i] - It'd be a crime if I didn't mention this item. The ability power boost is too big to not have in your arsenal. While this item is not a priority, you will need it to keep your damage relevant. [b]Other items[/b] [i]Abyssal Scepter [img=items/abyssal-scepter.png][/i] - Awesome item against a double AP composition, or if you just need the magic resistance and are scared of an enemy AP champion. I do find myself picking this item up as a first or second item quite often with this build as long as I can make use of the stats. [i]Deathfire Grasp [img=items/deathfire-grasp.png][/i] - Not really a necessity on Katarina with this build, I generally find that her damage is way too high to even warrant building a Deathfire Grasp, as it would be quite overkill. This build is heavily focused on survivability through items. However, if you need to instantly kill a target Deathfire Grasp is a very, very good pickup. [i]Mercury Treads [img=items/mercurys-treads.png][/i] - Versus Syndra or Veigar? Grab some Merc Treads. Sell them later on when you can pick up a better defensive item. [i]Banshee's Veil [img=items/banshees-veil.png][/i] - All around strong item, one of my favourite defensive items actually. If they enemy team has abilities that can catch you out, pick this up. [i]Guardian Angel [img=items/guardian-angel.png][/i] - I love this item because you just end up with so many resistances that you are quite deceptively tanky. The stasis time also gives you a short while to stop and assess a situation. I've aced enemy teams in losing fights simply because I've stopped and had the time to observe a fight over the course of the stasis. Always awesome to pick this item up. [i]Rylai's Crystal Scepter [img=items/rylais-crystal-scepter.png][/i] - Though I've previously declared my slight affections for this item, it really doesn't fit into this kind of build. Despite the fact that the health from Rylai's would actually work out quite nicely for the additional effective health, having Abyssal, Zhonya's, and Rylai's in the one game just seems silly to me because you do end up lacking in damage. Unless you're going to write off Rabadon's or Sorcerer's Shoes in favour of a Deathfire Grasp for additional damage, it just doesn't make sense. [b]TL;DR Best items (no pure defense items)[/b] 1)[img=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] 2)[img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] 3)[img=items/void-staff.png] 4)[img=items/abyssal-scepter.png] (situational) 5)[img=items/deathfire-grasp.png] (situational) 6)[img=items/rylais-crystal-scepter.png] As far as I'm concerned, pure defense items like Guardian Angel and Banshee's Veil are always a high priority item, but also incredibly situational: it depends on what the situation calls for. You can opt for full offensive builds if you find that you aren't really getting caught or focused in fights, but this is risky. [big]Playstyle[/big] There are slight differences when it comes to playing this build. Generally, what Katarina aims to do in the early game is play safe and transition well into mid-game. Instead, this build amplifies your early game damage, so you transition extremely strongly into a mid and late game scenario. Naturally, this means that you have to understand how to play against a variety of matchups, especially in terms of how you can win the laning phase. Though the overall method to playing Katarina does not change over the course of the game, early game is what you need to focus on. [b]Level 1-2[/b] Nothing really changes at this point, you're aiming for farm and pushing the lane out hard. Maybe tag your opponent with Bouncing Blade if you can, but you mostly want to get levels. At level two, you can start going for harass when it's smart to do so. Because of the way the mastery page is set up, Katarina's early trades actually pack a lot of damage. She has much, much stronger autoattacks, and her abilities do way more damage. By smart trades, I mean when you know what the enemy jungler is doing, and whether your opponent has vital abilities available. [b]Level 3-5[/b] Ideal time to take advantage of Katarina's surprising damage. Remember that while Katarina's early trades are strong, you won't win trades that you aren't smart about. Basically, if you put out a full combo but then facetank the enemy's combo, odds are you've lost the trade. Look for vital abilities the enemy will use. Does the enemy need to go for a last hit? Is it hard for them to reliably hit you with a combo, and will you catch them off guard? Note that you don't always have to run away after landing your abilities. The best part about this build is that the masteries give Katarina extra autoattack and spell damage. You can stick to your enemy easily after this point. Beat them up, keep yourself mobile but land your damage. You will outdamage basically any AP champion in the game as long as you are landing basic attacks. [b]Level 6 and beyond[/b] Honestly, there aren't a whole heap of differences after this point. You should be able to catch many enemy laners off-guard. It's very easy to pick up early kills with this build, even before level 6. Katarina's damage spikes up after 6 thanks to Death Lotus, and your enemy laner will be cautious of this. The biggest difference that I noticed is that I am able to play much more ballsy than before: Zhonya's Hourglass instead of Deathfire Grasp as a first item means that you can bait and outsmart (heh) enemies as long as you know what you are doing. When it comes to the mid game, late game, and team fight phases, there's really no changes. Katarina's goal is always to ace an enemy team. [big]Conclusion[/big] Honestly, this build is sorta becoming my new go-to build. I just love how the setup is completely the opposite of my own: offensive masteries and runes, with defensive early items to make sure you live through the earlier skirmishes in the game. It's such a versatile option that provides as much damage as my regular build, just with greater safety. While I have stated that the build is amazing because of how safe you end up becoming with items, the biggest problem is that you lack defensive masteries. It means that you absolutely cannot make mistakes in the early game. If you accidentally commit to a bad trade, you will be sent back to base, via blue-pill or involuntary recall (death). Even then, as long as you understand the capabilities of Katarina, enemy champions, and are always being smart about everything you do in lane, you can almost always come out of laning phase with a kill or two.

[imgext=] If you've made it this far, allow me to thank you for reading the entire guide (or skipping down to the Final Comments chapter). I have put a lot of work into this guide, but I am aware that maintaining a guide is a constant work in progress. I feel my passion for League of Legends will help me keep this guide updated, but I absolutely love feedback and criticism, and I will learn more if the community assists me in my efforts. Feel free to leave a comment about the guide regarding things I could improve on, what you did and did not like, or just pop in to say \"hi!\". I will be looking at ways to update this guide to help avid Katarina players, new and old, but I can't do it alone. Please remember that I am personally not even one of the top players in my region, but I firmly believe that the teachings in this guide present a great deal of information for all players to develop their own style of play for Katarina. I follow professional streams, tournaments, and I do a lot of my own theorycrafting. I have faced players from Bronze division 5, up to Diamond division 1 (and even a few Challenger players) while playing Katarina, and I've managed to maintain a largely positive win rate with Katarina as my main champion. Once again, thank you for reading my guide. I hope it improves your experience in not only playing Katarina, but in playing League of Legends in general.

[center][imgext=][/center] This section is dedicated to documenting any changes that will be made in the guide. Also, these dates are formatted in Australian format (DD/MM/YYYY). [big]Major guide changes[/big] [.]24/07/2015 - Grammatical changes [.]12/07/2015 - Changed \"Opinion on Katarina Nerf [4.20]\" chapter to \"5.13 changes to AP items\". Removed DFG vs Gunblade from Math! chapter [.]01/05/2015 - Updated Runes (Standard), reformatted Masteries (Standard). Replaced Abyssal Scepter with Luden's Echo in Item Builds. Minor changes to Ahri, Akali Matchup. [.]18/03/2015 - Added Luden's Echo, Advanced mastery page, [.]03/03/2015 - Started making changes to the guide: Items, and Situational Items chapters updated. More to come. Have to delete all information pertaining to DFG (RIP). But for the most part, we back! [.]26/11/2014 - Chapter renamed and rewritten: Opinion on Katarina Nerf [2015 Season] (changed to \"Opinion on Katarina Nerf [4.20]). Bans updated. Starting to rewrite Champion Matchups for clarity. [.]13/11/2014 - Added chapter: Opinion on Katarina Nerf [2015 Season] [.]28/10/2014 - Updates to Teleport summoner spell and Math! chapter. Random 4am rant added to Akali matchup. [.]04/10/2014 - Removed chapter \"Experimental Korean Build pt.2 - Phases\". Reason: unnecessary. Updated bans. [.]02/10/2014 - Changes to Talon matchup, added new mastery and rune pages, added two new chapters: \"Experimental Korean Build\" and \"Experimental Korean Build pt.2 - Phases\". [.]24/09/2014 - I forgot to update the log for quite a while, but I've been putting out a slew of updates over the course of the past month. Off the top of my head, changes to: Masteries, Skill Order, Matchups (more to come), Before the laning phase, Early Game, Mid Game, Late Game. [.]14/08/2014 - Upgraded Talon's difficulty and matchup, grammatical changes to Ziggs. Updated \"When to pick Katarina\" section with link to Markovicius' guide ( [.]10/08/2014 - Replaced Lichbane with Rylai's. Saw the changes, decided to give it a chance and I like the changes. [.]01/08/2014 - GUIDE FEATURED (not sure when it was, only found out today). Big updates to Gragas, Kassadin, Nidalee matchups, minor changes to Akali, LeBlanc, Twisted Fate matchup. [.]28/03/2014 - Added Yasuo match up, and updated \"When to pick Katarina\" chapter [.]27/03/2014 - Updated bans. Updated Math! section, changed values to current runes and masteries. [.]23/03/2014 - Big changes to rune pages, added Roam page, but it is still a WIP. Added Rune and Mastery page preferences for matchups, some must still be decided on however. Added Mercurial Scimitar/QSS to situational items, and updated Situational Items descriptions. [.]18/03/2014 - Changes to Starting Items descriptions, preference for Boots+4 instead of Doran's Shield. [.]13/03/2014 - Updates to Late Game section, what to do when ahead, even, and behind. [.]12/03/2014 - General updates throughout the guide, changed Katarina's champion card and added new guide banner. [.]10/03/2014 - Split \"Late Game\" and \"Team Fights\" chapters, added general updates throughout the guide and (attempted) to make points I was getting across more concise. Expect even more updates. [.]09/03/2014 - Added \"Early, Early Game - Before the Laning Phase\" and \"Roaming, Ganks, and Counter-Ganks\" chapters. [.]03/03/2014 - Changed masteries to 21/9. 22/8 was strong, but the nerfs to the early ability power and attack damage masteries in the Offense Tree have caused this setup to no longer be viable in a practical game situation. Updated bans, added Mejai's. Modified Math! chapter due to mastery changes. [.]26/02/2014 - Added Math! chapter. [.]22/02/2014 - Modified item builds section, added Banshee's Veil to Situational Items section. [.]06/02/2014 - Changed Standard Page runes from health/level to armour seals [.]21/01/2014 - Started adding tl;dr sections to matchups. Updated bans. [.]16/01/2014 - Changes to Item Build section, added more detail to order of items to be built. [.]11/01/2014 - Went on hiatus, computer broke and wasn't able to play League for a while, along with New Year's celebrations pulling me away from the guide. Minor changes to Masteries, along with more changes to matchups. However, I'm back to updating this guide! Yay! [.]20/12/2013 - Added more detail to Build Order. [.]18/12/2013 - Changed Standard rune page, swapped out AP/level glyphs for a mixture of flat and scaling magic resist glyphs. Removed \"Against hard/double AP\" page. Removed AP Carry Katarina build, the only difference was two items. [.]16/12/2013 - Finished Enemy Jungler's section, may have forgotten some matchups, will add them soon [.]15/12/2013 - Added two pages to the Rune Pages chapter (Against hard AP/double AP and Against hard AD/full AD) [.]14/12/2013 - Had a small vacation, am back to updating this guide. Added some more matchups to Enemy Jungler's section, and added a new mastery page (21/0/9). [.]2/12/2013 - Added situational items section and build path. Some grammatical errors and formatting problems patched up. [.]4/12/2013 - Added Enemy Jungler Section. [.]8/12/2013 - Started reworking the matchups section, the quality of some matchups are not up to scratch.

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