Katarina is a very strong champion and she really specializes on snowballing team fights and early game. Katarina is a very versatile champion and you can build her several ways and she'll be viable.
Katarina is a very very strong champion throughout the entire game from early to late game. She specializes in snowballing early game and team fights. The most important thing to know about her is that she is incredibly strong in early game team fights. Usually in early fights, people will blow their ultimates to kill one opponent and back off to fight for an objective. With Katarina, you can easily focus down one target with your team and continue to the next target with her passive: [imgsmall=skills/katarina/p.png] . I specialize in a very strong and solid early game build which will usually snowball me into late game . [center][img=items/haunting-guise.png] [/center] Rushing Haunting guise is very strong because with the new meta, you don't really need to get early mobility anymore. Haunting guise gives you the exact stats that Katarina needs; damage and survivability. [center][img=items/abyssal-scepter.png][/center] Abyssal as a 3rd item is also a great addition to katarina's build because of the additive magic pen. When you get this item, you should have around 70 magic pen and should still be doing true damage to most of your opponents. Katarina is all about resetting her abilities by killing a champion. There are two very important aspects of katarina; dealing damage and surviving for the reset. You need to be a big enough threat where they want to focus you, and also be tanky enough to survive their burst. With the [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png][img=items/abyssal-scepter.png][img=items/haunting-guise.png] combo, you're given enough survivability and damage to make that happen. These items work very well early because most of the damage being done to burst any opponent down is usually magic early game. AD Carries do not start dealing damage till late game. [center][img=items/guardian-angel.png][/center] I rush Guardians angel 4th because it is a very safe, solid and strong item. With her previous items, she should have around 2000+ hp with 130+ mr and 130 + mr. By going this build, you're a huge threat to the enemy carries and also a huge tank. You're a priority for being focused, however you also have insane survivability as well. If they were to kill your guardians angel, you would usually just come back and finish the fight unless you're playing an up hill battle with a huge disadvantage. [center][img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] [/center] This item is very self explanatory , I rush it after because I have enough survivability and I want to amplify my damage. [img=items/deathfire-grasp.png] [/center] Rushing DFG is no longer good, however you want this item in your late game build so you can kill tanks, you need to get this item later in combination with a voidstaff. [center][img=items/void-staff.png][/center] Very obvious, you need to build this later because as tanks get more mr, you do much less damage and you need to kill any target so you can get a reset on your ultimate.
Maxing W is always better, Maxing Q is not worth it for the harass, it tickles. You'll have no kill potential later. Maxing W helps you wave clear and clear wraiths effectively.
[imgext=http://i.imgur.com/yQcyb.jpg] I only go this when I'm playing against a strong early game and I feel like the extra movement speed can help me get kills or avoid death. These runes are situational and I hardly use them unless im playing kat on the side lane. [imgext=http://i.imgur.com/RgcNU.jpg] I prefer this runeset because with the flat mr, it gives me strong survivability in lane and as I level up I get more tanky. I go with flat ap for quints because it just deals more damage and ms quints arent useful when it doesn't make much of a difference. [imgext=http://i.imgur.com/Ke2dl.jpg] I only go this runeset when I'm playing against an opponent/ jungler that does not oppose much threat and has little killing potential. With the per level runes, you get really strong mid and late game.
When you're playing Katarina early game, your goal is to farm and pressure your mid opponent. Depending on your lane opponent you can play very aggressive or you have to play very passive. These are champions you can play aggressive on:[img=champ/ahri.png][img=champ/cassiopeia.png][img=champ/karthus.png][img=champ/morgana.png][img=champ/veigar.png][img=champ/xerath.png][img=champ/zyra.png][img=champ/zilean.png][img=champ/ziggs.png][img=champ/anivia.png] You can play aggro on these champions unless they have a strong jungler, it also depends where your jungler is that too. That is game sense, and I can't' teach you that =(. Play Safe against jungles: [img=champ/maokai.png] ( get 12 flat MR) [img=champ/leesin.png] (armor runes advised) [img=champ/alistar.png] ( play extremely safe) You can't win trades against [img=champ/orianna.png] unless you're casting your ult to harass. You can't win trades with [img=champ/anivia.png] if she lands her Q on you. Don't shunpo on her unless you can dodge her Q. [img=champ/ahri.png] You can just rape ahri, just make sure to dodge her charm. [img=champ/cassiopeia.png] You can easily own her if you just dodge her Q, she can't trade and make sure to not get stunned by her ultimate. [img=champ/karthus.png] Ward both side and play insanely aggressive, he has no killing potential at all.
Tip #1 You Can Leap onto a Creep to Q your opponent and harass. Tip #2 You can also leap on a creep to W your opponent and run away fast . So Do Q + W =D Do those tips when the opponent is slight out of range of your shunpo. Tip # 3 Using your Ultimate to harass is NOT BAD. I dont ever see kat players do this. It doesn't matter if you can't kill your opponent, if you can just chunk their hp down and make them go heal, you can push the lane up and make them lose exp/ gold by having their tower kill your allied minions. Tip #4 So if you can't kill your opponent, just harass with your ultimate, if they don't heal then killing opportunities will arise. Tip #5 Please buy lots of ward and potions, you can jump to ward and with the build you're , you have no sustain =D. But you're strong as hell in a straight up fight. YOU CAN JUMP TO WARDS.
If you're winning the game and stronger than your opponents it doesn't really matter who you're focusing if your whole team is focusing someone to help you get the reset. If you're losing the game, it is really important for you to be sneaky and try to catch their carries with your opponent. If you enter the team fight from behind the carries or at an awkward angle and surprise them, most of the time they should be dead. If you're behind, you need to make plays and catch their carries. If you're winning, its safe to just focus the closest target and kill tanks. Focus on positioning and always try to get your full ultimate off, if you successfully do this, everyone should just die =D. Understand the skills of your opponent's champions- Sometimes you have to be patient and wait for them to use their disables before ultimating and sometimes you can just leap onto the ad/ap carries and use your ult. You'll learn to use it the more you play kat. Try to use ultimate from a brush because they cant see you =D.
Force Dragons and objectives, you want to fight as much as possible because you're a really strong early game champion that snowballs. Carry wards on you, you never know when you'll need them , so you can jump to it.
Late game and Mid game is basically the same thing, when towers start to fall over, you start fighting for objectives and towers. Your ideal team fight is when you get your full ultimate off , so it is really important that you're good at positioning. The best places to battle are brushes. Try to use ultimate from a brush because they cant see you =D.
Thanks for reading my guide, i'll be looking forward to the feedback and i'll continually update this guide as I improve as a katarina player.