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All Guides Katarina Guides [PRE-ASSASSIN PATCH] Extensive Katarina Guide
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Katarina Statistics for Eat Sleep Study

Author's performance with Katarina compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
9
Win %
37
Kills
7.7
Assists
6.0
Deaths
8.1
KA:D Ratio
1.7
Gold Earned
11.4K
Creep Score
148.1
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

4.png Flash


Staple spell on most every champion. Even though Katarina has shunpo, Flash will help extend that range ever further for both engages and escapes.

14.png Ignite


Great spell to secure kills. The Grievous Wounds is passive is great throughout the game. Please don't use this for harass unless you know within the next 10 seconds your lane opponent will die from a surprise gank or something.

3.png Exhaust


Very nice utility spell, although you should probably only take it if for some odd reason you don't feel confident that you'll live or your team has no CC, otherwise Ignite is probably still a better choice.

12.png Teleport


I am now a believer in this spell after watching worlds. It gives great pressure over the map through mid and late game. But, this comes at the cost of your early game with the loss of Ignite. But then again, your early as Katarina is pretty bad, so you could make the argument that it doesn't matter. I personally think that in solo queue if you don't have communication with other team mates you can't use this spell to its fullest potential, unless you have a good level map awareness.

21.png Barrier


I personally don't like Barrier, if I need to survive then I look at Zhonya's, so Barrier is a no go for me. Other people find it useful for surviving against early all-in champs, but as Katarina you should play safe enough early that this shouldn't be a problem. Against burst assassins I could see it being a good choice, but still, Zhonya's C: Up to you for preference based on your style of play. Heal also is similar to Barrier except you can get owned if they Ignite you.

2.png Learn map awareness. Or get a blue trinket.

13.png Are you fking kidding me

1.png Build QSS, it's cheaper than costing you a summoner spell slot

17.png RIP Dominion, you will be missed.

30.png 31.png 32.png Wrong game mode

11.png Don't u fking dare

6.png Hnnnnnnn not needed on Kat, Flash is better and not worth taking over other summoners

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

New masteries, 2 possibilities that work best on Katarina
18/12/0
This one is more damage with max ranks for:
Sorcery/Double Edged Sword/Vampirism/Bounty Hunter
Wanderer/Secret Stash/Merciless/Dangerous Game/Precision/Thunderlord's Decree 

We get Vampirism over Natural Talent because that only gives alllllllmost 1 AP per level, whereas Vampirism gives you Spell Vamp and Lifesteal from the get go, 1 AP per level won't help you too much.
You can opt for Savagery instead of Wanderer if you feel you have difficulty last hitting minions with autos.

Thunderlord procs with your Q+W+mark damage so you don't have to E onto them in order for it to go off, you just need to land Q and W since the proc itself counts as one of the three needed to activate. This is good for burst compared to the DoT of DFT.

Even with the buff to DFT, we will still take Thunderlord because the damage from it is not reduced by the source being AoE (i.e Q and W). 

We also don't get Expose Weakness because it doesn't stack with other people who have it; chances are someone else on your team has it, you want your own +3% damage from Double Edged Sword.


The other option for safer laning is:
18/0/12
Sorcery/Double Edged Sword/Vampirism/Bounty Hunter/Piercing Thoughts/Deathfire Touch
Recovery/Tough Skin/Veteran Scars/Perseverance

You give up a lot of damage though, but if you find you want a safer laning phase over damage late then you can take this tree instead, but it's a lot less optimal .-.

Abilities Back to Top

Q
E
W
Q
Q
R
Q
W
Q
W
R
W
W
E
E
R
E
E
Passive
Q
1
4
5
7
9
W
3
8
10
12
13
E
2
14
15
17
18
R
6
11
16

R > Q > W > E

I will not be explaining the skills here, you can hover your mouse over them and read what they do. Below I will explain their interactions and techniques in the "Playstyle" section.

You can actually choose to start with W or E instead if you don't think they're going to all in you at level 2, this is dependent on your play style and match up that you're up against. There are match ups where they don't have a significant advantage above you and a W start is better than a Q start.

At level 2 (if you started Q), you have the choice between getting W or E. If you feel you're going to get all-in'd by your opponent or you want a way to dodge their harass better, then get E. Otherwise if you're good at dodging their harass, W is a good choice to proc Q and farm, the choice is based on your own preference.

Max Q for more burst, farming, and harass. Some people say max W first, don't, you're not tank DPS Katarina, you are playing a burst assassin. E comes last because the utility from it at level 1 is good enough and level 2-5 CD/damage aren't good enough to warrant forgoing maxing Q or W first. And of course max R whenever you can.

WHY NOT MAX W FIRST? Yes, that's right it does have higher base damage at level 4 if you don't proc your Q mark. But two problems exist:
1. You have to be in close range. Against many match ups, that's like getting on all fours and lifting your rump to the sky to be spanked.
2. When you have 100 AP, you will make up for the 20 damage difference between level 5 Q and level 5 W. Yes, most people don't have 100 AP by the time you reach level 9. But the thing is, your first item that you purchase will most likely give you 100 AP being Luden's Echo, Zhonya's, Rabbadon, you name it. From that point on, it would have been more beneficial to have maxed Q instead of W. I personally do not think that the level window from which you got level 4 W, i.e level 7, to the point where you get 100 AP is worth maxing W over Q. You want to get as much AP as you can as fast as you can, meaning the longer that window exists, the slower you are to reaching maximum damage output. This is assuming you hit once and leave. 

Where you don't hit once and leave, W will do more damage over time than Q if you are able to land it multiple times as the cool down comes off. Otherwise, Q will do more damage over time. There's a problem in the first case. You shouldn't stick around that long to be a DPS; that situation where you're around long enough to W every 4 seconds is way too long. For AP Assassin Katarina, this is not what you are aiming for. You are looking for the most damage you can do in one skill rotation, not multiple rotations. If you level W first, you're doing it purely for damage and not CDR, which does not equal to more damage than maxing Q unless you W immediately once it comes off CD. Your DPS by maxing W is not as much as other champions' abilities and autos. Don't do it.

The most you could consider getting into W early is 2 points because you almost double the damage from level 1 W which will help you last hit better, but don't go for the third point ;-; You can take the second point if you're no good at last hitting with just 40 damage. It's a good alternative against opponents that you feel you won't be Q'ing too much anyways.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Good start against pretty much any laner. Get this if you don't know much about league.
    Good against AD match ups
    Good against consistent AA harass match ups, explained below
    Another good, standard start. Get this if you have some semblance of knowledge concerning league.

Core Items

    Core items most every time, although path varies as explained below
    Mid game item components
    You must build one or the other, not both

Situational Items

    Read below for further explanation
    One of your last items, Gunblade first instead of Luden's Echo is good if they have no waveclear

Starting Items:


1001.png 2003.png x4

Typical start that you can take against any match up. The movement speed from the boots will help you dodge skill shots, and 4 pots is a good 600 health return from eating harass and the like. A bit obsolete now with Dark Seal, but it does give you one extra potion. Still not that bad of a start.

1029.png 2003.png x4

The other typical start. This is a great start against AD opponents stacked on top of armour seals. Begin to cry as someone on the balancing team plays AD mid and made it cheaper to get armour pen for Zed and his AD friends and less sustain with 50g red pots. Hello butt, meet Patch 5.22! But even though it's not as much sustain as before, you will still want to get the armour early start as it'll help you out, just not as long or as much as it did before the 5.22 patch :(

1054.png 2003.png

Doran's Shield is an item that provides a very good amount of regen with 6 health ever 5 seconds. This means that it equals a red potion that gives 150 health every 2 minutes! Why don't we always take this? There's two major reasons: 
1. You start behind 500 gold. This is not that big of a deal as the shield will help you to at least level 7~8ish where it begins to fall off, but you don't get boots which can help you dodge skill shots or cloth into armguard which would help your resistance. A small scaling problem but not the decisive factor.
2. Doran's Shield helps you handle guaranteed harass. It will only be more effective than cloth 4 pot if you run out of pots. You will have to play back for a bit longer than you would if you regenerated with red potions, 10 seconds for each potion, which is good time for the enemy to push the wave into you or have their abilities come off cool down. This is a great buy if you are playing against a ranged AD champion like Ezreal, but it would be more advisable to purchase cloth 4 against AD melee champions like Zed or boots 4 against a ranged AP like Brand. You are basically banking on the fact that you WILL be taking harass, which will happen against ADC mid but not some other champions. Also, 125 seconds is a very long time, as in 4 minutes and 10 seconds for 300 health for Doran's compared to 30 seconds with red pots.
 
tl;dr good start but only optimal in some match ups. If you are only trading (e.g. Zed, Pantheon) then Cloth Armor is better. AA heavy champions like Varus and Ezreal this is a better buy.


2031.png & 2033.png


As of patch 6.8 flask items are not good on Kat compared to The Dark Seal or other starts.

1082.png


Compared to a Doran’s Ring start, you get an extra health potion and additional 25% healing from those potions and subsequent potions afterwards. The only thing a D ring gets you is more total health, but as Kat you shouldn’t be fighting from 100-0 anyways .-. Consider this start if you're not planning on going super defensive because you can always sell the ring later for some of the gold back. Basically any match up where you're not getting Cloth 4 you'll be getting Dark Seal, unless god forbid you need boots for some raisin.


Dark Seal to Kat is like Doran’s Ring to other mid lanes where it doesn’t really build into anything-


Oh wait


Right, so it does build into something. But should you build Meijei’s?? The explanation on it is further below in the guide.


I think this start is superior to Corrupting Potion for Kat because the additional damage from the 15 AP doesn’t get cut by your abilities unlike Corrupting Potion, and you also get more health back (about 120). You’re also not “losing” as much from refilling the Corrupting Potion and missing out on the mana, your only loss from Dark Seal is the initial cost of the 100 mana. Overall Dark Seal is better than Corrupting Potion *-*It’s also better than a Brand with a Doran’s because your 15 AP might become 18 or 21 or more!

But what if I have teleport? I'll get more refills!

I understand the thought process behind it, and wellll it's okay, but the couple gold you're saving compared to buying health pots and staying in lane for cs/exp outweighs goings back to make it your worthwhile.



I do not recommend starting these items:



1033.png

Even though you get more MR, you are giving up 3 health pots in the process if you buy this instead of boots. The mantle will not negate 450 damage worth of AP damage. Yes, you will be 450 gold into a 1057.png Negatron Cloak, but I don't think it's a good idea to start playing a match as if you're already behind.

1052.png

Buy this if you're playing against bots. But if the other person knows how to trade, you will get shoved out of lane at level 2. Even against a 1033.png null mantle start, you're probably going to lose. Don't start with just 1 health potion. You have no sustain.

2041.png

RIP Crystalline Flask

December 2012 - November 2015

You will be missed.
Not on Kat though.
But we will remember you.


Core Items:



3285.png

If you're doing good, this item is the first item you want to get, even before Deathcap. The passive on Luden's Echo early into the game will produce more damage than a Deathcap would. It also helps with wave clearing, which by the time you get your hands on Luden's Echo, a full Q>W with Luden's Echo should almost clear the wave. If you've been doing well, you can choose to begin building Void Staff if the other team has begun building MR, or Deathcap if they have not. This is based on the assumption that they are behind. Most other laners can wave clear better than you can, so to answer you often times want to purchase LE.

Also, when you Q a wave, be sure to Q the second minion because sometimes LE will only hit the next two targets and not three because the area of effect is too small. Remember to orb walk between autos to build up the passive faster!


3157.png

Great item to protect your Noxian booty. It's not the greatest item to rush first, but honestly you're no use to your team dead; you'll have significantly less damage output, but if you can get out your spells, use the active, and your teammates can get a kill or even stall long enough for your next skill rotation, then the Zhonya's Hourglass payed off. The only downside to this item is that the active's CD is really long now, making it not as good as before post Patch 6.9, but you can play around it by waiting. You usually want to just get the Seeker's Armguard portion of the hourglass and then work towards Luden's, but if you're having trouble surviving, then you could consider rushing the hourglass all the way. This item will help you team fight, and if your team is already grouping 15 minutes into the match then this item isn't that bad of a rush.

3135.png

When enemies begin building MR, this will be your saving grace. There is a long ass explanation on why Void Staff's percent penetration is better than stacking flat on Kat, of which would take a lot of space to write and most you wouldn't want to read so I'll just tell you now that the percentage magic penetration from Void Staff combined with Sorcerer's Shoes and your penetration marks does more than Liandry's and Abyssal Scepter.

3001.png

Welcome to Patch. 6.9! Abyssal Scepter is now a more defensively oriented item that doesn't do as much early game as it did before the patch. The 10 AP and 3 or 4 MR reduc nerf isn't too bad, but they made it more expensive by a whopping 400g. This is not nearly as cost efficient as before, so now you can't brainlessly rush this like before. There are two scenarios that you can consider rushing this item first, being that if your opponent also rushes this or is building MPen, the additional 10 MR will help you out and it does scale better than before. Second scenario would be if the majority of your team does AP damage, this will help them overall do more damage. Other than that, you don't really have to rush this item first, you can get a Negatron and build another core item instead. It's most effective if they have a lot of squishy people on their team that have no MR, but the second they build any MR you'd do better with a Void Staff. Other than that, this isn't really as good as Void.

3089.png

Lots of damage on top of everything. You have to decide whether or not it's appropriate to build it; if you're doing good and don't need defensive items, then go ahead and snowball your way to victory! Otherwise other items  are safer. But in a full build, this should be in there somewhere. Do not build this as a second item. The cost for the item for its stats given is not as good as Luden's Echo or Zohnya's. The earliest you should buy this is as your third item if you're doing reeeeeeeeeally good, otherwise it's a good 5th or 6th item because it offers no utility whatsoever, and nowadays, since League is a team game and not all about you solo carrying so... >_>

3020.png

You need tier two boots somewhere! And a bit of flat penetration is never bad. If you don't need the penetration, then you could opt for Boots of Mobility which would help you roam and collapse better. Don't get anything else, please. (anything else i.e Berserker Greaves, Ionion Boots of Lucidity, etc.)


Greater Stealth Totem

New totem so you don't have to spend 250g, but it has a ridiculously long CD early game at low levels which kinda really sucks. You probably want to go the old school way and just but pink wards (now 75g!) and use that to ward hop. You can still ward hop using the totem but it won't come up nearly as often as the old totem when you're not level 18. Red totem is a good substitute, or if you have good coordination with your team blue is okay too, but you can't hop to anything besides yellow.

Situational


1057.png

In the unfortunate scenario where your opponent has been freely violating your body (and is also AP), you will want a Negatron Cloak to at least be able to stay a bit longer in lane to farm. In a losing situation, you will most likely not be able to roam much or be of much use even if you did roam, so Negatron Cloak will be great for you. 

3146.png

Similar to LE, Gunblade is a good buy first if you're ahead, but you lose a lot of waveclear. You end up doing more single target damage than LE with the active, but if you're not buying this item first, you should buy it much later into your build because the ~150 damage difference from Gunblade compared to LE is not worth it mid game when you could be buying more defensive items. A good 6th item when you have nothing else to build, but an amazing first item if you don't have to worry about wave clear, it's like the old DFG! Given the conditions just listed, this as a first buy is few and far in between, but there are times when you can use it to your advantage.


3026.png / 3083.png / 3102.png / 3140.png

Guardian Angel is a great item late game, granted your team can either peel for you as revive. Warmog's is a viable choice if the other team has no CC to stop your ult. Banshee's Veil is what you should take if the opponent has point-and-click CC, but I don't really like it because they can always pop the passive by using another ability. QSS if they have suppression, and very much like Banshee's Veil, try not to pick this up unless they are repeatedly flash + suppressing you. For the most part, Zhonya's should help you very much and you usually won't need to rely on the Banshee passive or QSS active if you play it right (with exception of suppress).


3116.png / 3100.png

Rylai's is much better now since its AP buff in path 4.13 and other stat buffs in 5.13. This item offers pretty good utility for your team and yourself to slow targets. The health also helps a bit. It's a good item if your team is already doing a lot of damage, otherwise Luden's, Zhonya's, Deathcap and Void Staff will give you more damage. If you're playing safe with a Zhonya's and are still getting rekt, you can consider building Rylai's second but you should still pick your fights more wisely >_>. You can choose between Rylai's and Lichbane depending on what you want to do; Lichbane can help solo push turrets better than Rylai's but the latter is better for fighting overall. They're not core because even though they're good, they're not as good as the listed core items above. If you have a full 6 items, you can consider selling your boots for one of these.

Even though I say this, I can hardly think of a time that you're solo pushing as Katarina, so games with a Lichbane are far and few in between LOL so play it safe and sell boot, buy Rylai's at full build. Get a Lichbane if you're playing with people who can't take objectives because they've never played league before.


2139.png

Similar to Mejai's Soulstealer in my opinion, if you buy this early. You won't get focused nearly as hard in comparison, but it's similar in that if you die then you're 500g behind. Also, you can't cheese with this like you could with the old Elixir of Fortitude at level 1 with the new level 9 requirement. Still, it is cheaper than a Blasting Wand for the same amount of AP and also a great +25 true damage buff. You can still cheese with this, but if nothing comes out from it then you've just put yourself behind by 500g. If you think you can pull it off, then this is a good buy, but otherwise you can play safe and just save and buy a Vision Ward and help out your team :)

Oh and don't chug this right after coming out of base, use it right when you're getting to lane so you have it for longer.

But do buy this if you have a full item build, nothing really to lose .-.

What Not To Buy:


3151.png

Not worth for 3200 gold. The burn passive contradicts Katarina's playstyle. It does 6% of their current health, meaning the more health your target has, the more damage the passive will do. The problem is that as Katarina, you're making a huge mistake if you're the one engaging to make greatest use of this passive. This passive innately implies that you have to make the first strike to make full use of it. As a squishy, high priority assassin, this is unacceptable; the other team won't have to work at all to single you out from your team and kill you. 

Also, this item being a "tank shredder" on Katarina is also complete bogus, the passive refreshes every time you land a spell and doesn't stack burn. What this means is that when you cast your R, which hits 4 times a second for 2.5 seconds, meaning a total of 10 times, it won't burn your opponent for 60% of their health; it'll tick for 2% for the first second of the ult, then another 2% for the next second, and then because of the refresh during the last 0.5 seconds it'll do an additional 6% over the next three seconds, for a grand total of 10% of their current health. Please don't use the "this is a tank shredding item" as an excuse to buy Liandry's.

The AP buff to it from patch 5.13 has made it a bit better, but it's nothing that Rylai's doesn't already have for 3200 gold with more health and a more useful passive. Zhonya'sLuden's Echo, and Deathcap all give more AP and other useful passives/actives that compliment Katarina's playstyle. Even Lichbane's active is better. The flat penetration is not good as explained in the Abyssal Scepter section.

tl;dr encourages a contradictory playstyle for Katarina, stats not worth 3200 gold for her, no situation where listed core items are not better than this 

How about Haunting Guise and sell it later?
Good question! It's okay, but it puts you behind in your core build. 1600 gold is way too much; 400g - Ruby Crystal 150 health, 435g - Amp Tome 15 AP, 800g - Sorc Boots, almost all the stats without having to sink 500g lost. It's 35 more gold instead of losing 480 gold in the long run. It's only a good item if your team power spikes mid game and you want to ride it the best you can rather than waiting out the first 10-20 minutes of the game via farming for your core.

3152.png

The Probelt is a pretty cool item. You get health, AP and a pretty good active. However, for 2500g I don't think this item scales well enough on Kat to be taken over Hextech Gunblade. If you need health, you can get it on Rylai's. You don't need CDR. It's not a bad item, but there's no item slots to replace in your inventory for this item; you can't really debate 60 AP being a good final 6 item build purchase, and it adds a bit of time to your combo which gives more time for your opponents to react. 

latest?cb=20130319091645

RIP You will be missed


3165.png

You have its passive on your ult, you don't benefit from the mana, the CDR isn't a crux on Katarina, you have better options.


3023.png & all other miscellaneous AP support items

Key word, support. You're not support, you don't need the utility, even though it has great AP stats, you can get the core items for that AP and better. Don't settle for these no name brand, second rate items, get top of the line Gucci Rabaddon's Deathcap!


3041.png

People say that Irelia has the greatest butt in League of Legends. I disagree. I'm not a butt kind of guy, but I think Katarina has the nicest booty out there. If you don't agree with me and my Katarina Booty Hype Train, then buy Mejai's Soulstealer and watch as your entire enemy team suddenly jump on my bandwagon! And also jump on your a-

As Katarina, you can't guarantee you won't die. You probably will. You can make a mistake, get 4 man ganked, whatever. The second you accidentally die, your stacks are down the drain. Don't risk it. If they start playing safe and you can't get any more stacks, then this item also becomes useless. 1400 gold sitting pretty in your inventory, not doing anything .-. This item is not core, but if you want to have fun then go ahead, but for the purpose of tryharding and winning matches don't.

Build Path

There are times when you will only build half an item and then move into building your next item. The most common example of this would be to rush Seeker's Armguard or Negatron Cloak and then move towards building Luden's Echo or Rabaddon's Death Cap. This is because the initial benefit from these basic items are very good in the early game, but what they build into is not as good as other core items. If you need defense, buy defense early, but don't straight commit to a Zhonya's Hourglass if you're in a safe enough position to not need its passive. Later on into the match you'll need it, but usually rushing it or Guardian Angel wouldn't benefit you as much as half building and going straight into another full damage item.

So then what do I build?
Every case will be different. It depends on who you're playing against, who is on your team, how well the enemy team is doing, and how well you're doing. Here's a quick guide!
Abyssal: Enemy team has a lot of AP, they have a lot of squishies, your team does a lot of AP damage, you're getting owned by the enemy AP laner
Zhonya's: You're getting your ass handed to you or YOUR team is doing very very well. This might sound strange, but actually if your team is very ahead, i.e ahead enough to the point where your damage is redundant, a Zhonya's will solidify that lead, making it even harder for the enemy team to come back if you don't give them that opportunity to kill you and come back.
Luden's Echo: You are even or ahead of your opponent
Rabbadon's:  Second or third damage item in order for the passive to take full effect if you don't need to build more defense. Back in the day you could build this first if you're ahead (DFG single target, Zhonya's not as much damage), but now Luden's Echo out damages it in terms of being a first item. Usually best as third item because the utility from other items are better as a second item.
Rylai's: If you have resistances built but you're still getting chunked easily or YOUR team is doing very very well. Same reason for Zhonya's, except you provide utility for your very fed team. You also do provide a lot of damage since it gives 100 AP. If you find yourself in this scenario, GET THIS BEFORE ZHONYA'S. You will teamfight more frequently, and a 2 minute CD on the active when you're 57234 miles ahead is way too long over Rylai stats
Void Staff: If you don't see yourself needing to build Abyssal Scepter.
Gunblade: If you aren't laning against a strong lane opponent and you're doing good and you can push harder than them buy first otherwise buy as last item
Guardian Angel: If you have nothing else left to build AND your team can peel for you, otherwise Gunblade sixth item.
Warmog's: You have nothing else left to build and the enemy team has NO CC which is basically never hue

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Ahri
    Medium
  • Akali
    Easy
  • Anivia
    Medium
  • Annie
    Hard
  • Azir
    Hard
  • Brand
    Medium
  • Cassiopeia
    Hard
  • Cho'Gath
    Hard
  • Diana
    Medium
  • Ekko
    Medium
  • Elise
    Hard
  • Evelynn
    Easy
  • Ezreal
    Easy
  • Fiddlesticks
    Medium
  • Fizz
    Hard
  • Galio
    Hard
  • Gragas
    Medium
  • Heimerdinger
    Medium
  • Janna
    Easy
  • Jarvan IV
    Hard
  • Jayce
    Hard
  • Jhin
    Hard
  • Karma
    Medium
  • Karthus
    Easy
  • Kassadin
    Hard
  • Katarina
    Medium
  • Kayle
    Hard
  • Kennen
    Medium
  • Kha'Zix
    Medium
  • Kog'Maw
    Easy
  • LeBlanc
    Hard
  • Lee Sin
    Hard
  • Lissandra
    Medium
  • Lulu
    Hard
  • Lux
    Easy
  • Malphite
    Medium
  • Malzahar
    Hard
  • Mordekaiser
    Hard
  • Morgana
    Easy
  • Nami
    Medium
  • Nidalee
    Medium
  • Nunu
    Hard
  • Orianna
    Medium
  • Pantheon
    Hard
  • Riven
    Hard
  • Ryze
    Medium
  • Sejuani
    Medium
  • Sona
    Medium
  • Soraka
    Easy
  • Swain
    Medium
  • Syndra
    Hard
  • Talon
    Medium
  • Teemo
    Easy
  • Twisted Fate
    Easy
  • Urgot
    Hard
  • Varus
    Easy
  • Veigar
    Medium
  • Vel'Koz
    Medium
  • Viktor
    Medium
  • Vladimir
    Hard
  • Xerath
    Medium
  • Yasuo
    Medium
  • Zac
    Medium
  • Zed
    Medium
  • Ziggs
    Medium
  • Zilean
    Medium
  • Zyra
    Medium

VS

Ahri

Medium

This is a hard match up if you're bad at dodging skill shots.

ahriorbofdeception.png Q - 7 seconds all levels

ahrifoxfire.png W - 9-5

ahriseduce.png E - 12 seconds all levels

ahritumble.png R - 110-80 seconds

- Not too too hard because you can still farm pretty easily against her with Q and W

- Her only form of CC can be minion blocked so she won't really be able to land it as long as you have a wave to E to.

- Problem is that your harass won't stack up very well because she can sustain with passive. Doesn't mean you shouldn't still give free harass, it'll just be a lot of hard work to get her low.

- Once she hits 6 you will never kill her unless she is extremely low health

- Late game not as much of a problem because her charm will be really difficult to land in the middle of a team fight

- Assassin vs Assassin late game 1v1 is about who 100-0's the other person first, since she has CC she will have the advantage. Don't try to 1v1 her unless you can kill her before she can react. If you can't kill her instantly with E>W>R then don't bother

 

Watch for:

- She will try to land her Q onto you when you walk up to last hit a minion, you can dodge it with E

4.png + ahriseduce.png, this will be difficult to predict, if you can survive the initial burst you can always E out, but an Ahri won't try to do this unless she knows for a fact you'll die

Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

 

VS

Akali

Easy

In this lane you'll be able to farm without any problem and she is very gankable. This lane becomes extremely difficult if she manages to kill you and you probably won't be able to leave your turret to farm without getting a foot in your face.

akalimota.png Q - 6-4 seconds

akalismokebomb.png W - 20 seconds all levels

akalishadowswipe.png E - 5-1 seconds

akalishadowdance.png R - 30-15 seconds/charge 

- Q>W to harass her, your base damage is a lot higher than her Q>E since she can't proc her mark with it anymore

- Respect her W shroud, it will give her the ability to auto and proc her Q mark, which would then be way more damage than your Q>W tl;dr Q>W her and don't get into range for her to auto you

The second she gets a lead on you then you will pretty much always die if she engages on you, so be sure not to let that happen. If you are struggling a Negatron Cloak will make sure she can't 100-0 you but you'll be a little bit behind for a while.

Easy farming, ganking and not noticeable late game unless she gets early lead on you, then everything is hard.


Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Anivia

Medium

aniviapassive.png - 240 seconds

flashfrost.png - 12-8 seconds

crystallize.png - 25 seconds

frostbite.png - 5 seconds

glacialstorm.png - 6 seconds

- You can shove early with your W but you will have to worry about getting ganked.

- You will have to watch for her Q but that’s super slow and you can dodge it pretty easily. If she only uses E on you, your E>Q>W will definitely out trade, so you can farm pretty easily against her early as well without worrying about disadvantages as much.

- However, she’ll become a complete pain in the ass post 6 because if she gets her blue and first mana item (probably chalice) then it’ll solver all her mana problems and permanently push you under turret and you won’t be able to do anything about it

- A good Anivia won’t bother throwing Q at you to stun you and will instead instantly W to displace you; late game she is annoying as hell, you can easily farm pre 6, post 6 you have to try to stay out of range of her R>E

- Late game she can screw you over in team fights because your ult will get cancelled, but all in all you still have pretty good snowball potential so this can go both ways

Farming pre-6 is pretty easy, she can get ganked, but outside of laning phase is a pain in the ass.

Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Annie

Hard

The AA harass is too strong with this one. Also she has a point and click stun and does lots of damage. She will be difficult to deal with most the entire game.


disintegrate.png Q - 4 seconds, unless target is killed then reduced to 1 second (travel time usually 1 second)

incinerate.png W - 8 seconds

moltenshield.png E - 10 seconds

infernalguardian.png R - 120-80 seconds

- Throw daggers and W to farm, the only time you can sort of trade pre-6 is if she uses W, which you can E>Q>W
- If you're playing lower elos and she tries to hold her stun and farm with AA, she'll probably miss a lot and you'll scale better farming with daggers :) but otherwise if she uses Q to farm and not stack then those are the best times to be closer to farm
- Click on her to see how many stacks of her passive she has; if she has 3, it basically means she has Pyromania up because she can E to get the last stack
- Note that her Q range is only 50 less than your Q, so don't try to chuck knives at her and not expect her to retaliate
- Even if you aren't having a hard time farming against her, you will want to build some MR to not get insta-bursted
- Call on jungler and bait out the stun, she has no escapes

Difficult to farm against, pretty killable in lane, but late game presents a very difficult challenge

Rush Abyssal if you're having a hard time

VS

Azir

Hard

This is a very hard match up

He does more dps than you, has more range than you

- Level 1 you can Q farm safely, or you can walk up to cs and get E level 1 when he puts down a soldier

- The only way you can look to trade with him is if his Q is down and how close he is to his soldiers

- If his Q is up and he can reposition the soldiers, you cannot go in or they will jam their spears in your butt

- If the Q is down because he used it to poke you, you can risk E’ing in and QW but he can run away to either his soldier that he already has down or if he has another soldier tucked away

- He has next to no reason to use his E dash aside from getting away from you or securing a kill on you, so ganking this guy is really hard via waiting for him to blow his dash

- As long as he positions himself relatively close to his soldiers you can never hope to out-trade him

- His maximum Q range is about Xerath’s Q range and will auto you after finishing the dash if you stay in range

- The upside is that he’s super squishy and he uses a lot of mana early, just try to farm and last to 6

- Once you get an item or two you can trade back, BUT NEVER E IN IF HE HASN’T USED HIS DASH OR Q, YOU WILL LOSE

- He does so much damage late game if he survives to dps and the CC he has is really good too

Very hard to farm, very hard to gank, very hard to deal with outside of laning phase

VS

Brand

Medium
Burn baby burn, disco inferno!

brandblaze.png Q - 8-6 seconds

brandfissure.png W - 10 seconds

brandconflagration.png E - 12-8 seconds

brandwildfire.png R - 105-75 seconds

- Early on, not too much of an issue because he can for sure land his E but you can dodge the W pillar and his Q can’t go through minions. However, it’s a huge problem when you do get hit, because he chunks like no tomorrow

- Brand is not a very dynamic champion in that he only has single target CC but he makes up for it in raw damage. With his first back, he should be able to do a minimum, with his full combo, at least 80% of your full health

Moral of the story? DO NOT GET HIT BY HIS SHIT

- Your 1v1, if you get stunned, you’ll probably die before he does

- Early you can farm, he’s definitely killable since he’s not mobile, but late game his ult will chunk half your health with two bounces but he probably won’t be able to stun you

Abyssal first to save yourself trouble


Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Cassiopeia

Hard

this match up damn

cassiopeianoxiousblast.png Q - 4 seconds

cassiopeiamiasma.png W - 14-10 seconds

cassiopeiatwinfang.png E - 5 seconds, 0.5 if poisoned

cassiopeiapetrifyinggaze.png R - 120-100 seconds

- If you’re bad at dodging skill shots this will be a tough lane, but unlike other skill shot champions, I put her as hard because goddamn she hits like a f**king truck if you get nicked by her Q or W

- She can use her W to zone you as well and can push you under turret as well so have fun against this champ lol don't walk into her W pool or you're in for a world of hurt

- You can throw Q and E away and that’s just about it

- However, she doesn’t exactly burst people down, so late game, unless you get stunned, she can’t kill you before you get most of your combo/ult off so that’s always good

- If you E onto her, right before you ult click away from her so that you begin your channel facing away from her so when she turns to ult you won't get stunned

In lane, farming will suck,  but you actually can kill her if you harass her enough since she is very immobile and can’t sustain

Go Abyssal first, you will need it sofa king bad


Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Cho'Gath

Hard

Fk I think he's really underrated with super tank/damage at the same time


Well early he's not too bad to play against

rupture.png Q - 9 seconds
feralscream.png W - 13 seconds
feast.png R - 80 seconds, 40 if used to kill a non-champion unit

- His wave clear early isn't too strong and he is very mana heavy, so you can push pretty well with W
- He can land his skills really easily if you get into range of his W, because he'll follow it up with a Q and you won't be able to E but he can't do it too often .-. try to dodge the best you can
- His sustain is really strong if he gets all his last hits, about 100~200 health every wave so your harass won't add up easily
- That said, he doesn't have any mobility, so at lower levels you can definitely kill him with your jungler if you stack harass early
- Once he reaches critical mass, i.e level 6, he can choose to either straight up ignore you and keep farming/R minions and push you, effectively making you useless lol or save his ult to eat you out omnomnomnom Kat looks tasty-
- Unless you snowballed your lane early, you can't do too much in this match up except farm and try to find your snowballing potential somewhere else

Okay-ish farming, killable in lane, but fking post 6 anywhere on the map he will screw you over with Q or W or just 100-0 you and you won't kill him lol

Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Diana

Medium

Funfunfunfun


This is not too difficult early because she only has her Q for range, kinda like you, but unlike you, she needs mana and she doesn't have mobility

dianaQ.png Q - 10-6 seconds
dianaW.png W - 10 seconds
dianaE.png E - 26-18 seconds
dianaR.png R - 25-15 seconds, no cooldown if marked with Q

- Chances are she will max Q, be sure to dodge it. It is difficult, but you can always opt to E. They are relatively low mana and hurt, so don't take them for free
- When she puts up the shield, you will have to back off because she can break all three charges and come out on top of the trade 100% when the shield refreshes
- When her Q is on cool down, don't be afraid to trade, you are innately up her a damaging skill with Q>W>E to her Q>W
- Once she reaches 6, she will be much much harder, similar to Akali. The only difference is that she does less damage, but even worse she is more tanky and she can CC your ult channel
- You can keep trading with her until she gets low, but the second her Q lands you need to back up or you're going to get screwed over from Q>R>Q>R>Q>R>Q>R>Q>R>Q>R>Q>R
- After this point, unless you killed her early, she will be in a position to dominate without too much of a hassle
- In all phases though, you can still get your jungler to help you out because she will inevitably push and she has no real escapes
- If she snowballs, she will become a very big problem for you

You can rush Abyssal Scepter if you're losing, otherwise Luden's Echo or even Void Staff is acceptable because a lot of Dianas like to build Abyssal Scepter, and your 20 penetration to the 40/50 MR will be laughable.

Decent to farm against, definitely killable in lane, but outside of laning phase she will be a pretty big problem even if she does mildly decent

VS

Ekko

Medium

Wow Riot came out with a match up that Kat doesn't do too bad against. Damn even Graves does better lol


ekkoQ.png Q - 11-7 seconds
ekkoW.png W - 22-14 seconds
ekkoE.png E - 13-7 seconds
ekkoR.png R - 110-70 seconds

- His Q is very easy to dodge, if need be use E. IT DOES DAMAGE ON THE WAY BACK, PLEASE REMEMBER THIS
- His W field takes a very long time to come out, 3 seconds, so you can predict when he will try to go in when he makes the animation. It will only stun and grant him a shield if he is in the field as it activates
- This isn't an easy match up though because of how much freaken damage he does with his passive. At level 1 it might not do a lot of damage, but if he keeps stacking it to 3 you will hurt quite a bit, and the three stacks will be very easy to achieve if he lands Q.
- You can Q>W and if he tries to engage with his E or respond with his Q, you can E away
- At 6 it'll be harder to kill him because he can WHOOP and run away, but notably his CC can't break your channel if you ult before he uses W.
- Later on into the match he'll be a problem because you can't be the first to engage to prevent his stun, so his potential in a team fight will be pretty obnoxious, it's up to you to adapt

Farming is decent, he is fairly killable even though he is a bit mobile with CC, but outside of laning phase he will be a bit of a pain.

VS

Elise

Hard

Almost never seen in lane, but she is really strong early and is a pain if she snowballs. This match up is annoying as hell because she has a very long distance point and click gap closer and can sustain/push you in faster than you can push back.


eliseQ.png Q - 6 seconds
eliseW.png W - 12 seconds
eliseE.png E - 14-10 seconds, Rappel is 26-14 seconds
eliseR.png R - 4 seconds

- Level 1 she won't really try to do much as you can kind of go even, you can still trade
- Level 2 she will either pick W or E, W if her jungler isn't nearby and E if the jungler is, but most likely it will be W and in which point you can't go near her or you will lose the trade guaranteed
- Her strongest full combo will be Human E>Q>W>R>Q>W>AA>AA>AA>AA>AA>AA>AA etc, and her other possible combo but not as strong is Spider E>Q>R>E>Q>W. This combo is guaranteed to land in comparison to the other combo but does less damage, especially if she starts the combo on you with full health, BUT DO NOT STICK AROUND, if you stay long enough for her change back into spider form to Q, it will even out and trade you could hope to do
- You can throw daggers at her but she'll just sustain it back and trade with her Q. If you walk close enough to try to W proc she'll engage on you and do even more damage to you - - one of the reasons why this match up might be even more toxic than Leblanc because Elise can do whatever the hell she wants and if you try to do anything she can shove her boobs in your face and tell you no
- Her damage 'falls off late game' but her full combo against squishies can still be enough to kill
- If you do 'go even' in lane, i.e scrape by with a few cs and no deaths, you will still be more effective than her in a team fight as her CC is only a single point stun
- Laning Elise relies on snowballing, otherwise it's pretty bad which is why no one plays her mid since she is a relatively weak single target assassin

Farming against her is terrible, she is pretty hard to kill in lane, but late game she is pretty useless (unless you try to fight her 1v1)  UNLESS she snowballed from you then she's op x-x

VS

Evelynn

Easy

Old school playing her mid


She has no CC, scales pretty mediocre, I haven't seen her mid for almost 2 seasons .-.

evelynnQ.png Q - 1.5 seconds
evelynnW.png W - 15 seconds
evelynnE.png E - 9 seconds
evelynnR.png R - 150-90 seconds

- Her early game damage is not so good, even less than your Q>E>W
- Don't line yourself up with her nearest target or you'll take unnecessary Q damage
- The magic number is about 4 Q's, if she lands E + that many on you then the trade about even, anything past the 5th it'll go in her favour
- You can push her in pretty easily since if she tries to do the same with her Q she'll run out of mana faster
- She basically has to play a lot of the lane without her passive, and if she sits behind to use it then you free farm and zone her and she loses cs
- She has very little mobility aside from a bit of a movement speed boost, it is possible to kill her with jungler help

Decent to farm against, easy to kill in lane, provides next to no threat unless she snowballs lane .-.

VS

Ezreal

Easy

Not that difficult

ezrealmysticshot.png Q - 6.5-4.5 seconds, minus 1.5 seconds if it hits something
ezrealessenceflux.png
W - 9 seconds
ezrealarcaneshift.pngE - 19-13 seconds
ezrealtrueshotbarrage.png R - 80 seconds

- The only real problem this match up presents is that he can AA harass you. His Q shouldn't land, and his W tickles. You can opt to go for Doran's Shield if you want
- You can trade pretty well and shove about as hard as he can
- He does have a good escape on the E but it's pretty long CD
- Ult is an easy dodge, if your E is up then just use it as he casts and it'll miss, or just flash
- Once you get an item you can Q and harass and all-in whenever you get the chance
- If he does  snowball then this will be a bit harder because he can AA and out trade, but you will always out scale him no matter what
- He has a pretty good escape, so unless you can bait it out or he's in a bad position killing him will be difficult with or without jungle help, but without that he's squishy and immobile

-Early if he plays right you'll never kill him and he'll annoy you but post 6 you can zone-ish, be careful of ganks

Farming is pretty decent, not super hard to kill in lane, not that big a presence late game.

Get Doran's Shield Seeker's and Armguard if you're having a tough time, otherwise Luden's Echo

VS

Fiddlesticks

Medium
terrify.png my face playing against a fiddle

terrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.pngterrify.png


VS

Fizz

Hard

Still strong after the string of nerfs, and definitely a pain to play against as Kat

- You can dodge his Q and E with your own E, but the thing is that both skills put him closer to you to stab you, and his autos with the W are one of the strongest in the game early. The upside is that he can’t use his abilities too much early because, especially E, cost a lot of mana

- Something to remember is that his E drops minion aggro. Don't bank on your minions as a source of damage, they are fairly unreliable. The difference between your E and his is that if you auto him and E away but within range of a minion that had aggro'd you, you will maintain the aggro

- That said, don’t E into range of him (unless you’re going to kill him) because he’ll take the opportunity to Q>E slow and W+auto you to death

- If he lands his fish, you will DEFINITELY die, be sure to Flash + E away

- Don’t break your ult if he uses E! if he lands back into range of your ult it will automatically retarget him

Farming is pretty hard, killing him is very difficult and late game his AoE knock up and damage is a big problem but you can still provide damage for you team so not too horribile


Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Galio

Hard

VS

Gragas

Medium

VS

Heimerdinger

Medium

VS

Janna

Easy

Rare to see, but also rarely a problem.

- You can farm out this lane and shove her in, she has a very hard time farming under turret
- You also out trade her without any problem, but if she decides to max E it might be a little harder
- She has nice CC with the W and Q but is relatively immobile making her simple to gank if the lane goes your direction, depends on how you want to play the lane to make ganking an option
- Late game she will be much more of a problem because she can heal for a lot

Easy laning phase, easy to gank if she's not perma shoved into her turret, late game presents a medium level threat.

VS

Jarvan IV

Hard

VS

Jayce

Hard

VS

Jhin

Hard
jhinQ.png Q - 7 - 5s
jhinW.png W - 14s
jhinE.png E - ?
jhinR.png R - 120-90s

- Not super hard but pretty hard

- You can farm but trades that go in your favour is rare, his damage is ridiculous

- The only time you can kinda of look for a trade is when he’s on his last bullet because if he hits you with it, it’ll hurt, but he’ll need to reload

- Be careful not to get snared because that will easily let him half health you with a full combo

- He’s really easy to gank though since he’s immobile

- Late game his damage is unreal so if you can pick him off then do it

Easy ganks, pretty rough laning phase to farm, late game can be a bit of a problem

VS

Karma

Medium
karmaheavenlywave.png Q - 7-5s
karmaspiritbond.png W - 12s
karmasoulshield.png E - 10-8s
karmachakra.png R - 45-36s

this is a bit of a strange match up.
- If you stand near your minions, she can q the wave and hit you so remember that

- trading with her is pretty hard, you will need to wait for her R to be down otherwise a smart Karma will R-W and heal back

- You can tell if her R is up by looking at the sigil over her back; if they're rotating and glowing, then she has R, if it's just floating and doing nothing then it's not up

- When you throw your Q, she can shield herself and negate a lot of your combo's damage

- The good thing is that she can't bully you too, too hard because she's and easy gank with no reliable escape and she's super mana hungry

- She can negate a lot of damage outside of laning phase by R-E on her team mates, so she's a bit of a hassle to go against, but at least she doesn't have a great way to stop your ult

A little rough laning phase, pretty decent gankability, pretty hard outside of laning phase. This match up is slightly above medium difficulty but not hard.

VS

Karthus

Easy

Dodge Q, farm, you can invest in harassing him, but just dodge the Q. Like any other champion with skill shots, this can quickly become a very hard match up if you're not good at dodging harass.

VS

Kassadin

Hard

VS

Katarina

Medium

Skill match up. Whoever has better wave control, farms, and harasses better will come out on top. If you both all-in, it's whoever initiated first. Your ult will be pretty useless because they can just E out of it, but you can do that as well.


Fairly straight forward, whoever roams and snowballs better will be more awesome, so it'll either be really easy or really hard.

Winning buy Abyssal, losing also buy that lol

VS

Kayle

Hard

kayleQ.png Q - 8 seconds

kayleW.png W - 15 seconds

kayleE.png E - 16 seconds

kayleR.png R - 100-80 seconds


This is a pretty hard match up because she has sustain and poke, a very underrated champion

- You can throw Q’s to farm but she can E and then auto minions near you to harass, or just straight up Q and then E you

- She pushes harder than you so get comfortable under turret

- Buy an Abyssal, gives survivability and damage

- Her ult is a huge problem because that will make getting resets very difficult, be sure ot keep track of this throughout team fights; timing is very important

- If you think you can kill her, remember ot throw down

- She actually isn’t super mobile so killing her in an early gank is definitely a possibility

- She is also super mana hungry before her first back, so trading isn’t pointless

- There are a few good things about this match up, as she can’t ult more than one person and she can’t break your channel, so if you have two people low, one of them is bound to die, but in lane she doesn’t have to worry so she can ult herself

Laning sucks megaballs, killing her in lane is easy, out of laning also sucks megaballs

VS

Kennen

Medium

VS

Kha'Zix

Medium

VS

Kog'Maw

Easy

VS

LeBlanc

Hard

/gg

Joking this lane is not an immediate loss, but it’s hard as hell because she does an ass ton of damage pre 6

- You will have to respect her damage and probably have to farm under turret and lose minions in the process

- If you’re a beast and can dodge her W then do so if she tries to proc her Q. The Q itself doesn’t do that much damage but if she gets the proc off with either E or W you’re in for a world of hurt. Speaking of which, dodge her E at all costs, that will guarantee her ability to shove her staff up your a-

- You probably won’t be able to roam much because she’ll push you into turret all day, buy Negatron Cloak and weather the storm

- If she goes invisible, keep your ult up if it’s still throwing daggers!

You’ll have difficulty farming, killing her will be near impossible early and late game she can single you out to assassinate. This is a cry-worthy match up


Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Lee Sin

Hard

VS

Lissandra

Medium

VS

Lulu

Hard

Oh goodness what a cute little yordle

Her cuteness is matched only by her annoying laning phase

- She can shield herself and always come out on top of trades

- If you get near enough to try and proc your Q mark with W, she can slow you and auto you

- She can break your ult channel with W instantly and she can’t be bursted down because of her ult

But the good part is that she doesn’t have that much mobility, at least not compared to Leblanc so you can still sooort of farm in lane, but she’s relatively difficult to kill in lane and she’s big trouble late game because of the CC so HARD but not TOO HARD ;)


Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Lux

Easy
luxlightbinding.png Q - 15-11s
luxprismaticwave.png W - 14-10s
luxlightstrikekugel.png E - 10s
luxmalicecannon.png R - 80-50s

- A farm lane, you probably can't really kill her because of her range, although she can kill you if she lands Q
- This is a pretty annoying lane because of her harass, but she has long CDs so if she does miss feel free to go in and combo
- Don't get shield baited!
- You will provide more outside of laning than she will so as long as you farm then you outscale
- If she's pushed up she's an easy gank because she has no escapes

Easy laning phase (if you can dodge skill shots), easy to gank in lane and you also outscale but beware, if she gets the ball rolling she does a butt ton of damage.

VS

Malphite

Medium

If you have good reflexes then this shouldn’t be too hard

- Start W

- You will still want to max Q because it reduces the cool down so you can keep his passive on cd

- If he gets into range, keep his passive shield off cool down by either using W or Q

- He’ll probably throw some Q’s at you but it is a very large amount of mana to use, and your Q doesn’t need any ;)

- Be careful because usually mid malph builds AP, and it actually does a ridiculous amount of damage, a full combo REQ Ignite can do 2/3 of your health easily

- If you can, E the ult and you’ll never have to worry but that’s easier said than done

- You can push him under his turret until he gets items to E clear

- Post 6 if he can land 2 Q+E on you, a final R+E+Q+Ignite will definitely kill you, so be very careful

- Also be sure to ward as you can push him in pretty easy and get ganked

Easy farming, easy ganks, a bit of a problem late game and outside of laning phase

You may want to consider buying a Negatron Cloak just so that you don't get 100-0'd

VS

Malzahar

Hard

Along with 19.png Warwick and 254.png Vi, the most unbelievably butt-frustrating champions to play against as Katarina. Point and click CC is your worst enemy.

VS

Mordekaiser

Hard

He is a giant boulder. Giant boulders do not move. Laning phase will suck and he will never die unless you get a gank from a strong jungler. Late he hurts but can't really stop you from team fights.

VS

Morgana

Easy

Oh my

- She’s annoying as hell because she will push all day with pool and not give a shit

- You can sort of harass her but she can always stay away and E to reduce some of the damage, but she is mana dependent so you don't really lose anything

- Her Q can be stopped by minions so you don’t really have to worry about that, plus it’s slow so you can E away

- You can farm early and even get a kill because she’s not mobile, she’s squishy and pushed 24/7

- Her stun takes 3 seconds to charge, so if you initiate your ult before she does, you’ll get it all off before you get stunned

- Late game she’s not that big of a problem because of the things listed above, but do note that her Q>W does a ridiculous amount of damage, and she can definitely 100-0 you if you’re not careful


Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Nami

Medium

VS

Nidalee

Medium

VS

Nunu

Hard

VS

Orianna

Medium
orianaizunacommand.png Q - 6-3s
orianadissonancecommand.png W - 9s
orianaredactcommand.png E - 9s
orianadetonatecommand.png R - 120-90s

This match up is somewhere in between medium and hard .-.

- If she’s good at reading you then you’re screwed because she’ll shield herself when you try to trade

- If she doesn’t shield herself then you’ll trade ok-ish

- Farming is pretty easy relative to a lot of other annoying match ups, but you’ll have to read her and know where the ball is to not get hit by it. It’s like a mini game of dodge ball. Haha, get it?

- Be careful of going near the ball because she can W slow and hurt you if you’re not careful, kind of like Zed E

- If her ball is really far away from her you could look to trade starting with E then Q>W because she won’t be able to get the ball shied by the time you’re done your combo

- Late game she’ll be a huge problem because she can do a lot of damage on top of her ultimate; BE SURE TO WATCH WHO SHE HAS THE BALL PUT ON

Farming is okay, kinda hard, ganking is pretty good, outside of laning phase she's really hard to handle

VS

Pantheon

Hard
pantheon_throw.png Q - 4s
pantheon_leapbash.png W - 13-9s
pantheon_heartseeker.png E - 10-6s
pantheon_grandskyfall_jump.png R - 150-120s

Oh good lord

- If you E in he’ll hurt you in all your special places

- His Q is such low CD it’s disgusting, and it has pretty decent range for a spammable skill

- If you react to him throwing a Q with your own Q>E>W, he’ll be able to W>E and Q again

- If he snowballs, you’re 100% done

- If you snowball, he’ll still have a chance of humping you still

- He can out roam you and respond to your ganks with his ult to counter gank which makes it especially difficult

- If he chooses to W in be sure to trade back, which also means if your Q is on CD respect him otherwise he'll have a very one sided trade

Farming is hard, ganking is okay, outside of laning phase is alright-ish

VS

Riven

Hard
riventricleave.png
rivenmartyr.png
rivenfeint.png
rivenfengshuiengine.png Always everything up to be shoved in your butt

Your anti-thesis

- She easily out damages you and pretty much counters you in every way

- Both her burst and damage over time is better than yours

- She can zone you out of farm and you’ll pretty much have to farm under turret with Q and W

- Stay a good distance away because she can leap a good 5 miles with her Q and E. It’s like she’s a fat kid and your ass is chocolate cake. 

- You can only hope to scale out and snowball outside of your lane

- If she blows Q early on nothing then you can sort-of trade, but her E>W and empowered autos makes it even for the most part

- The only upside is that she can't be everywhere in a team fight, so as long as you engage nowhere near here during the team fight then it'll go better q_q sorta

Difficult to farm, difficult to gank, hard outside of laning phase too

VS

Ryze

Medium

VS

Sejuani

Medium

VS

Sona

Medium

VS

Soraka

Easy

VS

Swain

Medium
swainbeam.png Q - 14-10s
swainshadowgrasp.png W - 18-10s
swaintorment.png E - 10s
swainmetamorphism.png R - 10s

You're basically playing this game for outside of laning phase.
- His E is super strong, you will get chunked horrendously if he gets close enough to use it along with Q + AA's, so if your E isn't up and he lands it you're guaranteed at least half your health gone.
- Don't get snared, same reason as above
- Neither of you should be dying to each other unless one of you massively screws up
- Save your E for escaping and never to trade unless it's an all in with your jg to help, it is so easy for him to land snare when his Q slows you
- Once he reaches level 6, he'll never die if your minion wave is with you.
- The one good thing is that he gets really mana hungry after level 6, so he can't spam his stuff too too much
- He is also immobile af so if you have a strong early jungler you can ask for a gank
Laning is okay, farming is pretty good, easy ganks, literally an unkillable blob outside of laning phase but isn't too much of a threat to you.

VS

Syndra

Hard

syndraQ.png Q - 4 seconds

syndraW.png W - 12-8 seconds

syndraE.png E - 18-12 seconds

syndraR.png R - 100-80 seconds

Fk

Lane bully that excels 1v1

- If you can’t dodge skill shots you’re super boned

- Don’t eat Q balls

- If she’s a noob and tries to throw a minion at you, you can go in for a combo and win trade, also can do this if she E+Q and you respond with an E to dodge

- Her autos are pretty weak and there is a wind up for Q, so you can go up to auto or w farm and E away pretty easily

- She is also very immobile so she can die easy to ganks

- Don’t line yourself up with a ball because she can stun you

- Post 6 you need to watch for how many Q balls she has lying on the ground, 1 is bad, 2 is dangerous and 3 don’t think about fighting her .-.

- If you’re getting hit lots, get an Abyssal, although this is a good item to buy anyways because she can 100-0 you post 6 if you go even or are behind

- She is very immobile and can’t 100-0 you early, so she can die to ganks

Hard laning phase, easy to kill in lane, hard af outside of laning phase

VS

Talon

Medium

- It’s a skill match up, he runs on mana so if he can’t land his rake on you and you land your stuff on him then he’s boned

- He also doesn’t silence you anymore so you can actually beat him now

- It takes a bit of skill to predict when he’ll rake but that reading will take practice, usually when you’re going up to cs or if he suddenly starts walking towards you then E behind him and Q>W

- If he does get ahead this will suck because he is good at insta-bursting, so be sure not to let it get to that point. Win lane, win game, all else lose :(

Farming is okay, he is killable because he doesn't have that much mobility and not too big a problem late unless he snowballs.


Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Teemo

Easy

VS

Twisted Fate

Easy

Pretty fun match up

wildcards.png Q - 6 seconds

pickacard.png W - 6 seconds

cardmasterstack.png E - 20 seconds

destiny.png R - 180-120 seconds

If he’s good at drawing cards this will be annoying af

- Most people who don’t have balls of steel won’t draw a card within aa range, so if you see him pull a card out his ass just E or walk away, very easy .-.

- If he draws a gold card, just keep out of range until he throws it

- If he draws a blue card, you can do one of two things, which is wait for him to throw it at a minion if you don’t want to take it or go straight in to trade. If he has his cards stacked up, the trade will go in his favour.

- Don't try to trade with him when he has E up or you will lose the trade, you can click on him to see how many stacks he has

- His ult will let him out roam you and you can't do too much about it, if he teleports away then push your lane. Be sure to call mias the second you lose sight of him

- He is very immobile and you can definitely kill him in lane

- Outside of laning phase he is fairly strong, if he lands W stun his Q AA(E) will hurt a lot; as long as he goes even with you he will be very relevant split pushing .-. But outside of masters and challengers there aren't that many TF players who can do the greatest pressuring but blahblahblah

Decent farming, easy to kill in lane, after laning phase he's a bitch if you didn't full shut him down

VS

Urgot

Hard

Don't laugh, this guy is a strong bully


His early damage is really good, espcially if he lands the E onto you and locks on

He can shield your damage and is pretty tanky

The one good thing is that it's really easy to gank him because he has no escape whatsoever

Respect his early damage, but mid and late his team fight doesn't do too-too much so if you can live past laning phase you will be significant to your team

Okay laning phase, easy to gank, pretty strong late

VS

Varus

Easy

VS

Veigar

Medium

Sigh

At least you can farm early against him

- His Q got nerfed again so he can’t trade very well, if he’s good he might be able to land the W through W>E if you get stunned, but still if you see it then just E onto him and combo since it's not instant anymore AHAIEHAIEHIHAEIEA

- He’s also pretty gankable since he’s not very mobile

Late game is a big problem because he will reach a point where Q>R is enough to 100-0 you; there’s two ways to address this which is if you have good reaction time, take the Q and zohnya the R, but if you don't have Korean reflexes then stop building whatever you're building (probably by your 5th item he can 1 shot you) and get GA. It's suboptimal since it only works once every 5 years but you suck at timing Zhonya's so it's one evil or the other.

- Wait for him to E in team fights; his abilities are relatively low CD so just assume that his ult is always up until you see it come out


Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Vel'Koz

Medium
velkozQ.png Q - 7s

VS

Viktor

Medium

VS

Vladimir

Hard

Annoying as fkkkkkk


In lane he won't die and will push you forever, your only 'real' chance is before his first back if he's not good with how he manages his abilities

VS

Xerath

Medium
xeratharcanopulse.png Q - 9-5s
xerathlocusofpower.png W - 14-10s
xerathmagechains.png E - 18-10s
xeratharcanebarragewrapper.png R - 130-100s

Annoying annoying annoying

- He does an ass ton of damage and wave clears like nobody’s business

- His stun is pretty hard to hit, but don’t be surprised if he’s been missing all laning phase and lands it post 6 and 100-0’s you

- Remember not to line yourself up with your minion wave or he’ll shove his big hard Q down your throat

- Don’t shy away from using E to dodge spells

- His CD is actually very low so if you don't trade close to after he fires a spell, it'll be back up

Farming is decent, pretty easy gank, annoying af outside laning phase but could be worse compared to other people .-.

VS

Yasuo

Medium

VS

Zac

Medium

VS

Zed

Medium

Prepare your butt!

- You can go even pre 6 because he won’t have innate sustain without a lifesteal item, so you can kind of trade as long as you’re not low enough for his passive to proc 

- There are Zeds who like to throw out shadows and then Q, so watch and predict

- You can E>Q>W to a nearby minions and only have to worry about his spin, but you won't come out definitevly on top of a trade if his Q landed

- Watch his cooldowns, and you can stay pretty even, but if you screw up and he lands his stuff on you then you’ll get behind very quickly

- Also watch his shadow! If you forget about it he can land a free spin or Q

- If you E in and he still has his W, he will W>E>Q and ram so many autos up your special places so be sure never to do so unless for good reason

- Post 6 when he has sustain this will suck because he can lifesteal back your harass and if you try to all in he will spam laugh and ult you. The disadvantage exists not because he becomes untargetable (which only lasts for 0.75 seconds) but that he can do one of two things:

1. He can W out of range and will only take 2 or 3 daggers worth of damage

2. Or more commonly ult, full combo you and then get out of range of your ult because his full combo is faster than your 2.5 second channel, and you lose 3 daggers of your ult to his ability to land all his R>E>Q because you're stationary .-.

You can farm against him okay-ish, but killing him in lane is difficult if he knows his limits and is conservative with his shadows. Late game you can deal with him with Zhonya's unless he's so far ahead his W>E>Q is enough to 100-0 then it doesn’t matter


Difficulty is based on difficulty in creep management, potential to kill opponent, and relevance late game

VS

Ziggs

Medium

VS

Zilean

Medium

VS

Zyra

Medium

This is a difficult match up if you can't dodge skill shots


- This match up is really annoying because of the fact she can make plants, very similar to Heimerdinger except she is more direct with her harass

Playstyle Back to Top

Welcome. I am the Ultimate Gaylord. 


As of the assassin update, this guide has become obsolete. It has been loads of fun playing Kat for these few years, and I don't think I can find the time right now to learn the new one. So, as it is, I'll be leaving this guide up as a keepsake to the old Katarina. Tata!


This is my first guide on LoLKing for one of my favourite champions, Katarina. I'd put this section first but I don't know how to move it to the top of the page, so I guess it'll have to do here.

I am making this guide because I feel that there is a lot of things that people don't know about or are unfamiliar with concerning Katarina and that much information regarding her is floating aimlessly around the internet, so I wanted to converge it all here. This guide is meant for all individuals who are just beginning to learn about or already have experience but wish to deepen their understanding and fully explore Katarina and her assets.

This will be an extensive guide covering the basics of Katarina and how to use her kit to the greatest capacity. If you are in champion select and need a quick reference, don't bother with this guide. This guide has at least an hour's worth of material to cover concerning Katarina and will change from match to match.



sQso6MQ.png


About Katarina, the hottest champion in League of Legends

In this guide, you'll be learning about how to play Katarina, the Sinister Blade as an AP mid laner assassin. In this day and age, I think playing Kat is a lot more difficult than people give her credit for. She is relatively weak if she has no kills, is easily shut down, and brings no CC or utility to her team. What is she good for then? She's suuuuuuper hot!! All that eye candy in one character, ohohohohoho-

But all jokes aside, her snowballing potential is through the roof; she has pretty good ratios for her kit. And she's lots of fun to play! A very flashy style of game play, so all your friends can marvel at how awesome you are at League! Before we begin, let's understand what our goals are as AP assassin Katarina in a typical match of League.

1. Take objectives.
2. Kill the enemies in this order: Squishy carries > Tanky carries > Everyone else
3. Don't die.

And that's it! That's everything you really need to aim to do, in that order of priority. Your number one priority, playing as ANY champion, should be to destroy the nexus. This should be fairly obvious, but I'm stating this because you don't have to kill everyone ever that shows up in front of you to win the game. If you can take an objective that gets you closer to winning the game, do it. That is the end goal of every match. You don't have to chase people across the entire Summoner's Rift, just take their damn turrets and win!

That's hopefully something you knew before you came to this guide. So what this guide will help you with are the other two objectives. Pretty much every champion ever should follow these three goals, but every single champion has a different way of achieving it based on their strengths and weaknesses, who they're playing with on their team, and who they're playing against on the enemy team. 

Katarina is an AP assassin who does lots and lots of damage; she has a lot of mobility and can reach pretty much any target she wants with Flash + E. Her burst damage means she can output lots of damage over a short period of time. This means that she can quickly kill enemy carries. She also has a very straight forward build path that doesn't vary extensively, making her easy to learn optimal builds. There are two major problems that exist for Katarina in any given match; she is very squishy and she is a high priority target to the enemy team. So, we will play her accordingly based on these conditions.

Abilities and Skills

Let's start by understanding Kat's skills.

Voracity

Passive - Voracity

Katarina reduces the cooldown on all of abilities by 15 seconds whenever an enemy champion dies within 3 seconds of being damaged by her.

This ability is the defining trait of Katarina. If a single opponent dies, you damage is effectively doubled. Another enemy dies? Triples. Another? Quadrupled. Another? Quintupled. Another? Sextupled. Another? Septupled. Yes, I was assuming you were playing Hexakill. But my point is, this ability to multiply your damage is what makes Katarina so dangerous to play against; your opponents must play with the mindset; if even one of us dies, we're all screwed. The nerf of it being 3 seconds instead of 10 has made it a bit more difficult to play passively on Katarina, making it that you have to be fully dedicated to fighting and not walk away and stall for a reset; when you go in, someone will definitely die, your target, then everyone else behind them, or, you. In my opinion, it's not your E, your seizure-like ultimate, or whatever skills that defines Katarina, it's this passive that makes her dangerous. Your kit as a whole is relatively weak, but if you get to use your passive you are incredibly strong.


Bouncing Blades

Q - Bouncing Blades

Katarina throws a dagger to the target enemy that bounces to the nearest unaffected enemy up to 4 times, dealing magic damage that is reduced by 10% for each enemy hit, down to a minimum of 50% damage, and marking each target. Katarina's basic attacks and abilities consume the mark on affected enemies, dealing bonus magic damage.

Magic Damage: 60 / 85 / 110 / 135 / 160 (+45% AP)
Mark Proc Damage: 15 / 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 (+20% AP)
Range: 675
Cooldown: 10 / 9.5 /9 / 8.5 / 8

Your saving grace early game against almost every other mid lane champion who will bully you early. Since Kat doesn't rely on mana, it's one less variable to worry about during laning phase aside from wave control, positioning, harassing, dodging harass, farming and trades! Without having to worry about your mana, you have a litmitless amount of daggers you can throw as harass, but you will have to make a trade off between either harassing your opponent or farming minions. Your opponent can take a bit of harass standing near their wave as well from the bouncing blade! It isn't difficult predicting where your blade will bounce after the first target is hit; be sure to consider this when you're farming. Instead of trying to move into range to Q a minion near death, you can stay a safer range away by throwing Q to a nearby minion and bounce off to get the CS.

Notably, the proc damage makes up about a quarter of total damage of the entire Q. Missing the proc damage does cut out a large portion of the Q damage, but often times you won't be in a good position to proc it anyways, so don't feel too flustered if it disappears over your opponent's head. Every situation will vary as to whether or not you should move into range to W to proc their Q. If you can do it with little risk, be sure to. If not, they've still taken a bit of harass and you haven't, which is successful, free harass.


Sinister Steel

W - Sinister Steel

Katarina whirls her daggers, dealing magic damage to all nearby enemies. If Sinister Steel damages an enemy champion, she also gains bonus movement speed for 1 second.

Magic Damage: 40 / 75 / 110 / 145 / 180 (+25% AP)
Bonus MS: 15 / 20 /25 /30 / 35%
Range: 375
Cooldown: 4

This short-cool down ability will greatly help you early to farm minions as your autos are relatively weak, and serve as a sort of ranged auto in and of itself. It can proc Q marks and also provide a movement speed buff for a short duration of time. W does not require you to stand in place so you can move and cast it at the same time, making it more difficult for your opponents to land harass on you when farming. This spell is also good for charging stacks on Luden's Echo because you don't need a target to cast it. Simply press W as you walk around to reach 100 stacks faster.

Something that is frequently forgotten is W's bonus movement speed when it hits a champion. This ability can mean the difference between getting caught and not getting caught in a chase. Even though you have E to hop away, the enemy can still catch up to you if they have more movement speed. As they get closer, be sure to cast W to put more distance between the two of you. In mid lane, the 1 second of increased movement speed could be the difference between you reaching your turret safely or your screen becoming black and white.

Another extremely important thing to know about Katarina is the range of W. This is definitely a very, very, very important part of mastering Kat. Being able to keep safe distances, and not being needlessly close to danger, namely your lane opponent, will save you from a lot of harass and deaths. Become familiar with how far W's area of effect reaches, and play to that distance when you are farming or harassing. League of Legends is very much a game of inches, and with each inch saved your booty is also that much safer.


Shunpo

E - Shunpo


Katarina blinks to the target unit or allied ward and reduces incoming damage by 15% for 1.5 seconds. If the target is an enemy, she deals them magic damage.

Magic Damage: 40 / 70 /100 / 130 / 160 (+25% AP)
Range: 700
Cooldown: 12 / 10.5 / 9 / 7.5 / 6

Another fantastic ability that will keep enemies from violating your Noxian booty. This ability will place Katarina behind the target that you E to. This means that if you cast E as Cassiopeia winds up her ult, it'll miss! There are so many ways to out play your opponents with E. As you can probably tell, this is a very useful ability in lane to dodge enemy skill shots with. But be careful! Aside from Flash, E is Kat's only source of escape. Very rarely should you use E as a way to farm because without it, it's easy for an enemy to simple Flash + Charm and full combo (for example) and you could die. Junglers will wait for you to blow E and then jump on your butt, so be sure to only use it as a form of escape. Even though I say this, don't be afraid to use it to dodge your lane opponent's harass, you just need to be mindful of where that E will bring you, hopefully further away from your lane opponent and not too close to side brushes. But! If you ward properly, then you won't have to worry as much.

Similar to W, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with E range. This is because Katarina must use E both as an escape and as an engage. For example, the most embarrassing thing to do with Katarina is chase an opponent, Flash towards them, and then realize that the two of you have the same movement speed and 750 distance between. (And along those lines, memorize the combined distance of Flash + E)

Notably, E can target a whole bunch of things apart from wards, minions and allied champions. Anything with hit counters (e.g. Kalista's sentinels) can be targeted. Several other things without health or hit counters can be targeted such as Thresh's lantern, Rek'Sai's tunnels, Azir's wall, Jarvan IV's stripper pole, etc. The rule of thumb is if it gives your team vision, you can E to it, meaning if it's an enemy Thresh's lantern and you don't get vision for it, you can't E to it WITH THE EXCEPTION, ODDLY ENOUGH, ENEMY WARDS.

The truly forgotten function of Katarina's E is the damage reduction. You can probably ask most Katarina players out there if they know of the 15% damage reduction, and I can guarantee well over 50% of them didn't know about it. This could really save your life from a KarthusZed, or Veigar ult! Timing is key to get that 15% reduction. It doesn't work on Ignite ticks or anything with true damage, but in other cases it has the potential to save your life. Don't forget this!

Be careful with your E! I want to stress this point because in your general combo, you will throw out your E along with the Q and W and R. But the thing is, if your target gets uses a dash to escape and you've used your E without really having to, then you'll just watch them waddle away :( If you don't have to E, then don't.


Death Lotus


R - Death Lotus


Katarina rapidly spins in place and channels for 2.5 seconds, throwing a dagger every 0.25 seconds to each nearby enemy champion, up to a maximum of 3 at a time, dealing them magic damage and applying grievous wounds for 3 seconds. Moving or reactivating Death Lotus immediately ends its effects.

Magic Damage per Dagger: 35 / 55 / 75 (+25% AP)(+37.5% Bonus AD)
Range: 550
Cooldown: 90 / 60 / 45

Behind every great Katarina montage lies in wait a triple kill with a Death Lotus. Death Lotus has an incredible amount of damage potential even at its first rank. But, there exists two major problems with it that makes it a double-edged sword; it is a very close ranged channel, and the damage is applied over time. Channels present the problem that the damage can be halted by CC. For Vel'Koz and his Life Form Disintegration Ray channel, this is a small challenge, but not too great an issue to be concerned about because Vel'Koz doesn't need to worry about the other problem that Death Lotus does; Katarina must be in very close proximity to her targets, i.e danger. Lastly, the entirety of the damage is not dealt instantly, meaning to deal 100% of your ult's damage, your target can stop receiving damage from your ult through invulnerability, becoming untargetable, or simply walking out of range.

The first item you need to always consider is CC. Before you engage in a 1v1 or team fight, you need to keep track of what CC they have used and are on cool down. The less CC they have, the higher chance you can get more blades off. Who on their team has CC? If you engage and they're too far to use their CC, then you'll get more blades in. Not only CC, but who are you engaging onto? Will you be in range to get instantly bursted down? If you're going to die instantly before you can even press R, wait for them to use a few abilities before trying to engage. To be effective on Kat, you must be patient and wait for your opportunity to show itself; if you're the first to engage, you'll be in for a failed ult and a world of hurt.

As Katarina, there are few instances where you will be able to unleash a full ultimate. Over two in three champions in the game have some way to stop your channel. Your channel can even be stopped by your teammates (DAMMIT BARD) and neutral monsters (DAMMIT BARON). Over the course of the 2.5 seconds, you will launch a total of 10 daggers, each being 10% of your ultimate's damage, 4 daggers per second. If you are in a 1v1 situation against an opponent with CC, you may at most get off 3 blades. This may sound straight forward, but you should always calculate your damage as being your Q + W + E and 30% of your ultimate's damage; never assume that you'll get your entire ultimate off. If the opponent is running away and not CC'ing you, you will have to break off your ultimate in order for you to chase, effectively reducing the total damage from your ult.

There are also a mechanics that you will want to know about her ult:
1. You do not need vision to do damage and activate it
As long as your target is in range of Death Lotus, it can be activated and will continue to go off through either their stealth or through the fog of war (i.e they are hiding in a brush and you can't see them)
2. It is capable of re-targeting
If you start your ult and someone walks into range of your ult, it will also begin to target them granted you don't have the maximum of three people already targeted. If someone becomes untargetable and then re-targetable e.g. Fizz, it will target them again.
3. It prioritizes individuals based on their health
As long as the targets are within range, it will always choose, if there are more than 3 targets, the 3 targets with the lowest absolute health, not percentage.
4. It can only target 3 champions at once
Fairly self explanatory, like Morgana's ult and not Galio's, you do have a limit otherwise this ability would be way too broken and there wouldn't be as much of a need for her passive.
5. Ignite won't break your channel
So don't worry about forgetting, you can just ignite in the middle of the channel and nothing bad will happen .-.


Awesome! Now we know what Katarina's abilities do, let's move on to the learning how to play her throughout a match.


Early Game

Katarina does not boast an strong early game. Her base damage is mediocre at best, auto attacks less than average and health stats are fairly low. Compared to the likes of champions such as Leblanc, she is very weak. Simply said, you're super useless. Aside from your Q (maybe E) and probably an Ignite, you bring nothing to the table if there's a level 1 team fight. But then again, so are your top and bot lanes early on, so it's okay. But you're useless and you do no damage and you're squishy and you have no sustain (aside from red potions). What can you do? The one thing you can do, farm and level!

Farming is key in the early levels. I cannot stress how important it is for you to farm early. Katarina does not bring anything to her team aside from damage, and damage relies on items, and items can only be acquired if you have gold. A Janna with no gold is far more valuable than a Kat with no gold; she has a Q knock up, a W slow, an E for AD buff and a disengage ult with her R, all without items. Kat? without items, she has a ticklish Q, W, E and R. Nothing else! You must farm! That's half your gold income.

There are  few things you will have to worry about early. Here's a checklist of things you'll need to do:

1. Farm minions for gold and exp.
2. Wave control.
3. Trading
4. Positioning.
5. Collapsing.

The rest of the items are laning basics that are transferable skills from other lanes (I wanted to stress the importance of farming so I only explained that). It is important to understand and master these skills to be successful in any lane with any champion, not just Katarina. I won't take the time to explain these items as there are a multitude of other guides that explain these very well. Here are links to such guides.

Creep Control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WvOq1urZ7c
Trading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnE6tiHElSc
Positioning: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdQSuM0oRhw
General Lane Control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cg_OBO14u8

These channels have good guides on league basics, you should watch all of them. The only item that I couldn't find a good guide on is collapsing, so I'll write a bit on it.


Collapsing 101

What is collapsing? Very simply put, it's reactionary map movement. It's different from a gank because a gank is initiated by the ganker. It's different from a rotation because rotations refers to initiated movement for objectives such as turrets or dragon. To collapse would be to react to an enemy gank or rotation. What does this mean to you? It means that on that list mentioned above, collapsing will take precedence over all the other items. Stop, drop and collapse, you head over to where the fire is blazing the strongest and help throw some daggers.

There are two different scenarios where collapsing may become the course of action; firstly, ganks. Early on into the match, this is what you will run into. Secondly, objectives resulting in team fights. In both you will have to evaluate if it's worth it or not to collapse. I wrote collapse at the bottom of the list because you don't always have to collapse, it is a reactionary movement that only occurs if you need to do it. But if you do, it should jump above all the other items. Which naturally means, there's times you'll collapse and times you won't! In order to determine whether or not you should collapse, you should do a cost-benefit analysis. I'll give you an example.

You are currently level 2. Unfortunately, you have taken a few combos from your enemy Leblanc and are at half health, and farming under turret. Suddenly, your Amumu jungler, who is down to a third health, is being ganked by an enemy Lee Sin at his red buff!

There are two options that you can take:

1. Stay and farm under turret.
Benefit?
 - You get gold.
 - You get exp.
Cost?
 - Amumu dies a sad and lonely death and Lee Sin picks up a kill and your red buff.
Sounds like a pretty bad choice right? But read the next one.

2. Go to red buff and help Amumu.
Benefit?
 - If Lee Sin disconnects, you might get a kill.
Cost?
 - You lose gold to turret and minions.
 - You lose exp.
 - You will die to Lee Sin and Leblanc because she can just as easily collapse.
 - Amumu's red buff will get taken.

In this scenario, there is literally no benefit to collapsing on the full health Lee Sin. It sounds cruel, but you have to let Amumu die rather than giving the opponent an even bigger lead by collapsing. You won't gain anything by collapsing. You can't even scare the Lee Sin away.

I'm writing this because something that people in lower elos tend to always do is collapse mindlessly. If you play Katarina and do proper cost-benefit analysis of collapsing, I will guarantee you that you will hear someone tell you that you're a noob for not following your lane opponent. A typical rager in your team will say "F**KING KAT FOLLOW YOUR LANE OPPONENT". It's not that simple.

Something that you have to understand about collapsing is that it doesn't always reap direct benefits. A direct benefit would be if you killed Lee Sin (somehow). An indirect benefit would be that you scared him away. Those are the two kinds of benefits that you can get from collapsing. However, it's up to you to determine the probability of either one occurring. If neither one occurs, you've suffered loss in gold and exp for no reason. Collapsing is the high, non-guaranteed benefit at the price of guaranteed loss. Ask yourself what will I be able to do if I collapse? Will I get there in time? Will they be scared off? If they don't get scared off, can I kill them in a fight? Most of all, do these outweigh the cost of me losing exp and farm? These are questions to evaluate if you should collapse.

Pre-6, Katarina gives poor response to enemy ganks. If your lane opponent is stronger than you, they'll have pushed to your turret and respond just as quickly to an invade or a gank. You'll lose gold and exp if you try to collapse; with no damage or utility, you'll be useless if you can't guarantee a kill. It is very rare that you will find a time where the benefit of collapsing outweighs the benefit of staying in lane and farming gold and exp. You would waddle around and watch your allies die as you run around looking for a non-existent opening to Q-E-W. The rager would say, "F**KING USELESS KAT" and that'd be true! You are useless early on. So why not be useless in your lane and farm to become not useless?

My point being is that because you're so weak early on, collapsing tends not to be a viable option as Kat, although there are occasions where you should, but those cases are rare. Don't cave into peer pressure when people flame you for doing the right thing. Remember, cost-benefit analysis!

(The other use of the word collapse refers to a pincer such as an enemy running down a lane and someone "collapsing" on them to cut them off, also a slightly different use of the word collapse but here we're not talking about pathing for those of you who are nit-picking my use of the word collapse)

So trading stance, wave control, positioning, blah blah blah. I haven't explained how this all relates to Kat and only gave you links to other video guides which doesn't make this much of guide if I'm just giving you other important guides to look at. How do these guides apply to Katarina? It's fairly straight forward; understand how strong Katarina is compared to your lane opponent and play accordingly.

It's true that Katarina is indeed weak early game. This means that in most of your matches, early game will be dominated by your lane opponent; you will have to give up creep to not die, spend most of your time hanging behind your caster minions throwing Q's, pretend to be a character from The Matrix dodging skill shots left and right, etc. You will naturally adopt a passive playstyle against these champions. Trading will be difficult. Farming will be difficult. You'll be playing League of Legends on hard mode.

But on the other hand, there are a few match ups where Katarina can go even or above. Few, but they do exist. This is when farming is easier, where you don't have to be worried about your enemy trying to get in your pants. In these lanes you can be more demanding and harass and trade more securely. You can take up a more aggressive position.

Judge your lane opponent and how well you're doing and play accordingly. 

Mid Game

You will still, by default, hang around mid lane to apply pressure there and farm minions because you still need the steady gold to get more items. When you are needed elsewhere on the map, move accordingly. This will be your role mid game.

By now you should be armed with Death Lotus and hopefully a completed item. As the game progresses, you'll have to prioritize collapsing on the list above farming. As the fights break out, your services as an assassin will be needed more and more. Throw out wards around mid lane and push your wave out so that you can roam, a new item on your list of things to do. You should be warding throughout the game, but it becomes pivotal as the game progresses. If you're unfamiliar with warding and how to gank efficiently, here are another two guides that will help you:

Warding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2Xx2zn0O-I
Roaming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bp932bJRXA
Ganks: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HKJgq_TjB4

With your damage potential, you can collapse and expect a higher chance of gaining benefit either direct or indirect. Once you have obtained your ultimate, the value of you to your team increases exponentially. As pompous as it might sound, you are the queen of your team; your people need their queen, so you must be there to serve them! Your purpose to your team is damage. This is your main responsibility. It is imperative that you supply your team with this damage in the form of ganks and team fighting. If you're not present to contest an objective, your team loses a very large portion of its damage.

At this point in time, if you are facing someone who is easily pushing you into your turret, you will have to make a sacrifice. If your jungler is getting invaded, you have the ability to collapse. If your team is contesting dragon, you have the ability to collapse. Many times it'll result with you losing farm, but that is a sacrifice that you must make as the queen with power. If you don't use your power, then there's no point in you having it. Again, you will still have to do a cost-benefit analysis before deciding to collapse, but know that with your ult your decision will tend to sway greatly towards collapsing; be prepared to make sacrifices. A queen must make difficult choices for the betterment of her people; what will be of greater benefit to your kingdo- I mean team?

Another very important thing to note is that you will be much more effective if you coordinate with your jungler. You don't have to give up creep to turret if you ask him to cover for you while you go to gank or back to base. You might not get the creeps but your team as a whole has earned gold through your jungler farming those minions. If you're going bot lane to gank, ask your jungler to come as well. Work with your jungler!

Late Game

Collapsing will now be at the top of your list with farming secondary. Hopefully by now you should be around your fourth item. You will need to be near your team most of the time to help them secure objectives and win team fights over farming gold by yourself. Even if you're behind, the late game is about which side has the greater combined force and who can coordinate better. Warding will be essential!

Where you go and what you do will be dictated by your team and what they prioritize on the map. It's not that farming is no longer important, merely that claiming objectives will be of utmost importance to closing out the game. If one of your lanes is being pushed in, your first reaction may be to go to that lane, but don't. If someone else has Teleport or basically less needed than you in a team fight, they should go instead. You are too important and also not mobile enough to be running around the map to push places out. If your team is not about to go to take an objective, then it's okay to go and push out that lane, but it's a better idea to be ready and on call for when your team needs you at an objective.

Jungle Synergy Throughout

Everyone loves strong early game junglers. It means that they'll come swooping down to your aid and donate buffs, school the enemy jungler, drop kick your lane opponent, everything. A team with a Katarina mid works best with a strong early game jungler because the team will already be starting the match having to cope with a weak mid. Your jungler and team will have to be able to survive without you for at least the first 5 minutes of the match. The worst case scenario that you will run into is where your jungler is relatively weak (e.g. AmumuJax) early game, in contrast to a strong enemy jungler (e.g. Lee Sin, Elise). Chances are one of if not both of you will have to prepare to be the target of the enemy's insatiable lust for butts.

I'm writing this down because as I have mentioned above it is very important to have synergy and teamwork with your jungler. Each match will be different, who you're teamed with, who you're playing against, and even how the people behind the champs player their League respectively. Sometimes you might have a strong jungler who won't bother helping you. Your enemy jungler might decide to farm for the first half hour of the match. Every situation changes.

The one thing you can always make sure of is communicating with your jungler. If your enemy is someone who you can harass and plan on killing, let your jungler know. Do you need him to cover your lane? Ask him. Take 5 seconds to type it out. Your team's strength will increase exponentially if you can coordinate well with your jungler.

If your jungler doesn't want to listen to you, you still have to adapt accordingly. If you tell him that ganking mid will get a kill, but he doesn't want to come mid, don't keep playing as if he'll come. If you tell him that the enemy team is going to take dragon but he wants to solo push top lane, don't dive 1v3 (unless you can guarantee a triple kill hue).

Overall, this applies not only to your jungler, but to the rest of your team as well. It's a two way street between you and them. You talk, they listen. They talk, you listen. Both adapt when there is dissension. It is better for you to have a missed opportunity than the enemy gaining from an unnecessary mistake. Let your team know your weaknesses and strengths and play around them.


PJsPzC0.png

Katarina Techniques Back to Top

Ability Sequencing, Combos

There are a few combos that you should be familiar with when playing Katarina. The most basic combo:

Bouncing Blades > Shunpo > Sinister Steel
Q > E > W


This combo is your bread and butter and the most optimum way to harass. You will land your Q, mark them, E to get into range and then W to proc the mark. You will then do one of two things:

1. Use the movement speed of W to run away

or 

2. Kite forward and AA them

Fight of flight! Most cases you will want to immediately start walking backwards after E and cast W while you're retreating since W doesn't cancel your movement command. However, if you're going to all-in then you stick around to continue using autos or if your have ult, then ult. There are instances where you can full combo and then fit in an auto or two, but those cases are very rare as your opponent will usually either have stronger autos to trade back with, or have minions to help tilt the trade to their favour, or their abilities are coming off cool down to trade back with. It depends then on the amount of time that you have and the circumstances. You will have to judge whether or not you can be greedy and auto. But both require an instant command to move forward or move backwards after landing E.

Something to note also is that there are people who are overzealous when playing Katarina. Take a deep breath. With Katarina, her Q is probably the most obnoxious part of her fast kit. It has travel time. So what does this mean? It means that you can cast E > W before your Q actually lands on your target, a loss in potential damage because your W didn't proc the Q mark. This happens a lot more around high gold and platinum elo where bronze and silver players can't cast E > W fast enough for this to be a problem and diamond, master and challenger players know to wait slightly after casting Q. Remember not to be too hasty or you'll lose out on the mark damage.

Next most basic combo, the chase combo:

 Shunpo > Bouncing Blades > Sinister Steel
E > Q > W


This is similar to your bread and butter combo except your E and Q have switched around. The reason why you would want to cast E first is because you're chasing someone. This relates back to the issue with Q having a cast time; there is nothing more embarrassing than ganking a low health target, they see you and run, you cast Q, and then chase them 3 miles down a lane because you're not in range to E > W. Your E has a range of 700 and your Q a range of 675. Your opponents will be able to move a distance of 25 without issue. The delay created when you cast Q while being stationary gives them a head start to move past that 25 units and out of your E range. 

How does this contrast with the first combo?

You don't lose any damage compared to your primary combo. The only issue this combo presents over your first combo is that when you cast your Q, you will be stationary next to your opponent compared to being stationary a distance away, putting you at much greater risk. This combo also requires you to be committed whereas the first combo you can cast Q, see that you won't win a trade, and decide not to E in.

This is basically a more assured way to land your full Q > W at the cost of safety. There is another method that is less damage and fairly unused:

 Bouncing Blades > 2044.png / infernalguardian.png > killerinstinct.png

Q > E to Ward / Minion > W


Surprise surprise, you don't always have to E to your target to do damage to them. You'll miss out on the damage from the E, but early on in the match it'll be fairly insignificant anyways. This combo is much safer as you can choose where your finishing position will be. You only have to E within 375 units of your target to cast the W. This is a safer way to do the bread and butter combo but the only issue that exists is that it is not always an option since you might not have anything else to hop to besides your target; maybe you've used up all your wards or there's no minions, J4 flags, or anything else to target.

This is a combo that can be used to dodge incoming skill shots while you are about to combo. By either predicting or reacting to it, you can dodge the ability with this combo. You might have to be a bit more conservative with how you use this in lane though, seeing as to how if the enemy jungler knows you're trigger happy with your E they'll wait for you to do this before ganking you.

4.png 2044.png / infernalguardian.png > Combo

Flash > E to Ward / Minion > W


Maximum range for your combo. Most people don't expect you to do this; most people will get caught off guard and you'll get pretty good damage off. The massive range on this can easily put you into position against their back line, or pretty much anywhere in a team fight. Not much to explain here .-.

These will be the four combos that you will use. On occasion you will find yourself only throwing Q, only using W, not needing E, etc. etc. The next variable to consider is where Kat's ult fits into all of this. Naturally, there's three spots: before the combos, in the middle of the combos, and at the end of the combos.


Start


deathlotus.png > Combo


Practically speaking this is most effective while being cast in a brush. When they walk into range for your ult and you cast it, you won't be revealed. The element of surprise will allow you to get off more blades from your ult than if you were to Q > E > W and then R since they're prepared for your channel if they can see you. They will do one of two things in response to your ult which is either throw CC into your brush or run away. Whether or not you use the first, second or third combo as they respond is up to you and the circumstances (things to consider as mentioned above) you're in.

There are only a few instances that you'd choose to do this out in open area instead of a brush. If you know that you will get CC'd if you get too close but need to harass, you could start with your ult from afar, but naturally they'd walk away some time during the 2.5 second channel. Alternatively, if you know that they'll die and you want to be able to E further away after getting the kill (compared to E in, refresh and get one E distance away), then starting R in the open would be okay.

Mid-Combo


 Shunpo > Sinister Steel > deathlotus.png 


E > W > R


This combo removes the delay from Q, reducing your upfront burst damage. It works well if you need to instantaneously kill someone at low health. In a team fight this is sub-optimal since you don't get your full damage off, but works if there are enemies that are low on health where a Q would become redundant. Keep in mind though that when I mean sub-optimal, I mean very sub-optimal, since your Q along with its proc is equal to about 3 or 4 daggers worth of damage, i.e a full second of your ult. You can also opt to break the ult early to cast Q as well if necessary. Again, use your judgement as each situation calls.

Naturally with 4 different abilities there's 4x3x2x1 different number of possible combinations of skills, but they are not worth mentioning because they have no practical aplication or other sequences are more useful than others.

End


Combo > deathlotus.png 


This is the combo that will usually produce the most damage and the one that you will typically be using the most. The combo you choose before your ult is based on the situation at hand, just like how if you were to start with R and choose how you complete your combo afterwards. If you finish with R you will do more damage than starting with R; the reason for this is because if you acquire a kill, you can go through your Q>W>E combo again, whereas if you began with ult you may not get the redundant damage from using Q, W or E multiple times. 

Team Fighting

As an assassin there's usually two ways to go about team fighting; you are either with your team and in enemy vision, or waiting from another angle, away from your team, and out of enemy vision. Here is a video about being an assassin and your role in team fights:


He tells you that it is important to flank and 'team fight but not really team fight'. This is one of the possibilities for playing Katarina, by flanking and picking off high priority targets in the back line! If you choose to do this, it is of utmost importance that you are not spotted walking over a ward or anything else that would tell your opponent that you are close by to flank. They will be prepared and respond to your flank accordingly.

The video notes that it's extremely important for assassins not to be directly in a team fight. This is true for most assassins as they excel at single target damage such as Zed or Akali, but unfortunately must be in close proximity of their target to do so. However, Katarina is a bit of an exception to that rule and can be played in the middle of a team fight.

Notably, Katarina is an exception because her abilities are AoE. Like casting mages, Kat can provide a lot of damage for your team to multiple targets but under the condition that she is very close range (unlike casting mages). So what does this mean? This means Kat is viable for team fighting like any other caster mage IF she doesn't get focused and die. This means PATIENCE. You cannot immediately follow up the second your front line engages. You must be opportunistic. When you go into a fight, you should accomplish at least one of two things:

1. You kill someone.
2. You get enemies low enough for your team to kill them.

These are your two major goals when you go in. It's fine if you can't kill everyone, just as long as someone on your team kills them and you come out on top. Usually you won't be able to reach past their front line if you aren't flanking. You will have to wait for someone to get low on health, and even have to engage and full combo tanks.

When I began playing League, there was a huge misconception that I heard resonate in the lower elos, which was go for their carries, go for their carries, go for their carries and it's true! You want to kill their squishy carries first. If you can run them over instantly and get more resets, then that's great! But the problem is that realistically those opportunities are very rare. If their ADC positions correctly, then there is no way to get behind their front line without having your supple body violated in the process. You've probably heard your fair share of "F**KING NOOB DON'T FOCUS TANK!" But often times, you honestly can't target anyone else safely. Many times you'll have to engage on their front line, and that's okay. However, you need to pick a good time to do so by considering how likely you'll achieve those two goals listed above.

Added: I found another great video on playing assassins in team fights which covers what I talk about above. Here you go!

Considerations and Habits Back to Top

I wasn't sure where to fit this, but this is more information that you need to be aware of when playing Kat as an assassin.


Katarina in a 1v1

Katarina cannot duel. With how Riot decided to develop the game, they have elected to make more and more team oriented champions through granting almost every new champion with some form of CC. Literally 9 out of 10 champions have some form of CC. For hard CC though, the number is slightly less at approximately 2/3rds of all champions have an ability to stop Kat's ult. The number of skills that are not conditional hard CC (conditional such as Bard stun, Kalista ult etc.) is slightly less, but still relatively high. Now brace yourself; there is not a single champion that is NOT capable of simply walking out of your ultimate (ok stfu i know xerath becomes immobile but thats not the point).

Referring to what I've typed further up on the guide, Katarina simply cannot hope to win a straight and fair 1v1 fight because most people will either out damage you, CC you, or tank your damage and laugh, unless of course they're very behind and you straight up 100-0, but in any other scenario where you're even with your target, you won't win.

Just because you can, doesn't mean you should

There's a certain dry spell that many Katarina players go through once you get your ult. The dry spell I'm talking about is opportunities to get off a full ultimate. And when that chance to get off a full ultimate comes by, you take it. It just feels soOOoOOoooOoo good to get a full 2.5 second ultimate off, you don't care if you've even ended up without a kill, you always finish it feeling hell yeah! Check out all that damage!

But the problem is that sometimes it's a waste. Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. @1:25-2:02 an explanation by TiensiNoAkuma:


Know your damage

Want to know why Faker is so good? He knows exactly how much damage he can do. It's not just the crazy mechanics that make him a beast. A lot of people have crazy mechanics in all the regions. But Faker, on top of those mechanics, knows how much damage he'll do to his enemy, see the tiniest window of opportunity and go for it.

For Kat, you don't do a lot of damage early. But, there will be tempting times when your opponent has eaten a whole bunch of your daggers and is precariously low on health. The worst thing you can do is Q>E>W>Ignite and they have enough health to scamper away. To prevent this, know how much damage you do. Here's a simple list of approximate maximum damage that you will do per level from 1 to 5.

Level 1: Q + Ignite: 70 + 70 = 140
Level 2: Q + W + Ignite: 70 + 40 + 90 = 200
Level 3: Q + W + E + Ignite: 70 + 40 + 40 + 110 = 260
Level 4: Q2 + W + E + Ignite: 100 + 40 + 40 + 130 = 310
Level 5: Q3 + W + E + Ignite: 130 + 40 + 40 + 150 = 360

The damage will vary depending on how much AP you take at the beginning as well as how much MR your opponent has. I also don't assume that you will get Thunderlord's off, so if you know you're going to get it add an additionaly 80ish. You can quickly count how much health your opponent has by look at the health bar above their heads; each black line equates to 100 health, and a larger thicker black line stands for 1000 health. You will usually be able to fit in an auto or two as well, which you can calculate as about 50 damage per auto.

Post 6 when you have your ultimate your damage can go up and down depending on the number of daggers you throw. You'll have to gauge your damage as the match progresses with each item you buy and items your opponent buys. If they buy resistances, reduce your estimation! Always check what your opponents are building. Do they have heals or shields? An enemy Shen??? Don't get baited!

The Escape Plan

More often than not most assassins are eager to jump right into the fray but forget about when or how they should pull out. Your thought process should always be to consider where are the enemies, both the ones you can see and the ones you don't. Then think about which direction is the safest route away from the danger. Are there wards? Minions? More visionless areas that might have enemies? Etc.

A practical example of this is during laning phase. Keep an eye out on where your incoming minion wave is; when you know that your wave is nearing your turret, you can play a bit more forward and throw daggers knowing that you can E away safely without having to use your wards.

Be preemptive about how you escape whenever you can.

To Q or not to Q

Bouncing Blades comprises a large portion of your damage on Kat, but the delay on your Q is a trap. Believe it or not, that half a second delay to cast your Q might as well be half a year's worth of cast time; the time it takes for you to wind up and throw it is as much time as any player needs to react to you. It will give your enemy adequate time to address the threat you pose and adapt. The delay is also plenty long enough for people to run away and out of your range, or if they're staying, provide more time to kill you.

There is a certain greed behind considering casting Q in fast situations. The gamble is that if you can get it off, it'll be more damage but at a huge risk. This is why it is important to know how much damage you do; your Q may really only be icing on the cake, whereas an E>W will be good enough.


As you can see in this video, Scarra combined with the 4 man Graves ult, knows his E>W damage is plenty enough to get the kills, even as he breaks his ult after killing two targets. There simply isn't enough time for his opponents to react to him.

Simply put, to Q or not to Q, that is the question. The delay is terribly long, so consider and adapt accordingly.

Voracity and E

Your blink spell E is awesome. What's more awesome is that it resets. You can hop and flash around your blades and booty like no other. Use your E refresh to your advantage! If you know someone is about to die and you're going to get a reset, cast E in the direction you're going. It will get reset anyways, so abuse this. What you don't want to do is continue walking and get the refresh, but already have your E down. You will have only one E's worth of distance and not two. This sounds very simple, and it is very simple. But everyone seems to forget this! League is a game of inches, and these small things will really add up and help you.

Ward Hop Clearing

Sometimes if someone throws a ward down right in front of you, you can clear it if it's not too dangerous by throwing an auto, then shunpo to it, and then throwing two more autos like this:


You don't want to be doing this if it's dangerous because it costs you your E, so be careful when you choose to clear a ward like this.

When to pick Katarina in matches 

I personally don't really care, I just play Kat into anything because it's fun. But some people take it more seriously so I'll just start talking here or something. I recently got into a discussion on picking Kat, and realized I don't have a section on that here! So without further ado, let's talk about picking her in solo queue (and not in organized 5v5, that's a different animal completely). A lot of people will say to you that Katarina is a champion that you'll only find success in low elos because:

1. People don't know how to save CC for you
2. People don't know how to focus

And for these two reasons, you can snowball with Katarina and dominate. This is sort of true! But not completely. Firstly, it is true that she is weak to CC and is squishy. It is also true that as you climb in elo, people will be able to save CC and focus better. But this doesn't mean Katarina is a weak pick. These reasons solely mean that she is a difficult pick. There is a very big difference between being a weak pick and a difficult pick. Kat will sometimes be a weak pick, but will almost always be a difficult pick. Consider this:

The strength of a pick does not change from elo to elo, it changes based on the composition of each team, whereas the difficulty of a pick gradually increases as you go up in elo because of the enmy team's experience, mechanics and efficient use of their champions. A "weak" pick refers to the fact that you will encounter less opportunities to carry, whereas "difficulty" refers to your ability to take advantage of those opportunities when they arise.

You can pick Nasus, Master Yi, Leblanc, Yasuo, any champion in diamond elo as a silver player that favors your champion against the 'weak' enemy team, synergizes well with your team, and be incredibly difficult, far beyond what you're capable of! Your ability to capitalize on the windows of opportunity will be very diminished. Conversely, a diamond player can take any "off-meta" champion and find success playing it in bronze; AD Soraka, AP Twitch, Muramana Mundo, etc. This is because even though the pick may be weak into the comp the enemy has, the difficulty of play that champion at that elo will not be high for them because lower elo players will not be able to exploit those weaknesses in that pick while the diamond player can capitalize on the bronze players' mistakes.

So what does this mean? In a practical example:

Your team: Katarina, Tahm Kench, Kindred, Tristana, Bard
Enemy team: Malzahar, Nautilus, Volibear, Vayne, Leona

At all elos, Katarina is a weak pick for this particular scenario. However, if this match took place in bronze and you're diamond, the difficulty that you would experience would probably not be so much to where you can't carry. When you reach a certain level of proficiency, i.e mechanical ability, map awareness, taking advantage of presented windows of opportunity, etc, you will be able to carry your matches when at a lower elo with much difficulty, even if the pick is weak.

My personal belief is that Katarina is, when played at the elo you belong in, almost always difficult. This is because her kit is not very forgiving if you make a mistake and that your gameplay is usually opportunistic than it is you creating your own opportunities. However, I don't think this should deter you from playing her! A challenge is always good at shaping you into a better player.

When considering a team composition, it's very important to have a good mix! Here's a video to explain what I mean:


Cake baking is a good analogy. A successful cake should contain multiple ingredients of certain quantities. But what about a 5 ADC comp?! Well, as long as your shitty cake is less shitty than the enemy team's cake, then you'll win. But you won't know if their cake is total shit! And since you won't know, you'll just have to assume that their cake isn't going to come out as total shit and try to bake the best cake you can.

There's different kinds of ingredients you can add to your cake, but with every cake baked, there are a few critical characteristics that you will always see:

1. Damage potential: Shen, Taric, Janna vs Tryndamere, Jinx, Katarina
We can see in this 3v3 composition, one team clearly has a greater damage potential than the other. All champions are capable of doing damage through auto attacks. Based on abilities and items built will other damage sources amplify it.

2. Delivery of damage: Jinx (ADC), Tryndamere (also physical but close range)
Damage is dished out at different ranges, but also in different methods. DoT (typical ADC), burst (typical assassin), poke (typical Nidalee spear up your butt)

3. Capacity to take enemy damage: Taric vs Katarina
Some champions innately take more damage because of their base stats, but also because of how they are typically built. On Taric, you would build more health items, armour and magic resist than you would on Katarina

4. Ability to negate enemy damage: Janna vs Katarina
Every champion has one way to negate enemy damage, which is to kill the threat or run away from the threat. These are indirect methods of negating damage, but it counts. Direct ways of negating damage includes heals and shields such as the ones Janna provides and CC, also like the Q tornado.

5. Mobility: Shen vs Rammus vs Katarina
And of course, all champions must move. Think about why Teleport on mid lane has recently become such a popular choice! Shen, Nocturne, Twisted Fate, used to be one of the most annoying comps back in season 2. That's global mobility. High movement speed mobility is also a strong characteristic, for example Sivir in a flank comp. A dreadnought composition like Team Liquid in the spring split with Keith on Kog'maw, they have a good damage potential, a reliable method of dishing it out, good at negating damage for the Kog, but their mobility was very lacking.

Just like how every cake might use flour and eggs, there is no team composition in League that does not have these characteristics. That said, there are different kinds of cakes like ice cream cake, cheese cake, chocolate cake and so on so forth.  Each champion brings a unique characteristic to a team. When constructing your cake, you don't want too much of one ingredient (five ADC), but at the same time you want there to be a specific characteristic to focus on (team fight comp). The characteristic that you'd want to hopefully focus on is one that addresses the enemy team's focus (poke/kite comp against all-in comp).

So remembering the guide above, you'll know the basics of Kat and what she's good at, but I'm going to reiterate everything so you don't have to scroll back and forth:

- Kat serves the sole purpose of dishing out damage
- Kat provides no CC to peel for the rest of your team
- Kat's effectiveness is amplified when she is able to get resets
- Kat is weak to CC

So one last note before I keep going on, you must know that organizing team compositions in solo queue is very difficult! So know that when I write this it's more of a by the way you're going to be completely screwed this match or have fun roflstomping! and not really a guide to lcs team planning jabesfkjaef you get the point.

I'll try to keep it short as to not make you read so much. It'll be in two parts, one in terms of complimenting teams and one against enemy teams.

For your team:

1. The redundancy of having Kat in a heavy damaging team is not efficient.
This should be fairly obvious. In a team comp where you are the only major source of damage, you will most likely be the focus of the enemy team, but it will most likely mean that you have 4 champions on your team that are highly capable of supporting you. Conversely, if you have 4 damage dealers and only one utility champion, there will be little resources to go around the map for each of you. The most I would pick into would be 3, one spot pretty much 100% of the time taken up as your ADC, and second spot most likely either taken up by either your jungler or top laner. If both go damage, than your team fights will be a bit more difficult with a lack of front line.

2. Kat does better in team comps with strong bruisers than heavy tanks.
The particular reason for this is because Kat looks for resets and short team fights. In a team comp where you have strong tanks to peel and draw out fights for your ADC, it doesn't exactly give the chance for Kat to clean up and puts Kat in an awkward position to have to sit and wait for your team's 4v5 which is kind of sub-optimal, whereas bruisers can do a lot of damage from the get go and give Kat an quick opening to start grabbing resets.

3. Kat does best when she is one of multiple active threats in a team fight
'Active threat' is a fairly uncommon term. Kat, as a carry that must get into close proximity to be effective, does best when she is one of at least 3 active threats; being either one of two or the only active threat is dangerous because you are prone to being focused and eliminated. An active threat is a threat that is of high priority at a given time; for example, before Malphite ults, he is an active threat. The second he ults, he is no longer an active threat. A Vayne is an active threat for the period of time that she is within a team fight. In the most optimal situation you will be one of at least three active threats in a team fight (e.g you, Vayne and Jax or something). This fact is true for any carry, but is more important to emphasize on Kat because she needs to be in close proximity to do damage and thus you can't kite/peel for her in the traditional sense of keeping her alive through distancing.

4. Kat does best with a team that can set up kills for her
Sounds obvious but something very crucial for Kat. The reason for a need to set up kills is because Kat, unlike some other champions, cannot create her own opportunities. Opportunities can only be taken in the form of an enemy's mistake or when your team sets up a kill. It is sub-optimal for you to go in early or first into a fight (generally speaking). The set up in your team can take the form of CC or just straight up damage.

Against an enemy team:

1. Kat does not excel against a team of tanks and bruisers.
Fairly obvious, you do burst damage, if they have a bunch of tanks then you do no damage and you get no resets. But of course, you probably won't play against a team of 5 ADC's, and chances are there won't be 5 tanks, so what is the optimal number? Kat will suffer significantly against a team of 3 or more tanks. If they have only 2 squishies, you will have a very difficult time and will not shine very much. Only 3 is already fairly difficult, and 2 is near impossible. The reason for this is because the number of openings is severely limited to those two squishies because the tanks can position themselves to reduce the number of openings; with more tanks and less squishies, they can close off routes of attack easily. The number of openings is severely reduced when the team is majority tanks, whereas the number of openings is greatly increased when the majority is squishies.

2. Kat does not excel against a team with multiple sources of CC
This is more than just Blitzcrank with Q/E/R to stop your ult, but the number of champions on their team with a way to CC you. Players will often times not divide the target of their focus and their CC, which makes your job as a solo queue player much easier. Basically, if the majority of CC is on one or two champions, then if they have died or are zoned out from a fight, you don't have to worry about them (e.g Blitzcrank, Jinx, Fiddlesticks, Yasuo, Zed). This compared to a team where everyone has a single form of CC, it's much harder to deal with (Urgot, Annie, Volibear, Vayne, Sona).

3. Kat does not excel against teams who can extend team fights
i.e They can keep people alive for long periods of time through heals and shields (Soraka, Lux, Karma) or other various skills (Kindred/Bard ult, Kayle/Tryndamere ult, FUCKING TAHM KENCH, etc). This is because you get delayed ults (waiting for good opportunities) which gives them more time to react and focus you, or you get no resets and now that you've E'd into the middle of team fight you have nothing to do except Zhonya's and hope someone dies before you do after 2.5 seconds. Unless your team has another hard carry, you need at least one reset to be effective; if you have two resets, chances are you will come out on top of the team fight; if you have three resets, almost always the last two will die or be out running away with your team having won the team fight. Having only one single rotation on Kat is not very strong, you might as well play Brand or Viktor.

Annnnnnnnnnnnd I'm tired I'll write more when I can think of stuff but these are your major concerns that I can think of atm so whatever (08/02 11:25PM EST)


How to play with a Kat on your team (not you)


Pet it.

Just kidding! Working on this atm.

I was asked to make this section, and I realized it's actually much more to it than simply telling you face tank for her, get her fed, make sure she lives, serve her every whim, etc. etc. League of Legends is a very dynamic game and every match changes. Every person plays Kat differently. Every team composition will be different. With this in mind, there's no single specific answer I can give you. Kat should be played differently against different comps and different scenarios, and likewise, the team as a whole should play differently too. Your typical answer to this question would be to make opportunities for Kat to go in; foster an environment for Kat to be confident that her team will set up team fights that favour her. But that's not always the case. If she's useless, i.e 0/7, then it doesn't really matter, then you could do your own thing and let her do whatever to try to catch up. What if your entire team is doing horribly but she's super fed? Feed off of her success; try not to die as much, use the pressure she has as a 16/1 monster, your team revolves around her awesomeness, etc. etc. Point being, you need to adapt to the situation.

tl;dr Section Back to Top

This is everything important summed up, if you want the explanation it'll be up in the other sections.

Skill order:

Level up in this order:

deathlotus.png > bouncingblades.png > killerinstinct.png > shadowstep.png

R>Q>W>E

Combo:

 bouncingblades.png > shadowstep.png > killerinstinct.png > deathlotus.png

Q>E>W>R

Masteries:

ehk5I1B.png

Runes:

Red Mpen runes, no alternatives
AP everything else if you're going to wreck
Health yellows/MR blues if you don't know what you're doing

Items: 

3285.png Build if you're doing good
3001.png Build if you're not doing good against AP mid
3157.png Build if you're not doing good against AD mid
3089.png Build as third or fourth item
3135.png Build instead of 3089.png if they have MR but don't if you already have 3001.png
3116.png Build last, or earlier for utility if your team already does lots of damage
3146.png Build last, or if you're fucking stomping the team first item hehehehehe
3026.png Build last if your team can peel for you when the passive procs
3140.png Build if they have point and click CC like suppression


Early Game:

Play safe early, farm, throw wards, ignore your lane opponent

Mid Game:

Group and team fight, pick good times to go in when people are low, don't go in first, throw more wards

Late Game:

Group and team fight, pretty much the same as mid game, throw some more wards

Team Fighting Guide:

Look for:
1. They have used CC
2. They are low HP
3. They are focused on something else
4. They have used damaging abilities

Not all of these things will occur, but the more that you can check off the better it is for you to go in.

Additional Resources Back to Top

Here are some links that to videos that you may want to watch to improve your game. These videos will not only help you with Katarina, but with any mid laner in the game. 


Basic Mechanics:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ywhB-2h2AE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5As99aAZEOE

Mid Lane:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8W5GAFxHOI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yweIU45RJ50

Solo Queue Mindset:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZaCe9wXI3g

Comebacks and Carrying:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raTERayL4pc

Ending Games:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeDqikGSgGo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7blC2xB-3E

Pressure:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7O-e9F_4Vs

Playing from Behind:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOJIoRpLTdM

Early/Mid/Late-Game Transitioning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5q1xRuSRWXw

About the Author Back to Top

A fucking noob bronze trash tier piece of shit who doesn't know what the fuck she's talking about katarina noob with no life fkn 420 blaze it uninstall noob 


Yes, I am Bronze. Yes, I'm bad at Katarina. Does it make the things I've written in this guide invalid or wrong?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

You decide!

On top of being bronze, I also don't take the game very seriously anymore because I don't nearly have as much fun. Something is just relaxing about staying top lane, drinking tea and farming Nasus Q all game. And AP Janna. And bruiser Leona. And ultimate gaylord Nunu. And full AP Teemo! And boobies. Boobies are pretty cool too. If you like boobies and Nasus, add me on NA!

Have a great day!

katkatkat.png

Change Log Back to Top

Nov. 4, 2015 - Posted. Working on Match Ups.

Nov. 9 - Ahri Match up added
Nov. 11 - 5.22 Patch Masteries Updated, Items (Abyssal Scepter, Warding Totem) updated
Nov. 22 - Moved Abyssal Scepter into situational, Akali, Anivia, Brand, Cassiopeia, Fizz, Leblanc, Lulu, Morgana, Talon, Veigar, Zed Match up added
Dec. 9 - Added Item Build Path, Cho'Gath Match up added
Dec. 15 - Added Corrupting Potion and small edit to Items & Masteries, Diana, Ekko Match ups added
Dec. 18 - Added Elise Match up
Dec. 24 - Added Evelynn Match up
Jan. 15, 2016 - Annie match up added
Jan. 27 - Ezreal, Katarina, Kayle, Syndra match up added
Feb. 2 - "When to pick Katarina" section added under Habits and Considerations section
Feb. 6 - Updating itemization, added temporary section "First Item"
Feb. 8 - Updated Items section, completed When to pick Katarina section, removed temporary section
Feb. 25 - Added "tl;dr Section"
Mar. 9 - Added Dark Seal to Items section
Mar. 31 - Janna match up added
Apr. 18 - Jhin, Orianna, Pantheon, Xerath match ups added
Apr. 20 - 6.8 Patch, items currently being worked on in anticipation of mid season mage update.
May. 4 - 6.9 Patch items updated, working on match ups and stuff
June. 9 - Urgot match up added
June. 6 - Lux match up added
June. 24 - Moved Gunblade to situational from core, too misleading. Swain match up added
July. 5 - Karma match up added

If you have anything to add to this guide, feel free to leave some constructive criticism in the comment section below! Also leave comments below if any of the links or images are no longer working.

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