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- Champion Spotlight
- Recommended Items
- Playing As Katarina
- Try waiting until the other team is distracted with fighting your team, and use Shunpo to teleport into the fray and unleash a devastating Death Lotus.
- Using Shunpo on an allied Champion, minion or ward can be a great escape tactic.
- Playing Against Katarina
- Katarina's abilities deal magic damage, so even if she's building Attack Damage items, get magic resistance to counter her.
- Try to save a disable for when Katarina uses her Death Lotus.
- Ability Usage
- Katarina is one of the few resourceless champions, being entirely based on cooldowns. Use this to your advantage by using spells whenever possible.
- Katarina's main harass combo is Bouncing Blades, followed by Shunpo into Sinister Steel. Sinister Steel's movement speed boost is also effective in escaping retaliation.
- Voracity is deceptively strong. A full combo of Katarina's abilities does nearly as much damage as a fully channeled Death Lotus to the target, allowing Katarina to snowball quickly after her first kill/assist and clean up very effectively at the end of a teamfight. Alternatively, getting a reset on Shunpo can allow her to escape a bad situation.
- Leveling Bouncing Blades at level 1 is typically desirable to safely farm to level 2, as Katarina has few safer options.
- Maxing it first gives more safe, guaranteed harass against ranged opponents in lane, as well as giving it a marginally shorter cooldown.
- Bouncing Blades makes for an excellent last-hitting spell as it keeps you at a safe distance while allowing for easy farming and doubles as a harassment tool. Try to time the skill to kill as many minions as possible with a single use in order to avoid having the skill on cooldown when other last hits become available. For easy harass, use it on the minions as they're lined up walking into lane so the last bounce jumps to the enemy champion in the back.
- Bouncing Blades becomes an even more effective farming tool when farming under a turret. From early to mid-game, it does just enough damage to allow easy auto-attack last hits on caster minions once they have taken a single turret shot. However, the same is not true for melee minions. Cast Bouncing Blades on the caster minions once the melee minions have been killed to utilize this strategy to the full effect.
- Sinister Steel is rarely leveled first in lane but may be leveled second or third. In rare circumstances where Katarina seeks to clear a jungle buff, it can be leveled first for more overall damage against it.
- Maxing it first increases the movement speed buff for early laning and will help Katarina kite damage from early aggression laners like Riven or Yasuo.
- Sinister Steel can be used to "extend" her auto-attack range and can be used to trade 1 or 2 auto-attacks and kite away safely against melee champions like Kassadin or Fizz in early levels.
- Shunpo is rarely leveled or maxed first and is only taken to escape surprise jungle invades in the first few minutes of the game.
- Katarina can easily escape Bullet Time, Absolute Zero, Grand Skyfall, Cannon Barrage, Cataclysm, or even an enemy Katarina's Death Lotus by using Shunpo on a unit that's out of range. She can leave the area of effect of special abilities unless she is affected by an interrupting crowd control effect like a knockup, stun, silence, etc.
- Katarina can use Shunpo to s, , H-28G Evolution Turrets, Jack In The Boxes, Demacian Standards, Noxious Traps, Zyra's plants, Lanterns, Tunnels, Tentacles and trinkets so keep an eye on the battlefield and coordinate with your teammates to give you an easy escaping route.
- Using Shunpo on an allied or enemy or trinket will reveal the ward.
- Shunpo will always place her on the opposite side of the target from her current location. This is a buff for chasing enemies, but can put you in some less-desirable spots as well.
- With quick reactions, Shunpo can be used to dodge skill shots like Flash Frost and Enchanted Crystal Arrow.
- When the enemy is low on health behind their tower, consider a Shunpo into Death Lotus combo, as very few champions can withstand the onslaught at critical health. Plus, you can Shunpo out again if your kill was successful. An inexperienced player may not expect the sudden tower dive, though a stun will shut you down quite quickly. Make sure you have enough health to make it out alive.
- This strategy can also help you in team fights. If you see an enemy who has low HP, you can Shunpo in, kill them, and then Shunpo out right away. Be mindful of stuns.
- Shunpo and Sinister Steel can be used to quickly and effectively farm minions while directly under your tower, especially at higher levels. Wait for the tower to fire at minions once or twice before jumping in for the last hit.
- When facing a team with healers, use Death Lotus in order to hit as many enemy champions as possible, hindering their healing capabilities.
- A surprise Death Lotus can turn the tide quickly. It is best used in coordination with hard AoE crowd control, as not having any form of crowd control can leave Katarina vulnerable to hard CC during Death Lotus. If your team can keep enemies from escaping, Katarina can put out tons of damage.
- Remember that many forms of crowd control will interrupt Death Lotus, specifically any stun, polymorph, suppression silence, knockup, knockback or forced actions (taunt, charm, flee or fear) Enemy tanks will save their crowd control abilities such as Shadow Dash or Puncturing Taunt specifically to stop you.
- Moving during the cast time of Death Lotus will also interrupt casting, so once committed to the casting, remain stationary for the full duration.
- Try waiting until the other team is already engaged with your team before using Shunpo followed by Death Lotus.
- Death Lotus also hits enemy champions which are stealthed. Furthermore, it becomes usable when a stealthed champion approaches Katarina, so keeping an eye on its icon may notify the player of incoming ganks.
- Death Lotus' channel is not interrupted by using summoner spells, with the exception of Flash and Teleport.
- Death Lotus' channel will be interrupted if you activate items such as a , or , so use these items first. will also cancel the channel, but can be used to prevent significant damage.
- Katarina's Death Lotus should never be used haphazardly in team fights, as it is incredibly easy to interrupt. It is important to carefully time your ultimate so as to exact its full potential; thus try to delay using Death Lotus until after your opponents' crowd control abilities have been exhausted in order to channel it fully.
- Item Usage
- Katarina is a mage/assassin who, unlike many other assassins, is capable of bursting down multiple targets at a time thanks to her great mobility and multi-target kit. As a mage, Katarina can eliminate towers quickly with aggressive pushing and constant presence as a high-damage threat, and as an assassin, she can impede enemy healers with her ultimate and excels at surprise attacks against clustered targets. Her strongest build attributes are ability power, magic penetration, and movement speed.
- Katarina. The increased movement speed allows her to avoid skillshots more easily in early laning.
and 4 s are the standard starting items for
- armor will mitigate some auto-attack harass and physical damage abilities together, which may help against champions like Zed. and 5 s is an alternative start that is also seen often. The
- Teemo, whose early harass rely mostly on auto-attacks. is generally the only other common starting item and may be taken against champions like
- Don't start with . Despite having ability power, the mana regeneration component of this item is completely useless, so this item is a waste of gold.
- Because of Katarina's weak early laning, it may be advisable to just build an early into a or into a to survive against heavy burst dealers like LeBlanc or Zed, respectively.
- If the has not been completed yet, it can be worthwhile to hang onto the it until it is certain that either an for the mid-game or a / , as late-game defensive items, is desired.
- More often, magic penetration and movement speed will allow her to roam more quickly, snowball off kills in other lanes, and bypass her weak laning.
are more reliable as a starting item as the increased
- Consider the enchantment to further strengthen her roaming speed or clean-up potential.
- The combination of offensive and defensive stats on Katarina. In particular, the active on can be used to try and bait out hard CC that might otherwise interrupt Death Lotus and/or kill her. and make them excellent choices for
- Building some survivability is a good idea, as Katarina is naturally fairly squishy and has no crowd control to keep enemies at a distance. and are nice choices for increasing durability. If you can time the active well, can prevent a lot of damage, otherwise is a good alternative.
- Purchasing an early Bouncing Blades along with your Shunpo and Sinister Steel freely on a minion wave to gain health back and reduce unnecessary recalls.
and later a can allow for good sustainability within lane and after a fight. Use your
- This is typically a last-resort option and should only be bought if a lot of damage is being sustained in lane. Buying this item will allow you to clear your minion wave and immediately farm nearby jungle camps without losing too much health to the jungle creeps.
- Purchasing an early Bouncing Blades along with your Shunpo and Sinister Steel freely on a minion wave to gain health back and reduce unnecessary recalls.
- Katarina, but reduced AD ratios and a shorter channel time have made it less optimal. It's still a very fun item on her, especially later in the game when its huge cost is less significant. used to be one of best items available for
- Keep a Shunpo to. This can help you to make a quick escape, or to catch up to a fleeing enemy. in your inventory to
- Although two of her skills scale with her attack damage ( Sinister Steel and Death Lotus), all four of her abilities deal magic damage, so magic penetration is very useful.
- is therefore the preferred choice of boots, regardless of whether you're doing an attack damage or ability power build.
- Although both Sinister Steel and Death Lotus scale from both ability power and attack damage, the ratios across her entire kit heavily favor ability power. In particular, Bouncing Blades is her safest and most reliable ability for farming and harassing and scales only on ability power.
- Furthermore, since Sinister Steel and Death Lotus are both point-blank-AoE abilities, Katarina must take more risks to take advantage of attack damage.
- Because Katarina is resourceless, building items with mana and/or mana regeneration is inefficient on her.
- Cho'Gath is the ultimate hard counter to Katarina. First, during the early game, Cho'Gath can constantly harass her. Any attempts from Katarina to harass back will be a waste of time due to his ability to heal himself with his passive. Despite him being mana based and having high mana costs, his passive also allows him to cover those costs fairly well. All of those make him a very difficult opponent for her during the lane phase, but that is not what makes Cho'Gath the hardest counter to her. It is his ridiculous amount of CC, massive tankyness, and burst: Cho'Gath has 2 CCs capable of countering Kat's ult (although only Feral Scream is reliable enough to interrupt her, as Rupture is delayed). With Cho'Gath's massive HP pool and ability to build semi-tanky, he is more than capable of surviving Katarina's burst, and retaliating. Due to his ultimate dealing true damage, Kat can't even defend herself by purchasing a . Cho'Gath's presence during teamfights can completely nullify Katarina's presence late game.
- Katarina lacks any ability to heal herself. It is a good idea to harass her in lane at early game to make her under-farmed and under-leveled.
- Picking champions that have targeted abilities, such as Ryze and Malphite, are strong counter picks to Katarina because she relies a lot on dodging skillshots with Shunpo and she is less effective against tanky opponents. Ryze, Annie, and Diana are particularly good counter picks because they can out-trade her before level 6 and can still become very tanky.
- Because she is a reset-reliant assassin in teamfights, it might be a good idea to grab a later on.
- Much like Mordekaiser, Katarina is a devastating AoE and single target threat, but she entirely lacks crowd control, making her an easy target for ganks if she doesn't have Shunpo up. While Shunpo is on cooldown, she becomes vulnerable to a gank so long as you or your jungler have both an immediate gap-closer and CC. She can escape from junglers like Udyr rather easily because of the movement speed buff from Sinister Steel, but has a harder time against junglers like Xin Zhao and Lee Sin.
- Similar to Malzahar, Katarina is extremely devastating, but is instantly shut down by CC. However, Malzahar is at least protected from his target's retaliation, while Katarina is still easy prey for champions with strong or delayed crowd control like Viktor, Cassiopeia, LeBlanc or Malzahar himself.
- Putting yourself into untargetable status allows you to entirely ignore Katarina as she completely lacks DoT damage, likely ruining Death Lotus. Champions who can reliably do this are Elise, Vladimir and Fizz.
- Saving your crowd control in order to interrupt Death Lotus can negate a large part of her damage.
- Prepare for a next round of Katarina abilities right after she gets a kill or assist as all of her abilities' cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds from Voracity. After two kills, Death Lotus will be on a 10 second cooldown and after three kills it will be off cooldown.
- The full round of Katarina's abilities deal almost as much damage as a fully channeled Death Lotus on a single target so don't expect Katarina to be extremely reliant on her ultimate for damage.
- Death Lotus has a short to medium cooldown at all ranks, and with one or two kills or assists she will have it very quickly. With enough cooldown reduction Katarina can even channel it twice in a teamfight. As such, killing her is likely a higher priority than killing any other team member, perhaps even the enemy AD Carry.
- Even though some of them scale with attack damage, all of Katarina's abilities do magic damage. They can always be countered with magic resistance, regardless of whether she's doing an attack damage or ability power build.
- If she has built a magic resistance once you have more than about 50 MR. , building health items will become more effective than
- Moving away from a minion wave when she throws Bouncing Blades can help you dodge it.
- Katarina is one of the few assassins to have a weak laning phase, she cannot sustain well, has only 1 ranged spell to harass with and is extremely squishy. Her late game is extremely powerful due to Death Lotus, which will decimate up to three of your team members if not stopped. Prevent her from snowballing, even in the late game. All it takes is one or two kills at any point in the game for her to become a threat.
- When facing her in team fights, save your hard crowd control for when she begins to channel her Death Lotus. This will leave her in an extremely vulnerable position and strip her of her main damage source.
- Catching her off-guard or out of position can leave her without enough health to engage in the teamfight, giving your team a huge edge.
- Always keep an eye out for Katarina during team fights as she will do her best to sneak around your team's front line and Shunpo to a squishy carry sitting in the back line.
- Because of this threat, picking ADCs with hard CC such as Draven, Ashe, Quinn, Tristana, or Vayne and saving their CC for when Katarina uses Death Lotus can be quite effective.
- ADCs with escape mechanisms such as Ezreal, Tristana, Graves, Corki, and Caitlyn can also be effective against Katarina if the player has quick reactions to escape Death Lotus while it channels before taking any significant damage. Not only does this deny Katarina a kill and, thus, a reset of her abilities, but it leaves her extremely vulnerable to damage from all members of your team.