Noxus is filled with individuals devoted to serving its will with the most unbreakable of loyalties. As a daughter of Noxus, Katarina aims to redeem an honor she had once lost. Skilled in the ways of assassination, she proved herself to be unparalleled in terms of what she can do with a blade for she knows that it is all done for the sake of the Kingdom she serves. In this Katarina guide, we will be learning how to fully utilize her exceptional skills as an assassin to win you games that will bring glory to Noxus.
The Unescapable Sinister Blade
Trained by her father, who is a respected general in Noxus, Katarina aims to bring glory to her country by getting rid of all its enemies. However, one fateful night when she had grown too overconfident of her skills, a mistake that would cause her father to be ashamed of her insubordination. Since then, Katarina would pay the price by living with the shame, hoping that one day she can regain her honor by dedicating everything to Noxus.
Katarina has been one of the more staple characters in League of Legends, being the figurehead of the Noxian Empire alongside Darius. She has also been the central image of what an assassin should truly be in League of Legends. Despite being in the game for so long, she remains to be a primary pick for a lot of midlaners in today’s time. She’s also a popular character portrayed by the League of Legends cosplay community. In this Katarina guide, we’ll aim to rediscover this champion’s kit to adapt to the ongoing meta.
Katarina’s General Gameplay
Katarina is an assassin through and through but is only one of a few assassins that can wreak havoc to the entire team. Her main strength comes with her ability to spam her skills in short durations and move freely by blinking from one place to another to create space between her and an enemy. Katarina is fearless when it comes to diving in the middle of five people but can easily be shut down if not executed properly which will be explained in this Katarina guide.
Katarina Guide: Skills and Rotations
Katarina doesn’t need to utilize a resource pool which means the only thing you need to worry about when using her abilities is cooldowns and execution. She is very reliant on the combos with her skills to actually do damage and be useful in a fight. A lot of these skills are very straightforward which is why it’s easy to read how Katarina is going to move. Learn how to use these rotations efficiently in this Skills and Rotations Katarina guide.
Innate – Whenever Katarina kills or contributes to taking down an enemy champion, all her abilities cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds.
Innate – Whenever Katarina catches or picks-up a dagger, she’ll deal both Physical and Magic damage to the surrounding area and reducing the cooldown of Shunpo by a short duration.
***Note: Daggers will take 1 second before it lands on the ground.
Assassins are useless if they can’t get kills, after all that is their main purpose in the game. The same can be said with Katarina since her cooldowns rely greatly on taking down enemy champions to get resets. Her passive’s secondary effect will require more technicality since you need to ensure that you can place your daggers in a position where you can maximize dealing damage to opponents. Always make sure that you time picking up your daggers perfectly.
Q: Bouncing Blade
Active – Katarina tosses a dagger towards a target, bouncing off of them and hitting up to 2 other enemies behind them before landing at the back of the original target. The dagger will always land behind the original target, opposite of Katarina’s direction.
This skill will be your primary harass and farming skill, always aiming towards targeting the enemy champion in the path where you can damage minions followed up by a great passive proc. Remember that the dagger will always land behind the target opposite your direction. Where you place your daggers can determine the success of trading against an opponent. This skill will be the primary targets to setup Shunpo, Voracity, and Death Lotus.
Active – Katarina tosses a dagger in the air above her, then she gains additional movement speed and ghosting after the dagger lands.
Another great way to setup your daggers to activate Voracity. This skill will allow you to kite enemies by leaving a dagger in an area you previously moved towards just in case you want to do a bit of hit and run. You can also combo this to maximize your damage output by using this ability after completion of your Shunpo combo. Use this ability as a means to retreat when trying to make risky plays that can easily go badly.
Active – Katarina blinks towards the location of a nearby target enemy or dagger and dealing damage to the nearest enemy in range.
Shunpo is your primary engage skill and is the primary combo piece needed for all of your skills. This ability can be used offensively or defensively depending on how you need to use it. Use this ability to confuse your enemies on where you want to go which is essentially kiting them by teleporting in places you’ve placed daggers in. Make sure that you teleport in a location that will let you target the highest priority targets if you plan to use it offensively.
R: Death Lotus
Active – Katarina spins in place for 2.5 seconds unleashing a rain of daggers that damage the three nearest enemy champions which deals magic damage and applies grievous wounds for 3 seconds. This can hit enemies even if they are not in sight.
Katarina’s all-out ability which will allow you to burst down 3 nearby enemies. Make sure that when you use this, you are targeting the softest enemy champions to ensure that you can get a guaranteed takedown. However, this ability can easily be cancelled if the enemy lands any for of CC against you. Use this only if your target has spent or has no usable CC ability that will interrupt your cast time.
Katarina Guide: Items and Builds
Katarina’s abilities utilizes both Attack Damage and Ability Power but since AP scales better, she focuses the use of AP over AD. We’ve mentioned in this Katarina guide that she specializes in being an assassin. This means that she’ll need to build items that’ll help her deal damage but also provide a bit of survivability to help her with diving straight into the fight. She’ll build AD but only a very minimal amount of it overall.
Long Sword – Katarina aims to build her other items as quickly as possible to attain a 1st item powerspike over her opponent in lane. This item is often paired with 3 health potions or a refillable potion to maximize getting some healing while going for proactive plays.
Hextech Gunblade – Katarina’s primary item, which provides an excellent boost in her damage output by providing 40 AD and 80 AP as well as an active item ability to provide extra damage. Having this item early is sure to win you most 1v1s because of the sheer amount of damage she gains from one item.
Liandry’s Torment – A great source of both AP and Health Points and extra damage since it provides extra burn damage to enemies hit by your abilities. While Katarina players often build Morellonomicon as their secondary item, Liandry’s should be used in place since this item provides the same, if not more stats and damage output than the latter item for almost the same amount of gold.
Zhonya’s Hourglass – This item gives AP and survivability again since it provides armor and an active ability that places you in stasis. However, activating this item while channeling Death Lotus will interrupt the ability so only use after successfully executing a combo with no to retreat back or when your Death Lotus is interrupted in the middle of channeling leaving you vulnerable.
Death’s Dance – This is an AD item and has become a popular choice for Katarina players who need a bit more survivability stats and an additional bleed damage bonus.
Void Staff – Magic Penetration is an amazing stat to have when your opponents are starting to build Magic Resist. This item greatly increases your damage output and help you burst the enemy better.
Rabadon’s Deathcap – The item that caps off all your AP item providing you a 40% increase in Ability Power and 120 AP by itself is sure to help you tear through soft champions like paper. Build it if you’ve built enough survivability to help you.
Mejai’s Soulstealer – A must have item when you’re ahead to secure your damage output. The ridiculous amount of AP it gives once you have complete stacks will ensure that there is no way for the enemy team to come back.
Morellonomicon – This item is only useful when the enemy has a lot of healing and it becomes extremely difficult to burst them down. Otherwise, using Liandry’s Torment should be your primary choice since it offers the same stats but a better overall damage output.
Rylai’s Crystal Scepter – A good item for when your enemies like to crawl away from your combos. Using this with Death Lotus will help keep them within range a lot longer and is harder to escape.
Katarina Guide: Runes
Keystone: Electrocute – A great rune for champions who deal burst damage and refuse to fight out extended fights. This keystone will boost your damage and add to your deadly burst potential during skirmishes.
Sudden Impact – Adds 6 Magic Penetration when you blink which is an excellent combo with Shunpo. These runes are sure to add to your total damage output in the game.
Eyeball Collection – By scoring champion takedowns or clearing wards you gain +2 AP per stack up to 10 stacks. Once you complete 10 stacks, you’ll gain bonus adaptive damage.
Ravenous Hunter – After each takedown, you’ll gain additional healing per unique enemy champion killed. This will help you gain a bit more survivability during fights especially if it drags out more than it needs to.
Triumph – Scoring a takedown will heal you for 12% of your missing health which will help you when it comes to fighting out more than 1 enemy or trying to do a tower dive against an enemy champion.
Coup de Grace – Enemies below 40% will take more damage from you which is perfect for your burst damage capability. This is especially useful while casting Death Lotus to bring them as low as possible.
Now that you’ve learned how to play this champion thanks to this Katarina guide, you’re now ready to be a full-fledged assassin your team can rely on. Her exceptional burst capability makes her the excellent teamfight assassin due to AoE damage that comes from both her ultimate and passive ability. Knowing how to execute her combos is important when learning the champion and is the only thing you’ll need to know when learning her.
Does Zhonya’s Hourglass work with Death Lotus?
No. Since Death Lotus is a channeling ability, using your Zhonya’s Hourglass to place yourself into stasis will immediately cancel the ability. Only use this item defensively after a combo or when your Death Lotus is interrupted by another ability by an enemy champion so that you’ll have time to reset the cooldown of your other escape abilities.
Is Katarina trained in Ionia?
No. Katarina was trained by her father, who is a general of Noxus, in their home kingdom. She spent her childhood learning the ways of an assassin and is devoted solely to bring honor to the Kingdom of Noxus. Some of her techniques might have been Ionian in form but she has never received formal training from an Ionian master.