[Guide] Katarina - Build/Tactics Top Tier

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Furor

Senior Member

12-20-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merakon View Post
1. You say alacrity and sunder both out perform brute force in the long run, but what about lethality? I don't get any crit runes nor any crit items so I find the extra damage on brute force more useful.
It's your call I suppose. Both represent a statistical non-factor in your case. However, one thing to consider is that you can get an Elixir to boost Attack Speed and Crit-Rate for 300g. 3 attack isn't worth much. But if you have 300 Attack Damage, and 10% extra crit damage, you get a far greater boost than you would from 3 attack damage. There's still a small chance to crit on any given champ even without items - and it's enough to push the end-game over to favoring Lethality.

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2. Do you head back to base as soon as you have enough gold for boots/HoG?
I try to state a few times that it depends on how the game is going. For the sake of the guide, I'm assuming you're against at least competent opponents in your Elo range.

If I'm solo'ing mid - and I'm doing well, I'll usually wait for around 2300 gold and then go for my first buy. If I'm being pressured, or the other team is already in gank mode - I'll go back around 1300 gold. Really though, I don't put myself on a strict schedule - you miss minion kill opportunities if you do. And experience. I just have a general idea of when I need to go depending on how much gold I've accumulated and how well I've done.

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3. You dont really comment much on exhaust. When you are solo queueing you can't really rely on allied stuns and slows so I find it really useful. I assume you don't use it much because of cleanse and merc treads being common in your ELO range?
I don't use exhaust much anymore. Ignite (for early game kills) and Improved Rally (for the extra magic damage) are just too good to pass up. If you can't rely on your team, then you're already in a losing situation. I'm assuming, again, that you're at least teamed up with competent individuals, and I say a few times that Katarina is a team-dependent champion to play. With the recent Cleanse nerf, you don't see it quite as often as when it had immunity.

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4. Black Cleaver. I usually get Bloodthirsters myself, but Blackcleavers are cheaper, and you dont need to worry about dieing or farming minions before a fight. Haven't really tested them enough to have a strong opinion though.
Why spend gold for Black Cleaver when you're rarely ever auto-attacking? Katarina's base attack speed is abysmally slow, so you won't get to put on the armor debuff.. and why even have an armor debuff when almost all of your damage is magic?. They don't have life-steal, so they aren't going to be clutch for keeping survival rate high. And they simply won't out-damage (60 base and 100 max vs. 75 base) BTs in pretty much any situation.


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Battlegodd

Member

12-21-2009

You can consider the combine cost of an item as an entirely new item itself as long as you have open inventory slots.

The Black Cleaver is like paying 1215g for a "25 Attack Damage Passive: sucks balls" item because it is only that much better then a second BF sword
A Pickaxe (25 damage) only costs 975g and later builds Infinity Edge (good value)

Because Kat has no mana, swings once or twice per engage, and already has a fantastic cooldown reduction mechanic...many of the items in the game have luxury stats her item dependant ass can't afford.

Kat's playstyle is very unforgiving and if you are overly aggressive midgame or like to come to the rescue of teammates, items that lose buffs on death aren't worth your gold...Kat is completely capable of saving teammates, but she will die a lot more if you try to be that fierce consequence of the other team's attack.

A lot of the balancing in this game is centered around situational items and saving money avoiding the luxury stats lets you counter their teams carry better. After you get to the place where their whole team MUST burn you down on sight (another arguement against stacking buffs) build survival/counter gear.

If they have a fed melee, get Thorn or Warden's mail
If they have a fed caster, get Banshee Veil or Abyssal Sceptor
Guardian Angel is amazing for Kat, for protecting stacking buffs and for "pausing" the combat long enough for your cooldowns to comeback and hopefully make good your escape or finish the business at hand.

Just to be clear though, Kat's primary survival stat is Attack Damage. Don't spend gold on smaller pieces to build counter gear you'd idealing be buying last...save for BFs or that one Pickaxe if you have to.


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Melonyan

Senior Member

12-21-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furor View Post
I don't use exhaust much anymore. Ignite (for early game kills) and Improved Rally (for the extra magic damage) are just too good to pass up. If you can't rely on your team, then you're already in a losing situation. I'm assuming, again, that you're at least teamed up with competent individuals, and I say a few times that Katarina is a team-dependent champion to play. With the recent Cleanse nerf, you don't see it quite as often as when it had immunity.



Why spend gold for Black Cleaver when you're rarely ever auto-attacking? Katarina's base attack speed is abysmally slow, so you won't get to put on the armor debuff.. and why even have an armor debuff when almost all of your damage is magic?. They don't have life-steal, so they aren't going to be clutch for keeping survival rate high. And they simply won't out-damage (60 base and 100 max vs. 75 base) BTs in pretty much any situation.
I find that when my inventory is full sometimes I will grab the black cleaver over a BT. The base damage on the black cleaver is higher initially then a BT and the BT loses the entire stack with just one death so it's unreliable. It's definately not a great investment but when your inventory is full it's still an upgrade. Often the cleaver will out perform the BT unless you're really dominating. The best part of the BT for me though is that you can clear neutrals without really losing health thanks to the lifesteal. So it's easy to argue for either one IMO.

Ussually I go for:
1.heart of gold(1 or 2 depending on how good of an early game I have)
2.ninja tabi
3. 3x BF swords
4. Void Staff (If my inventory is full i sell one heart of gold)

After that I generally make Black Cleaver then Blood thirster and Infinity Edge, which one I get first depends on the game. But at the end, if it really does go this far even though kat doesn't auto attack much when you do it really really hurts. Most games don't even last to the void staff for me though. Theres some situational items I often use to change up my build but it pretty much stays to this basic pattern and is nearly the same as you recommend in your guide. I will say though I never really thought of getting phage on her and thought people mostly got it just for the slow which she won't be able to proc most of the time anyway. I'll have to take a look at the stats on it later.

Also I personally agree with ignite over exhaust most of the time, I tend to get early game kills easier with ignite then exhaust. Though depending on how many of your opponents have cleanse and whose on your team I can see exhaust being really good too.


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Koalaphant

Member

12-21-2009

i dont agree with this guide, your gimping your full potential early game, most of the time i solo kat and will get 3 kills against there solo fast but you dont need a doran shield or a heart of gold, you should start plunging into your items and buy health pots, i use to start with boots and pots but now i go CD items off the bat so i get a bead and some pots then go Spirit Visage then Brutalizer and then boots then BF BF, the cd reduction is really nice and keeps you in the feild for longer with every 2 kills giving you your ult back.

As far as runes i know is always done but CD is the way to go. And if your QWE are ever off cd your doing kat wrong.


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Melonyan

Senior Member

12-21-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Onikiri View Post
i dont agree with this guide, your gimping your full potential early game, most of the time i solo kat and will get 3 kills against there solo fast but you dont need a doran shield or a heart of gold, you should start plunging into your items and buy health pots, i use to start with boots and pots but now i go CD items off the bat so i get a bead and some pots then go Spirit Visage then Brutalizer and then boots then BF BF, the cd reduction is really nice and keeps you in the feild for longer with every 2 kills giving you your ult back.

As far as runes i know is always done but CD is the way to go. And if your QWE are ever off cd your doing kat wrong.
Your suggestions are interesting but I'm really not feeling brutalizer does much for her at all. You're just delaying your first BF for an item that has half the attack power..

Edit: Why not just grab a pickaxe instead, it's a bit cheaper and the same attack power. You can use it later to make infinity edge when your inventory is full.

Edit2: Didn't notice the 10% cooldown on brutaliser, which could help kat out.


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Koalaphant

Member

12-21-2009

its an early game item, you basically should have both and your boots by lvl 6 with the farming and the killing. Its not a wasted item at all your looking at Q and E every 4-5 sec, you can even cut it down to 3 seconds with runes. The damage is a nice addition then you basically farm the gold for it back fast. BUT this only works if you start Spirit Visage to Brut and skip heart of gold all together and any other small items.

Was working on a way to make my kat better so far my build is:

Spirit Visage
Brut
Bloodthirster
Merc Boots (been thinking about sorc boots but havent tested yet)
Bloodthirster (usually game is won by now)
Void Staff

then i sell back the brut and get either another Blood thirster or warmogs, been playing with the idea of frozen mallet cause freezing them and 800 hp is crazy end game. but game never goes that far

but you have the right idea on Atk dmg kat, conversions are way nicer and your survivability is high compared to ap builds

EDIT: also forgot to add that ignite and flash are crazy, you can get in and out of battles easy and you ensure kills. i really think kat is imba if you play her right.


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Furor

Senior Member

12-21-2009

Onikiri, maybe that's okay for you when you're playing in a scrub bracket, but trust me, if you do not get health items in high tier games, you are dead (hence why this guide is for a player aspiring to be top tier, from the top Katarina player currently in the game). And none of your items have health on them (until it's too late to care). So you're looking at a Kat that mid-game has around 1200 health and is 3-shottable by just about any other carry, not to mention a few tanks. No thanks.

I don't just have the "right idea". If your competition is really allowing you the luxury of not getting health items then I must truly question whether they are actually being competitive. If you ever do get into the top 500, you'll quickly learn that forgoing health will be your demise. I especially have been amused going up against other Kats that don't get health and provided the game is even, smash their team because of it.

The simple fact is that the main difference between High Tier players and Mid Tier is that the High Tier will capitalize on every advantage and of every mistake you make, and once you hit critical mass on mistakes, the game is pretty much over.


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Indecent

Member

12-21-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Furor View Post
Onikiri, maybe that's okay for you when you're playing in a scrub bracket, but trust me, if you do not get health items in high tier games, you are dead (hence why this guide is for a player aspiring to be top tier, from the top Katarina player currently in the game). And none of your items have health on them (until it's too late to care). So you're looking at a Kat that mid-game has around 1200 health and is 3-shottable by just about any other carry, not to mention a few tanks. No thanks.

I don't just have the "right idea". If your competition is really allowing you the luxury of not getting health items then I must truly question whether they are actually being competitive. If you ever do get into the top 500, you'll quickly learn that forgoing health will be your demise. I especially have been amused going up against other Kats that don't get health and provided the game is even, smash their team because of it.

The simple fact is that the main difference between High Tier players and Mid Tier is that the High Tier will capitalize on every advantage and of every mistake you make, and once you hit critical mass on mistakes, the game is pretty much over.
Why so serious?


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Furor

Senior Member

12-21-2009

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indecent View Post
Why so serious?
Okay.

I made it fairly clear what this guide represents in my disclaimer. When someone boasts of their success in brackets where feeders are prevalent in pretty much every game, it says nothing of their builds. Total kills in high tier games rarely goes over 50 (that's the total of both teams). In random pub-stomping, you see scores exceeding 100 total kills. That screams of inefficiency and poor play. People just feeding into each other.

This guide is assuming a certain level of competency among opponents. It does not assume you will get First Blood, or any kills at all before level 6. This is because it is fairly normal to NOT get kills against competent opponents in my bracket, and the fact that many of these opponents have seen me numerous (10+) times means that they know my tendencies and are rarely surprised, as new players often are.

Furthermore, there is no advantage to going pure offense early on Katarina when you're dead. My build hits a "survival threshold" that allows the player to be aggressive, and also makes them less of a target vs. other team-mates of lower HP values. Smart players will target the lowest health targets to burst down in a team fight - that's a fact of the game. When you build so that you are the lowest health target, you aren't doing your job as Kat. She is a finisher, not a starter.

Of course, none of this matters when the quality of play of your opponents is abysmal, as some people seem to be implying, and by the sheer fact that you aren't playing against the top subset of players. There is a huge difference between a top 100 and top 200 player, just as there is a significantly greater difference between Top 25 and Sub 500. That is an indisputable fact, and I speak from experience.

So, dislike my build all you want, but realize where you're coming from.


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SG GodFlow

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Recruiter

12-21-2009

Do you find Heart of Gold necessary? I usually go with a Frozen Mallet after a Bloodthirster and I find that sustains my life.


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