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[GUIDE] Katarina: Spell-vamped.

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Defy Logik

Senior Member


Guide v1 - Style & content of post may be changed.


Q: Bouncing Blades
W: Killer Instincts
E: Shunpo
R: Death Lotus
P: Voracity

Basic Knowledge
Katarina is a champion built for mid-laning (solo-laning). Her skill set excels in early game 1v1 battles, and dominates in late game team fights. Voracity, her passive, refreshes all cool downs by 15 seconds as well as grants 25 gold from a kill or assist. This means, Katarina will always have her Q, W, and E spells available after a kill or assist. Her ultimate, Death Lotus, will almost always be available for use after 2 kills or assists regardless of item build.

Summoner Skills
Ignite: Ignite is a must-have. Without ignite, you leave your early-game champion farming in a not-so-guaranteed state. The bonus 50+25*lvl damage makes a huge difference in your burst.

Flash: This skill is not necessary. Katarina has her E, which lets her jump to an allied, or enemy target every 4-7 seconds (depending on item build).

: Exhaust will help you with your ultimate. It's highly recommended to get that extra 3-5 hits (250-1000 extra damage).

Item Build
  1. Doran's Shield
  2. Boots of Speed (Into: Ionian Boots of Lucidity)
  3. Amplifying Tomb (Into: Hextech Revolver)
  4. Amplifying Tomb (Into: Will of the Ancients)
  5. Amplifying Tomb (Into: Hextech Revolver)
  6. Amplifying Tomb (Into: Hextech Revolver)
  7. Pickaxe (Into: Bilgewater Cutlass)
  8. Hextech Gunblade
  9. Pickaxe (Into: Bilgewater Cutlass)
  10. Hextech Gunblade
  11. Needlessly Large Rod (Into: Rabadon's Deathcap)
Now, let me explain the reasoning for this!

By the completion of step #4, you're at base 80AP & 20% Spell-vamp. In most cases, at this point you are able to use your W-Q combo on a minion group and regain 200-300 HP. Going to base is no longer a necessity. You're also dishing out huge damage. Unfortunately, you're not at the point where you can jungle in a crowd of 5 enemys, drop your ultimate and regain HP faster than it drops. This is why your next two steps will be to build two Hextech Revolvers. Now, you're at 50% Spell-vamp and heal yourself for 400+ HP on single target spell combinations. In groups, you are welcome to just "lol."

Now, Katarina is not a champion who only gains from AP. Q & R both gain greatly from additional AD. It's not something you would want to ignore considering it also boosts those 1-2 auto attacks you'll be dropping after skill combinations. The next steps will be to buy Packaxe, convert to Bilgewater Cutlass, and than convert to Hextech Gunblade. Now you're going to have 40% Life Steal, 60% Spell Vamp, +120 AD, +230 AP, an item-proc slow, and 15% CDR on top of your Runes/Blue Golem.

Always grab a Doran's Shield (unless Riot changes the stats). Doran's Shield provides a vital HP bonus, as well as HP regeneration so healing potions are not needed and you may avoid going to base for several levels -- and the bonus +9 Armor doesn't hurt either.

First, you should grab your Q. The reason for this is that mid lane is almost always a range/spell caster lane. Katarina's basic attacks are melee, which means you'll be hit 1-2 times before reaching your opponent, 1-2 times at your opponent, and 1-2 more times when running away from your opponent. It's a game-breaking (or lane-breaking) idea to grab your E first. Shunpo is indeed stronger and allows a follow up auto-hit after cast, effectively dealing 2 times the damage but also leaves your vulnerable to attack and takes away from your escape mechanism (may be used on allied targets, including champions and minions (excluding turrets/towers)).

A preferred skill order, by myself and certainly flexible, would be--
The reason for this, aside from the safety discussed in the previous paragraph is that it will allow you more consistent burst damage. At level 2, using your Q followed up by E is a 3 hit combo which almost guarantees you a 4th hit when your enemy runs. In most cases, this will drop your enemy to 50% of their hit points. Some of your more squishy opponents may return to base after this, but the ones that do not are in for a rude awakening. At level 3, you now have your W which stops their health regeneration by 50% after using your Q. Unless you're in a team fight, your W should not be used with your E as it's a waste of damage output as well as a great debuff. The process of W-Q-E may be repeated well into mid-game and, followed up by your R once level 6 if your opponent chooses not to run.

By level 9, you should have accumulated enough gold to lane hop, and in some cases you may be at that "point" sooner. The solo-mid phase has now ended and you've kicked ass. Congrats.

Side Lane
Katarina is not a champion who should be played in a side lane, but certainly is not bad at it. Of course, you should avoid doing this with another squishy champion as your best skill combination leaves you within melee range of now up to two champions instead of one.

Skill progress should be the same as in solo laning, but here it is again--
At level 6, you should try to enter other lanes and gank if your lane isn't doing well farming off the enemy. If Katarina is not fed well, she will not dish out the damage necessary to survive on a spell-vamp build.

Late Game
Assuming you followed the item build listed above, you should be able to tower dive, chase, and effectively take on multiple enemies alone without the use of your ultimate. If you happen to have a well functioning team in your game, it's more beneficial that you allow a tank or other carry to initiate first so your ultimate has a lesser chance of being interrupted.

I welcome comments!