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Katarina is a unique champion unlike any other. There are plenty of builds for her due to how her ratios are handled. I believe that the best build involves a Hextech Gunblade and then a large amount of AP and a Banshee's Veil.

Item Build:
Doran's Shield
Hextech Revolver
Magic Pen Boots
Finish Hextech
Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Rabadon's Deathcap
Void Staff
Banshee's Veil

Because she doesn't use mana and she doesn't attack, the shield is the best thing for her. Once you get the revolver, you'll never have to worry about health while in the laning phase. The rest of it is pretty obvious. The Rylai's slows people in your ult. You generally want to slow people before you ult. Shunpo applies a larger slow than her bouncing blades, because Shunpo is single target. Slow the target with Shunpo and then ult. Banshee's is the situational item that you get depending on how well you're doing. Read on later on how to play Katarina right and you may never need Banshee's Veil at all.

Runes:
Magic Pen runes, cooldown reduction, and/or AP runes. Magic Pen is #1. Kat benefits significantly from CDR and none of her gear slots afford you a chance to pick any up. You may just have to accept that you'll have minimal CDR

Masteries:
With the new mastery setup, you can experiment. It is definitely beneficial to pick up the AD and the AP talents, but don't pick up the armor pen or the crit talents. Her Q and R benefit from AD, but they don't crit and they don't deal physical damage. You can dump most of your points into the offensive tree and spread the rest where you want. Until the masteries are settled in, you'll have to pick and choose what you prefer.

Summoner's Spells:
Flash/Ignite, that's it. You can ignite while your ult is channeling, without interrupting it. Use flash to get out after you dove a tower. The use of Shunpo plus flash means you're going to be unpredictable when it comes to bouncing aroudn the map.

Skill Order:
You want to prioritize her bouncing blades (Q) first. This is your farmer, your harass and what gets you kills. People think your ult is what gets you kills. No, your ult is your finisher. Your Q is what sends people back to recall, denies them XP and keeps them from safely last hitting minions. It is also your farmer and you should be able to farm extremely well. Get one rank in Shunpo and then max Killer Instincts. The passive abilities on Killer Instincts makes your Q and your R do significantly more damage. This is a must have.

How to Play:
The reason why Katarina is unique is because she is played differently than any other champ. The game begins at the loading screen. The first thing you do is identify who all has the crowd control while the game is loading. Knowledge of every other champ pays off here. Let's say they have Blitzcrank, Alistar, Caitlyn, Teemo and Mundo. You know from looking at the champ selection that Cait, Teemo and Mundo can be written off completely. None of them have any methods of breaking up your ult. You have to worry about Blitzcrank's knock up, his rocket grab and his ult. You have to worry about Alistar's knock up and his punt. This sucks, right? Not really.

Patience is the number one way to win with Katarina. If you don't have patience, you cannot win. If you cannot sit slightly outside of a fight and do nothing while your team gets their a load blown on them, do not play Katarina. You cannot just dive into a fight just because your team needed you. Being sentimental is being retarded. What you're looking for is for all the CC to be blown. Most players blow everything in the first few seconds of a team fight. You're waiting patiently in the distance for Blitz and Alistar to blow everything. Once this is done, you go in. If a Katarina goes into a team fight with her ult, completely uninterrupted, it is one of the most devastating AoE ults in the game, but it requires absolute patience. I've seen so many Katarinas get shut down because they don't wait.

Poking is winning. Katarina has one of the longest range pokes in the game if you think about it. The great thing is that Katarina doesn't even focus on poke. She simply focuses on last hits. When minions meet up, I wait for a minion to get low and I'll toss a bouncing blade at it. It means that the first level is mediocre for farming, but once you get to level 3, it should be easier. Each rank of bouncing blades turns your farm fest into a great harass as well. At rank 4 and 5, you're hitting a champion on nearly every wave. It starts to become very difficult to recover from repeated hits when you can usually get 2-3 off per minion wave.

Rank 1 Shunpo is all you need to start, despite what people in other guides say. Since you're starting off with a Hextech, you aren't getting the heavy AP until later, where Shunpo shines. Your AP should increase aroudn the same time you dump points into Shunpo. Her Q is too awesome to put points elsewhere and Killer Instincts amplifies her Q and her Ult. Get Shunpo at level 2 and don't touch it again until you have nowhere else to go.

Katarina is not an auto attack champ. You should go almost the entire game doing almost no auto attacks at all. You should last hit minions with Q. When Q is on cooldown, you can last hit with Shunpo and then run back to safety. Because Shunpo is instant, it's difficult for an enemy to harass you if you're immediately running back after a Shunpo. Your job is never to burst anyone down. Your job is to farm. As you increase in levels, your farming will also harass your opponent as blades bounce to the enemy. They'll eventually learn they can't stand near minions, which means they can't get last hits on them either. It is a great way to farm and harass from a safer distance than even Caitlyn.

Remember when I spoke about patience? This is because Katarina is generally a team-fight champ in most situations. As the game progresses into mid/end-game, you'll roam as a team. Your job is clean-up. Once everyone else blows their stuff, your job is to go in and finish off the team. The only thing you can do is toss a Q into a team fight from max distance. Other than that, you sit and wait until you see that all Katarina-CC abilities have been spent. Once that's done, it's your job to go in.

Proper use of Killer Instincts, then Shunpo, then ult will ensure that you'll be deep into the enemy team, blasting off daggers in every direction. Your job isn't over when your ult is finished. You'll probably have killed someone, which means QWE are all off cooldown again. Shunpo to the next player around and toss a dagger at them. As players die, continually bounce around with Shunpo and daggers. If you manage to get three players killed, your ult may even be off cooldown again, allowing you to ult twice within seconds. Go for that pentakill.

When you're going toe to toe with a solo player, you have to take into consideration every possible method they can use to escape your ult. The goal is to whittle a player down as much as possible, via Q and E to get them into ult range. The closer they are to death, the less likely they are to escape. I know plenty of people who have died because they wanted to "juke" my ult by flashing out as soon as I start, only to find that I never would ult. I'd Shunpo, Dagger toss and ignite and that was enough to finish them off. If a player does decide to go head to head against you, don't immediately ult. They might have CC and they may be waiting to use it against you when you ult.

For example, if you're laning against an Ashe, she'll ult you when you ult, but if you wait, you can do significant damage to her with Q and E, which may pressure her to ult you when she gets low enough. After that short stun expires, ult her face off. Patience and strategy wins.

It took me a few games until I got Katarina down. It will take you the same. Don't give up. You'll get her eventually and then you can see how overpowered she is. She is one of the strongest solo laners, because of the bouncing blade distance.

Combos:
Katarina combos are what makes her. Her W is specifically meant to be used in conjunction with other abilities. When laning, if you're playing against a champ with heals, use your W on Q every time you know you'll hit a champ with bouncing blades. It prevents heals. It's also great to use, even if you're not against a healing champ, as it will deal full damage, even on the last hit (which is frequently when it hits a champion).

When you're going to ult, save your W for Shunpo. This will place you behind the target, which means they have to run through you to get to safety. Queue up a W and then Shunpo to the target and immediately begin ulting. Toss an ignite on the player while ulting (will not interrupt) and click Q to toss at a target just as they are about to get out of range (dont smart cast it). Once you understand Katarina's boundaries, you'll begin to know exactly when they're in her kill zone. Also, when you use Killer Instincts with Shunpo, you take significantly less damage. When combined with the amount of spell vamp she has and the amount of damage she does, she is devastating in team fights and almost impossible to focus down if there is no crowd control available in a team fight.

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by Archivis See Profile