Katarina ‘The Sinister Blade’ is a champion who almost everyone in the League community knows. Most people hate her, or think she’s broken. She’s a burst mage with low cooldowns, and she gets cooldown resets to burst even more. She used to be known for her easy to pick up, and not too hard to master, kit. But as of November 9th 2016, her kit was changed to an easy to pick up, yet very hard to master champion. Instead of revolving around hitting as many buttons as fast as you could, you now have to think about when to jump in, when to get out. You even need to think about her dagger placement, which takes some skill.
Whenever an enemy champion dies that Katarina has damaged in the last 3 seconds, her ability cooldowns are reduced by 15 seconds. If Katarina picks up a Dagger, she uses it to slash through all nearby enemies, dealing magic damage.
This ability is the reason why a fed ‘Kat’ will mow-down half of your team, and then do it to the other half right after. The daggers are also why Katarina now has a much higher output of damage.
Bouncing Blade (Q-key)
Katarina throws a Dagger at the target that then bounces to nearby enemies before ricocheting onto the ground.
This ability, plus her E (Shunpo) is why it’s insanely hard to get away from her when she’s trying to kill you. If you get hit by this ability, you can expect the ‘Kat’ to jump right on it for a lot of damage if you are low, so be careful around her daggers.
Katarina gains a burst of movement speed, tossing a Dagger into the air directly above herself.
This ability is the second ability a Katarina uses in her basic combo. It places a dagger under her so when it lands, and she picks it up, it will slash the nearby enemies and do a lot of damage.
Katarina blinks to the target, striking it if its an enemy, or striking the nearest enemy otherwise.
That means this ability is now a skill shot, and you don’t have to always jump behind the enemy and decide where you want to go.
Death Lotus (R-key)
Katarina becomes a flurry of blades, dealing massive magic damage while she channels to the 3 nearest enemy champions.
This ability is a pretty low cooldown super high damage ability. At max rank with 0% cooldown reduction it is on a 45 second cooldown, meaning if you kill the first three people with your ultimate, your passive takes 45 seconds of cooldown off all your abilities meaning your ulti is already back up and you can jump onto the remaining people and ult again.
Generally on Katarina, I rush a “Hextech Gunblade”, because the active on that item, plus the healing, makes her a monster. Even when behind, once you get that gunblade, you usually have a better all-in than most other champs — at least the ones without a way to cancel your ultimate.
After a gunblade, you should grab sorcerer’s boots 99% of the time. After the boots, you can build any tank or ability power (AP) item, or a hybrid item between those two. Usually if you’re up against an AP Laner or an AP Heavy Enemy Team you could grab “Abyssal Scepter”. It gives you AP, magic resist, 10% cooldown reduction (CDR), and it makes you do an extra 10% magic damage to people in a range slightly larger than your ultimate.
A good third item against an attack damage (AD) Laner or AD Heavy Enemy Team great item is “Zhonya’s Hourglass”. This item gives you AP, armor, and 10% CDR, it has a really cool active: it turns you golden, and makes you invulnerable, and untargetable for 2.5 seconds, but while in it you can’t use abilities attack or use items or summer spells.
Your basic combo on this champion is to Shunpo onto your target, use preparation to put down a dagger and do damage when it lands. Then Q to place a dagger behind them so they either have to continue fighting, or when they are running away, you can Shunpo to the dagger, then you should use your gunblade active to shoot a bolt of lightning on the target and then ult. This usually kills any squishy target. A good thing to remember is that your Shunpo is an auto attack reset, so you can auto, shun, and then auto again.
Pro-tip: 99% of the time you want to run Thunderlord’s Decree.
There are many combos you can do on this champion, but that’s the one that’s used most. You should hop into a game and test out some different things too!
Katarina has some of the highest damage output in the game, and usually kills her target with one combo.
Katarina is a pretty squishy champion on her own, but with hybrid items like ‘Abyssal Scepter’, ‘Zhonya’s Hourglass’, and a tank item like ‘Guardian Angel’, you become a semi-tank high burst champion. But you’re still going to be focused down and killed kind of fast unless you are able to burst them before they burst you.
Katarina has insanely high mobility, and with resets from her passive, she can Shunpo to even more targets. Her daggers also reset making her able to Shunpo more often as well.
Katarina has 0 built in sustain in her kit, but if you build a ‘Hextech Gunblade’ she can sustain pretty well.
Katarina has 0 crowd control abilities in her kit, but I just couldn’t give her a 0 on this rating, because as the saying goes: “Death is the best form of Crowd Control”.
Now don’t go on a witch hunt just because I’m not calling Katarina “A SUPER EASY BROKEN, NO SKILL CHAMP THAT ONLY BAD PEOPLE PLAY!”. Yes, Katarina is a pretty easy champion to pick up, but she’s a pretty hard champ to master; but if you do, you can get awesome rewards out of it, like stomping some plebs in ranked that have no idea what she does, how to stay away from her daggers, or who try to fight her in lane where she can potentially snowball.
As a Katarina main I have to rank this super high because she has such a unique style of play. She can go in and murder everyone, and jump back out if she gets low. She fits my idea of a perfect champion, a mobile high burst champion that takes a some skill to play, but when done well it feels great.