Hello to all future Katarina main. Although playing katarina may seem easy (you know, banging your head against the keyboard) in practice it may not be so easy. Next I will present the most basic thing you should know about this champion.
While champions like Malzahar or Galio can really annoy you, they’re not what really annoys Katarina. If the enemy team has too much CC or a champion like Tristana or Vayne, it might be best to reconsider picking Katarina. Keep in mind that Katarina without kills will not be able to contribute much. If the opposing team has champions that last too long and you’re not particularly good with Katarina, it’s best not to pick her or you won’t be able to contribute anything. But Katarina is a good option against many mages and against most weak champions like marksmen, assassins. (Her AD version can be good against some tanks or fighters).
The best runes you can use to start learning how to use katarina is electrocute. It helps a lot to win the trades and is very good against assassins who make Katarina suffer. You can use this rune to explode your enemy at level 2 and leave him at low life. Conqueror is used when the enemy has hard to kill champions, it will give you heals and you will last longer in the fight, as well as good true damage.
- How to play her in the lane
Katarina is very weak at the beginning, but her level 2 is one of the best in the whole game, if you manage to reach level 2 before the rival, do not hesitate to use Q+E, she will not be able to defend herself and will have to use potions. If the enemy is a champion with a lot of mobility, it could make you suffer because you will not be able to hit them with the daggers on the ground. In these cases, it’s usually a good option to max E, you’ll get your CC back faster and you’ll be less vulnerable to these champions or have a better chance of hitting them for the kill. If your rival knows how to play against you, you will not be able to execute the combos of E+W+Q, or Q+E+W, for these cases the best alternative is to use Q+E and start attacking with basic attacks, when the rival runs out of skills you use the E+W, to attack or to escape depending on how the trade turned out. The ideal is to keep the opponent pressured to be able to rotate and take kills and objectives
- How to play in team fights
Unless Katarina is super powered, she should never start a team fight. Katarina must wait for the opponent to spend their CC, damage, and lose some health. Katarina must be present for the kill to regain her abilities, so there must be at least one easy enemy to kill for Katarina to enter. Once Katarina starts dealing AoE damage and can’t be stopped, the fight is won. In short, let your team in and when they’re low on health, go in and try to take down some champions.
The best item to start with is Nashor’s Tooth for AP Katarina and Sword of the Ruined King for AD Katarina. If an enemy Zed gives you a lot of trouble there is no other option than zonyas. From mythical the ideal is the Hextech protobelt, but sometimes the Riftmaker is a very good option, but everything will depend on how the rival team plays. Magic penetration is key, so don’t hesitate to buy it. For the AD katarina, Divine surender and Kraken slayer are good options. Don’t forget to buy ravenous hydra if you go AD, it will give you a lot of damage and heals
- Small details that will make you win
Katarina can use her E on either side of her target, meaning you have 360 degrees to decide where to jump. Use this to jump over walls with your W, stand behind enemies, and to escape dangerous situations. Katarina instantly recovers her E if she picks up two blades at any point in the match. Katarina can use her E on Jungle Plants, Jhin Traps, Teemo Mushrooms, Shaco Boxes, and many other things. Katarina’s E applies on-hit effects, so she can hit pretty hard. Don’t wait for the opponent to die to jump to another, if you know that one of the enemies you damaged will die soon, leave it and focus on the next one, you will have your abilities again and they won’t realize that you already have them.
This is a basic guide, the way to use the combos and on what occasions to use them is a fairly extensive and specific topic but it is possible to decipher just by following the tips. The best combo to start with is E + W + Q + E, it works for most situations so don’t be intimidated into trying it out. I hope you have learned and that you improve with Katarina. Good luck!