[Guide] Katarina - How to mid

Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Green Hatter

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

29-06-2010

KATARINA - DOMINATING THE MID LANE
This guide will tell you how to play a katarina in the solo midlane against any opponent.
Katarina is probably one of the most feared characters in the game. Thats why she will be hunted down in every teamfight, before she can do her damage. Katarina has been through a lot of modifications in the patches. This guide is up-to-date as of June 29th 2010.

Strengths

  • Katarina has a lot of burst damage. Use this to your advantage to steal kills from your allies in early and mid game. That maybe sound like an offense to your teammates. It is not. Katarina will own any teamfight, once initiated, as long as you can get your items. And these are really expensive.
  • Katarina is also great in dashing around with Shunpoo. Alert your teammates that you need them rather close to get out of harms way. Once you get a kill, through her passive (cooldown reduction after assist or kill), you will instantly be able to Shunpoo out. As long as there is a teammate around or a minion of some sort.

Weaknesses
  • Katarina has no disable whatsoever. No slow, stun, or silence.
  • Katarina is a vulnerable character. Combine that with her burst, and you know you are probably target number 1 or number 2 for the other team.

TACTICS
Midlane
You are Katarina. The midlane is yours. Forget ashe, ezrael or any of them pretenders. There is no hero basically that is especially troublesome, but to list a few that give more difficulty than average: Zilean (bombs have quite some range), Kassadin (silence has quite some range) and another Katarina ofcourse. That is your moment to shine.

When I go midlane, I take boots 1 and three health potions. The advantage of this is that your boots will make katarina harder to catch with spells and autoattacks of your enemies. From a distance you can do much of the early damage and to do a little more, you can go in, and run out. The health pots keep you longer in the lane than your opponent, who probably uses mana. Katarina just needs adrenaline and that comes free in League of Legends.

So the minions start passing your tower. First question: who are you up against and what items did he bring to the mid arena? Is it someone who relies on auto-attacks for damage? Someone like Ashe or Teemo? Then it all comes down to positioning.

Positioning
The first skill i always take is Bouncing Blades. You will stand behind your front minions, making sure to keep your distance from your opponent. It is not important now to be dominant. You are going to make a kill at level 6, not right away, unless they are stupid enough to try it on you. Use the Bouncing blades for last hits on creeps. Your farming is very very important, because your main item is a B.F. Sword, which costs 1850gc.

You are hitting level 3. Now you have 1 level in Blades, Shunpoo and Killer Instincts. You are ready to start doing damage. Always keep Killer Instincts on. If you are up against a hero who has little HP, or a player that does not seem to know what he is doing, you will use Killer Instincts in combination with Shunpoo. This will flash you right on that hero, doing damage, while reducing incoming damage because of this combination. Mostly, players dont really see what hit them and back off, giving you time to be back behind your minions before they can retaliate.

But maybe you are up against a Nuker! Or a tank. Instead you want to level Bouncing Blades. You can wear this scary Zilean or Ryze down with Bouncing Blades on them. The best way to do this is to activate Killer Instincts and stand in front of your ranged minions. Once a new creep wave comes in, they are all in a straight line away from you, instead of grouped. Your opponent will be somewhere near that straight line, and will in 80% of the cases catch a Bouncing Blade as it bounces down the straight line. They can ofcourse stand back further: more farming for you, less farming for them.

The timing couldn't be more perfect: your opponent is down half HP but is still hanging around. Now look closely at your xp meter (left below, yellow). Immediately when you hit level 6, pick your ultimate (Death Lotus) and see if your opponent is close enough to: Bouncing Blade, Killer Instincts, Shunpoo (on him), Death Lotus. Leveling a skill goes the quickest by using CTRL + [Skill Key]. Your opponent is now dead, or running for his dear life.

A list of things to know
  • For Summoner Spells, pick Exhaust and Ignite. You are a killer, you need kills or you won't do enough damage in midgame to make the difference. Making the difference is the main reason why anyone should be midlane.
  • You will use this Exhaust right after you shunpoo on someone, making it impossible escape the damage of a Death Lotus. If available: use Ignite. Some hero now NOT dead is probably named Cho'Gath at 6 Feasts.
  • Your ulti is not the Alpha and the Omega. A stun, a fear, a taunt or even a silence will break the ulti, leaving you at the side of one or more enemies, with no Shunpoo. You are now dead. To counter this: you will wait for the enemy to use the disable. Scare him with a Shunpoo, and start hacking away. Wait for the disable, only after initiate Death Lotus.
  • Death Lotus has a relatively low cooldown time. This means: use it when necessary. F.e., when someone is at your tower and you probably can't take him, Death Lotus anyways and he is now running away. A tower is saved.
  • Using Bouncing Blades, then Killer Instincts, then Shunpoo and ultimately Death Lotus is a crucial order to making a kill, instead of getting killed. The blade takes off a little bit, but the Killer Instincts reduce the damage dealt to you. Even if your Death Lotus dont kill the enemy, he will not have enough power to kill you.
  • Ganking is very important when you play midlane. When you are level 6, and you haven't left your lane (you had 3 health potions) you don't have the power to kill a tower before someone shows up. Instead, walk backwards, out of sight of the enemy minions and start the way up or down, through the bushes.
  • You can Shunpoo on anything except towers. Fact. So stay close to a jester if there is no minion. You can escape, you just need to have something nearby. So when you are not sure if someone is trying to gank you mid: position yourself purposely away from your minions. This is your lifeline.

ITEMBUILD
Because people only read this part and forget the important things above, here is a list of items that are optimal for killer performance on Katarina. And there is no other way then Assasin style, so that means.... well:

Boots 1 + 3 HP
Sorcerer's Boots (yes, Death Lotus is magic damage)
Longsword --> Sword of the Occult (not for newbies, it only gives +5 attack damage/stack)
Vamp Scept --> Bloodthirster (x2 if you are doing really well)

Hey but this item build isn't full! Yeah, that's because item builds depend on the enemy, not on some random guide.

Good hunting!

PS For crying out loud, dont build Katarina Ability Power. Yes it scales the Shunpoo and it also scales the Death Lotus (as does attackd damage) and Rylai's Chrystal Scepter is handy for sticking an enemy close, but you use the Bouncing Blades much more often, so the damage should be there. Shunpoo is to get close or to get away, boys and girls.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Aku nò Hana

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Member

30-06-2010

Quote:
PS For crying out loud, dont build Katarina Ability Power. Yes it scales the Shunpoo and it also scales the Death Lotus (as does attackd damage) and Rylai's Chrystal Scepter is handy for sticking an enemy close, but you use the Bouncing Blades much more often, so the damage should be there. Shunpoo is to get close or to get away, boys and girls.
Finally someone who's intelligence reaches past that of a retarded monkey.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Defqonwolf

Junior Member

30-06-2010

very nice guide thnx for this.
Going to try out katarina this evening


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Bloodthorne

Senior Member

30-06-2010

there are plenty of counters to kat that would totally rape her mid.

Anyone with instant CC should be owning Kat. Problem is; people are impatient. Ashe goes "oh she has only 3/4 health i can kill her" she shoot her ult, gets kat to 1/3 HP, then kat rapes ashe with ulti.
People that play kassadin constantly use their silence to harrass (which is fine until lvl6), at which point, you wait for kat to shunpo to you, instant silence, nuke her, rift walk out or chase for the kill.
Heck, even Garen mid (yeah you dont see that often... ever...) would rape kat in no time. Kat comes close; decisive strike = silenced for 2.5 seconds. Activate judgment while chasing; either dead or low health. If kat goes for her ulti and you cant silence, activate W to reduce her damage by 35%.
Tristana would need to play careful until lvl6, at which point she can use her ulti to pwn kat's ult.

While it is true that kat has good burst and is great mid, it is usually a poor opponent that loses. Any GOOD player will shut you down on mid and you will stand little chance.
There is a reason why Kat is not very popular in top elo premades.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Green Hatter

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

30-06-2010

@Akuran: "whose"
@bloodthorne: Challenge accepted! Cya tonight


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Jaylin

Senior Member

30-06-2010

Here's a question: What do you do against a COMPETENT Heimer in mid? Please not the caps. Basically, he sticks to his turrets like glue and if you try to pop in there, you are dead. Sure, you can harass with BB, but he can do the same with Rockets (and I think his range is greater). If I manage to drop his health low enough for a gank, he'll just B while his turrets delay any pushing I do. On the other hand, I practically can't leave my lane since that means my tower will be down in seconds. If I go to gank a side lane, he'll chew through a minion wave and be at my tower in seconds, dropping turrets and grenades.

Best I've been able to get against a non-moron Heimer is a draw. Both turrets are up, I perhaps have one kill on him or we are even.

You might say "kill the turrets" but there are a few problems with that. BB does only so much damage and the CD isn't all that short. Shunpoing into them exposes me to Rockets/Grenade/Turrets/Autoattack. Trying to autoattack them results in mostly the same. Also, if I'm focusing on turrets, I'm not last hitting minions so much, so my cash flow suffers. As I said, I can get a draw, so naturally that does mean I take turrets down, it's just that it takes time to do it safely.

Any tips would be welcome.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

jfrost

Member

30-06-2010

1: Turrets have been nerfed insofar as they only do half damage now to towers.
2: Turrets have not been fixed, so they don't really focus correctly. Walk with a wave, and they'll pretty much not hit you at all.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Jaylin

Senior Member

30-06-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfrost View Post
1: Turrets have been nerfed insofar as they only do half damage now to towers.
2: Turrets have not been fixed, so they don't really focus correctly. Walk with a wave, and they'll pretty much not hit you at all.

#2 is the only reason I can keep Heimer back. However, it does very little to help me. The turrets still waste my own minions rapidly, and if I'm autoattacking them, I'm vulnerable to Grenades/Rockets, as well as Heimer's autoattack. My minions going down fast is a big issue, since it means I need to start falling back fast, get pushed back and have to endure my tower wasting minions.

Basically, until the turrets are down, I can't move forward. The turrets ensure I have lower time to waste their minion wave than I'd have against any other mid. It takes 2-3 minion waves early in the game to tear down a turret (assuming I'm avoiding grenade/rocket harass).

Only time I manage to make any headway is when Heimer runs out of mana and goes B. Then I can tear down turrets and move the line back. As I said, I can pull a draw/stalemate, but I can't seem to do anything to win this matchup. Normally, against most mids I'd just gank them eventually, but with Heimer, it's hard once he manages to set up a few turrets.


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Green Hatter

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

30-06-2010

How to deal with Heimerdinger
Above some ppl are discussing how hard it is to go up against a Heimerdinger. As every hero, he has his strenghts and weaknesses. If you can't beat Heimerdinger, then you simply haven't learned how yet. So here are some pointers:

Bouncing blades has exactly the same range as a turret. A normal Heimerdinger will go Turret first and will level these. These turrets are expensive. In the range of 3-4 turrets is all of his mana. Mind you: these turrets regen, so you need to kill one in a single wave, or don't bother.

  • Even before the first minions come, you can kill the turret Heimerdinger sets up first. Do this by blading the turret with Bouncing Blades and getting back for the CD. Don't destroy this turret untill the moment the first minions reach the middle. Heimer will now have to pay 1/3 of his total mana (Lvl1) to place a new turret.
  • Against Heimerdinger you always level the Bouncing Blades and let them bounce of the closest minion in front of the miniturret. In 95% of the times the miniturret will take a hit. 4 of those and the turret is gone. The blades will also damage his minions, so you can stay relatively close to center of action: where Heimer is standing (between his turrets).
  • A smart Heimerdinger will try to place his turrets apart, so a single Bouncing Blade won't hit multiple turrets. Use this to your advantage to take this singled out miniturret out as fast as possible. Maybe you don't hit creeps, but it's another 100-120 mana.
  • Heimerdinger will play offensively, placing his turrets nearer and nearer to your turret. That's fine, because it let's you Bounce the Blades on these turrets. If Heimer tries to be smart the put a grenade on your tower: Shunpoo him (100-150 hp).
  • Heimer has now been hit by a few blades and is losing health. Now it's time to hit him with the blades, by using the minions that cross the line where his turrets has no range, and Bouncing the Blades down to him him more.
    Lucky for you: you have listened to my guide and took ignite. Heimer is now half HP and you use Killer Instinct to reduce incoming damage after Shunpoo (not the blades!). As shown in FiPo, but a little differently: Killer Instincts -> Shunpoo on him -> Blade -> Ignite -> Deathlotus. His turrets will die with him, so you now have time to take one of the remaining Health Pots, kill some creeps and cash in on your farm and kill at the shop.

Good luck!


Comment below rating threshold, click here to show it.

Best of the 3

Senior Member

30-06-2010

I like this. +1

I'm glad that you say that you have to have AD Kat. IMO it works a hell of a lot better. Takes more gold and time but AD late game > AP late game.

I sort of agree with the boots at the begining. I usually go for Dorans just to safe (with the regen and health I can take a few more hits) then boots usually after the first kill. I will also grab the movement masteries in Utility so they still can't catch me even without my boots (unless they predict my movement well but that is hard with the jumpy Kat)

Still I like this guide. It works well.