Ultra Rapid Fire has always been a fan favorite game mode, and honestly, what is there not to like? You don’t consume mana or energy when you cast spells, all champions have an 80% cooldown reduction on abilities, activated items, and summoner spells, 25% tenacity (resistance to crowd control), champions have an additional 60 movement speed, attack speed bonuses are increased by 50% for melee champions and 100% for ranged champions, critical strikes deal 25% additional base damage, and health costs are reduced by 50%.
What does this mean? It means that with these extremely different circumstances, other builds and combinations potentially open up, and players get more options, most of which are not available in regular play.
Today we will discuss Katarina, one of our favorite assassins in League of Legends: Katarina, our dagger lady from Noxus. What we will have here is a discussion of viable runes and items that may be worth trying out in URF.
There are several really fun keystone runes to try out on Katarina in this game mode: the first among them is Dark Harvest. Having her cooldowns shortened immensely means that she could cast her Q, Bouncing Blade, so many more times, and she could cut down her lane opponent’s health bar from a distance.
Reducing an opponent’s health bar below fifty percent would proc Dark Harvest, dealing additional damage and allowing her to get a stack that permanently increases the damage that the keystone rune deals. In addition, participating in a kill refreshes Dark Harvest’s cooldown, which means that in a team fight, if Katarina plays it well, she could get five stacks off of the enemy team.
Electrocute is another good option, which finds an orientation towards shorter trades to burst out the opponent. This is for more aggressive players who have confidence in their skills to kill opponents before they have a chance to react. If you weave your abilities correctly, an enemy might just see you, but might not have enough time to react as you would be doing a tremendous amount of damage in a short amount of time.
Conqueror is another rune that is for extended trades or fights. Once you stack it up, you’ll get bonus adaptive force (which, in this case, turns into ability power), make your damage stronger, and at full stacks, heal up with auto-attacks. Take note, though, that if you intend to go into a more burst oriented build, this rune might be quite counterproductive.
Phase Rush might also be worth considering. Phase Rush as a keystone enables Katarina to gain 40 to 60 percent additional movement speed and 75 percent slow resistance if she lands three auto-attacks or different abilities within four seconds. This will be effective for escaping slows and for dodging skillshots in a fight. Since summoner spells also have lower cooldowns in this game mode, Nimbus Cloak in the sorcery tree would allow Katarina to gain bonus movement speed whenever she uses a summoner spell as well.
Now that we are done with Runes that might be good with Katarina in this game mode let’s discuss some items that are good with her.
Hextech Gunblade is an excellent item for Katarina because it provides Katarina with a slow, which means that she could catch up to escaping enemies a bit easier. The decreased cooldown from the game mode ensures that she can use it quite often. In addition, the Hextech Gunblade allows her to heal off of the damage she deals, giving Katarina additional survivability.
Rabadon’s Deathcap is, of course, an essential item for Katarina as it provides 120 ability power and an additional 40% — as Katarina is mostly an ability power champion, Rabadon’s Deathcap provides her with a decent spike in terms of damage.
Sorcerer’s Shoes provide a little bit of magic penetration, which gives you a decent first spike in terms of the damage that an opponent may not be able to anticipate. Also, this item may be substituted for another similar item once you get to six items.
Void Staff is another viable item on Katarina as it offers 70 ability power and 40% magic penetration. Remember that Void Staff becomes more effective as opponents build more magic resistance.
Morellonomicon is another good item for Katarina because it gives flat magic penetration and provides Grievous Wounds for three seconds. This means that enemies with a high level of healing and sustain will be dealt with a bit easier – all because of this item.
Zhonya’s Hourglass provides ability power, some armor, and of course, an active 2.5 seconds of Stasis. This means you could jump in and then immediately activate your stasis to bait out bigger cooldowns from your opponents.
Liandry’s Torment and Rylai’s Crystal Scepter are also viable options. Still, if you only have space for one item, it might be better to prioritize Liandry’s Torment due to the Madness passive, allowing Katarina to deal up to an additional 10% damage if the passive is fully stacked. In addition, Liandry’s Torment also has the Torment passive, allowing Katarina to deal damage over time equal to 0.75% of the target’s health, increased to 1.25% against slowed and immobilized units— this is where Rylai’s Crystal Scepter becomes handy. As Katarina does not initially have slows and other crowd control abilities in her kit, you will need Rylai’s to fully bring out the power of Liandry’s Torment.
URF provides a rare chance to absolutely style on enemies with Katarina, and while the builds, in general, aren’t that much different, you may still try some rather wacky builds (maybe a tanky Katarina?), we have to face the fact that she doesn’t have much use of stats that aren’t ability power and some resistances. If you haven’t already, we recommend you to check out our URF Ezreal Guide!
Good luck on the Rift!