With the crazy potential to get out of hand during team fights to solo kills in lane, Katarina is one of the most mobile assassins that can feel unbeatable if handled poorly. Her roaming potential to snipe pushed bot or top lane gives her a chance to start snowballing, but as always, there is the rock to the scissors, and Katarina has weaknesses that you can take advantage of.
Katarina’s kit is based mainly on reducing CDs of her abilities. To better understand how to avoid mistakes when dealing with her, you have to dive into her abilities and, most importantly, her passive.
- Passive – Voracity: Whenever an enemy champion dies that Katarina has damaged recently, her remaining ability cooldowns are dramatically reduced. This is the bread and butter of crazy potential to get out of hand in every team fight. If Katarina picks up a Dagger, she uses it to slash through all nearby enemies, dealing magic damage. It synergizes with her Q and W, which both leave a dagger on the ground that she can pick up to deal AOE damage.
- Q – Bouncing Blade: She throws a dagger, which bounces from enemy to enemy before ricocheting on the ground. It can hit minions and champions as well.
- W – Preparation: She gains a burst of movement speed and leaves a dagger behind her.
- E – Shunpo: She can use E to blink to a target’s location. It can be an enemy, an ally, or her dagger from Q or W.
- R – Death Lotus: She starts to channel for up to 2,5 seconds, during which she throws daggers around her to up to 3 enemies. During this time, she is applying Grievous Wounds as well as AOE damage.
Countering Katarina’s Spells
The biggest counter to Katarina is hard CC (stuns, silences, knock-ups, displacements). Roots are not that useful. Zhonya’s Hourglass active or Guardian Angel can be very handy as well. Katarina will try to use her daggers on the ground to deal unexpected damage to you. If you see a dagger, your best bet is to stay away from it so she can not deal free damage to you. On the other hand, you can bait her E on a dagger when there is your jungler in a bush waiting to help you out.
Also read: How to Play Against Kassadin?
Most Common Katarina Combos
In the laning phase, E-W-AA-picking up the dagger-Q-AA-E-picking up the dagger or Q-E-picking up the dagger-AA-W combos are used for trading with the enemies. During the early game, Katarina players use W-Q-E when the enemy is under the tower. They prepare W outside tower range, run at the enemy, throw a Q and E out.
All combos rely heavily on Katarina’s condition to get near the enemy and even AA to deal a significant amount of damage (except for her Q that can be used as a poke).
The most important thing to keep an eye on are daggers on the ground and the recent use of her E. Without her E, she is vulnerable to ganks from your jungler.
Also read: How to Counter Annie
CC, CC, and CC. Katarina uses her mobility to get in and out of team fights, but if your team is able to lock her down during the dive to your squishy back lane, you may be able to kill her first. If you see that the enemy has already picked Katarina, try to encourage your teammates to pick champions that have CC.
CC. Did we mention CC already? Oh yea, we did. Jokes aside, vision is another great protection layer that you can put between you and Katarina. Well placed ward can spot her coming to your lane and you will be aware that you should keep back or even try to cooperate with other teammates to catch her off guard.
3. Runes optimization
Taking magic resistance runes will mitigate most of her damage. She does physical damage as well, but magic damage is her main output.
4. Slow and steady
Try not to die early, wait for your junglers help, or play passively if you struggle against her in the early game. If you have good push potential, try to clear minions. Katarina is weak at farming under the tower.
5. Range advantage
Use your range to your advantage. As we stated before, she relies on her daggers and gets close enough to you to deal a significant amount of damage.
6. Let others know
Use pings to warn your teammates that she is missing. An obvious tip, but it never hurts to remind you about the possibility of using pinging as a helpful way to communicate with other teammates.
The Best Katarina Lane Counters in Season 12
Irelia is one of the most versatile and definitely strongest lane counters that you can pick against Katarina. With the gold difference of +430 gold at the 15th-minute mark, Irelia is the champion that stomps Katarina into the ground.
The most optimal way to win your lane as Irelia against Katarina is to play it safe until you hit level 3. If you, unfortunately, die to Katarina, she might be able to snowball from early lead to unstoppable force to the end of the match. After you survive the first three levels and buy your first items, you will be able to push Katarina under her turret, where she will be unable to farm efficiently.
Zed is another excellent champion to deal with Katarina. With the gold difference of +410 gold at the 15th-minute mark, Zed is another great pick that deals with Katarina very well.
Again the most optimal way in this matchup is to wait for his level 3 and play it safe. His Q allows him to trade, poke and farm using range to your advantage. You can even dodge part of Katarina’s combo by his R, during which he is untargetable.
3. Honorable mention: Tryndamere
Tryndamere’s R basically denies Katarina’s reset potential and thus making her obviously desperate. His built-in healing with Q helps him with poke and chasing potential with E allows him to react to Katarina’s E.
Also read: How to Play Against Akshan?
The Best Champions to Counter Katarina in Season 12
Kayle’s R directly counters Katarina. Well-timed R to your squishy carry (Kayle as well) can turn around fight where Katarina is trying to get reset with a kill. Her range helps to deal with Katarina as well. Kayle is a scaling champion, so you have to keep that in mind. Pre 6 Kayle is unable to beat Katarina in any way.
Vladimir’s pool, aka W, is another annoying (read as great to counter) ability to save Vladimir from Katarina’s combos. His build-in beefiness through his passive and natural healing with Q makes him harder to deal with for all Katarina players (remember that Katarina’s R applies Grievous Wounds).
Kassadin’s R is one of the best mobility spells in LoL. If Katarina decides to jump on you, you can quickly blink away with your R. Other reasons are that Kassadin’s passive makes him take less damage from magic, and his Q can interrupt Katarina’s R.
Katarina is tough to master champion with huge skill dependency. Her combos are very complicated, and you will be happy to see her in your team if the player mastered her to every detail. On the other hand, you will feel desperate if you hear the announcer scream Penta kill! after the team fight. But after reading our guide on how to counter her, we are sure that you will be able to win against her easily and abuse her weaknesses even further than before.
Pick a champion within our recommended counters that you are most familiar with and feel most comfortable playing with. If you did not find any of your favorite champions from our list, try to pick something that has reliable CC. Try to save it for her and lead your team to a victory.