One item is enough to get her snowball rolling in the game. She just needs to play the initial part of the laning phase properly, get that item and then go on a killing spree (with proper usage of her E and Ultimate R).
Even if she is behind on CS, she can easily make it up by roaming around the map and cleaning up kills. She can even perform tower dives with her team if the enemy team lacks CC, or if her teammate is taking the turret aggro.
Her E cooldown reset mechanic allows her to get multiple kills in a very short span. Combined with her W, it can allow her to perform multiple outplays and escape nasty situations.
She is countered heavily by CC, especially the ones which have no cast time. If she doesn’t use her E properly, then she will end up dying a lot due to being CC’d.
She relies on the lack of vision to roam around and acquire kills. If the enemy team sets up proper vision and has enough map awareness, they can easily stop Katarina from getting a lead.
Mispositioning and using her Ultimate R at the wrong time can make her quite an easy target for the enemy. Her Ultimate R roots her in place, so she can be targeted by a CC chain.
0 - 15 min
Play safe in the early game. You need time to come online and if you fall behind, you will struggle to lane and you will delay your first major power spike.
Katarina is a strong roaming champion. If your allies are strong, look to roam frequently to get extra kills and snowball your lead.
Play around Katarina’s Dagger placements. They offer a lot of extra pressure in lane and will often fall in ideal places to go for favourable trades.
15 - 25 min
Look to assassinate targets that are moving around Summoners Rift alone. Katarina is really good at picking people off and taking down squishy targets.
Once your ADC and Support has rotated to the mid lane, look to split push and pick up gold and XP in a side lane.
Look to group with your team once you hit your item spikes. Katarina is a great team fighter thanks to her AOE Ultimate R which will allow you to dish out lots of damage in a fight.
Play around your Zhonyas Hourglass in late game team fights. Avoid fighting unless it’s available to you.
Stay grouped with your team, but avoid engaging straight away. Wait for the right time so your Ultimate R doesn’t get interrupted.
Assassinate and take down key targets in team fights. Your goal is to clean up fights and deal as much damage as you can before falling down.
Her Q allows her to keep poking her laners consistently. This can be a minor power spike if the enemy happens to be melee in nature and is about to try and farm.
Once she unlocks her E, she should be able to do a lot more in this lane. She can use her Q to poke and then to go for short burst trades which will give her priority in the lane over time.
Her main power spike is when she unlocks her Ultimate R. She can now roam around the map and completely delete low health enemy champions with her mobility and Ultimate R.
Getting her first item is a major power spike for her. She will be dealing a hefty amount of damage in a very short time and ultimately kill people effortlessly.
Her Q and combo should allow her to easily invade the enemy jungle and wait for someone to show up to her. Her 100 to 0 burst potential is massive during this phase of the game.
She excels at clumped team fights, especially the ones which happen in the neutral objective pits. She just needs to make sure that she goes in when their CC is down.
Investing in a Zhonya's Hourglass should preserve her in-game power by making sure that she can dodge the CC which the enemy throws at her.
Looking for ways to engage on the enemy backline should be Katarina's main win condition. She just needs to go in when all of the enemy CC has been used up.
Her W , E , and Ultimate R should be really powerful now. She should be eyeing the side lanes for picks or use the fog of war to sit in the jungle and see if she can kill someone.
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