Welcome to How To Counter Katarina With Diana.
Katarina is an AP assassin with high early damage and an ultimate which can be devastating in teamfights if left undealt with.
She bounces from champion to champion, seeming as if her abilities don’t have cooldowns. She’s a champion who comes up in the mid lane often across all elos. It’s worth knowing how to play against Katarina.
Diana has a kit which works well against Kata’s all in. We are going to cover how to counter Kata with Diana in the mid lane through laning mechanics, itemization and late game strategy.
Make sure you have an idea of how Katarina works by having a read through her abilities first.
Diana vs Katarina: Laning
Kata will punish you early game if you allow her to land her combination on you. She can’t do much from a distance, but if she gets close enough she can deal a large amount of damage in the early levels. Preventing her early damage relies on staying away from her daggers and timing your shield.
Katarina’s daggers can be confusing. It seems like all you need to do is stand out of the red circle to avoid the damage when she shunpos to them, but that isn’t the case. You need to stay far enough away from her daggers to make sure you can’t be damaged by a sudden Shunpo.
If you can stay away from daggers, you can freeze lane and deny Kata early farm. If you choose your own all in in which Kata is far away from any daggers you will win the trade. Use this fact to scare her away and deny CS. She can only CS from range with her Q which has an 11/10/9/8/7 second cooldown, and it’s the ability she maxes first.
If Kata doesn’t pick up a dagger after she shunpos it will have a 14 second cooldown. This means you can QR, wait for her to Shunpo out then R in again. Just be careful of playing too aggressive. Kata might take advantage of your lack of escapes and get an early kill through a gank. You must prevent her from getting an early kill because it will prevent her from being able to snowball.
Save your W
Don’t use your W to waveclear. Kata’s only ranged wave clear is her Q, which you can outmatch with your Q if you use your Q to poke and waveclear simultaneously. Save your W for all ins either from her or from you. She may use Shunpo to dodge your Q. Your Q has a lower cooldown than Shunpo as long as she doesn’t reset it by picking up a dagger. When you see Kata has used Shunpo but has not recently picked up a dagger to reset its cooldown, throw a Q to harass.
Counter her ult with yours
You will carry on to win fights past level 6 as long as you save your ultimate to use against hers. Cancel Kata’s ult with yours. You will lose most fights from level 6 onwards if you can’t cancel her ult with yours.
The fate of the mid-late game will depend on who is able to gain an early lead and snowball. If you pick up an early kill, try to spread your lead to either of the side lanes or get objective pressure. If Kata wins early, use vision to prevent her from being able to roam and snowball.
Items and runes
Your choice of runes should depend on your confidence in the laning phase. If you have experience in the match-up and know you won’t struggle in lane take Conqueror. It will scale well and help you out late game. If you doubt your ability to take out Kata take Phase Rush for escape and mobility. If you think you will go even, take Conqueror.
For items consider Hextech Protobelt for its extra mobility and tankiness which will work well against Kata. If you’re ahead go for Lich Bane first for all in damage.
Grievous wounds (maybe)
Somewhere along the lines of the game you could pick up a Morellonomicon. It’s not necessary as a first buy but maybe as a second or third. Kata doesn’t heal up early but she will pick up Hextech Gunblade as soon as she can and will start healing off that and Conqueror. Morellos will be effective against a team with a lot of healing.
Diana vs Katarina: Late game
Kata scales a bit better than you as the game goes on, but only if she can get her ult off. Saving your ult to cancel hers may not always be the best idea because you still want to be effective in the teamfight. If your team has no other hard CC besides your ult then you will have to save it, but it would be better for one for your teammates to save a low cooldown hard CC for her ult. Your priority is to get it cancelled though. It deals immense damage in teamfights.
You want to kill Kata as soon as possible in teamfights. The longer she stays the more her cooldowns will reset and she may even be able to activate her ult twice. Kill her off before she can even get one good ult off.
Katarina has a strong all in, but your kit is well suited to deal with it. Save your W for when she comes on top of you. Stay away from daggers. Pick up an early lead and spread it. Morellonomicon for anti-healing. Kill her first in teamfights. Stick to these guidelines and you will counter Katarina as Diana.
We have written plenty of articles for all you mid laners out there, you should have a look at them to improve your game.