Greetings General D, first I'd like it to be known that while I disapprove of Katarina's rework and everything that has happened to her since, I think there have been some positive effects that I should acknowledge, namely the following:
If you were around before the rework, and any length of time during that ~2 year period, you know that many people considered Kat a troll pick and Kat was a champion known for either feeding immensely, or steamrolling a game, depending on player skill.
- More team comps having a place for Kat.
More and more people know what Katarina does, how she works, what helps her, and what stops her. This is a good thing for the health of the game, but at the same time players like me who could take advantage of such ignorance are disappointed that it came to pass.
- Increase in Kat visibility.
While I disagree with this one, because it still feels like a betrayal of the fanbase that someone can learn to do in a day or two of playing her that took me months back when she wasn't easy to play, I can't argue that the net effect here is positive.
- Ease with which she is picked up and learned.
I feel that all three of the above are good for the game, and the State of Katarina, but I can't help wishing none of it happened. On to better, brighter things.
In regards to Kat's state of balance, I firmly believe that an AD ratio needs to be added back on to Bouncing Blade at the cost of a slight nerf to the AP ratio. Probably a drop to .30 and .10 from .45 and .15. Beyond that, Katarina is pretty balanced. Which was the purpose of the remake in the first place, to put Kat in a place where she'd be easier to get to balance. Now, you may ask why I think Kat needs an AD ratio on BB again, and the answer is relatively simple, if lengthy.
Take a moment and remember your last game that had a Kat in it. If the player wasn't complete trash, I'm willing to bet that they started the game with some version of the following runes and masteries: Magic Pen, flat AP, or flat AD Marks. Scaling Health, flat Armor, or flat MR Seals, Magic Pen, flat AP, or flat MR Glyphs, and Magic Pen, flat AP, flat MR, or Move Speed Quints. Then from there, it was either 21/9/0 or some variant of that.
While this is pretty generic for casters, especially resourceless casters, it doesn't offer much in the way of versatility.
And the item build is even less interesting than the runes and masteries. It's the same penetration build every single game with maybe a DFG or a WoTA thrown in depending on her gold. Games usually end before Kat gets a full build.
Now, say for example that Bouncing Blade had an AD ratio again. All of a sudden, the doors of possibility and opportunity begin to open. Bouncing Blade isn't the super safe poke tool that it used to be, Kat can no longer get it to do full damage on every bounce, and it no longer counters potion spamming. As it is, it's avoidable because of the nerfed range, predictability of bounces, and basically forces the Kat player to cast it on the enemy champion for the max benefit, and that opens her to things like death, because she's a melee champion in a lane that is traditionally full of ranged champions. Take a moment and look at other melee mids that you are most likely to see in a game.
Akali, Eve, Gragas, and Rumble. What do all of these champions have that Katarina doesn't at early levels? A ranged ability on a lower cooldown that does more damage.
Oh but Kat is resourceless you say. Well, that's not stopping Rumble's early game damage, or Garen's or Riven's now is it? Oh but Kat has a cooldown refresh you say. Well, Kat needs a cooldown refresh because her abilities all do jack **** for damage. The only reason Katarina ever does as much damage as she does it because her cooldowns reset one or two or three times. Or you stayed and traded with her too long. And she still does less damage than she did pre-rework.
If there's one thing I wish Riot would do, it's put pre-rework Kat back into the game for a week or two. Just so show everyone that she wasn't easy to play. She did more damage when played properly, she farmed just as well in the hands of a smart, skilled player, and she snowballed harder and faster than she does now.
Now, as a final comment on The State of Katarina, I'm going to go ahead and let you all in on a little secret. AD Katarina is better at early and mid game than AP Kat is currently. AP Kat only surpasses AD after both Deathcap and defensive items like GA or Zhonya have been bought, at this point better AD ratios are trumped by just having more AP ratios than AD ratios. The difficulty with AD Kat arises when you realize that you need to deal some auto attack damage to make up for what you lose, or compensate for it with items such as BoRK and Hydra.
Lets say you have two level six Katarinas. One of them has 70 base AD and no bonus AD, but has 50 AP. One of them has 70 base AD and 50 bonus AD, but no AP.
AP Katarina has ~850 health, two points in Q, two in W, one in E, and one in R. She Qs for ~140 if she pops the Mark, Ws for ~90, Es for ~100, and Rs for ~220 a second for two seconds.
AP Katarina did around 770 damage before MR. AP Katarina is better off not autoattacking, she has poor scaling until Deathcap, AP hasn't changed in price per point, and you're stuck using the same items game after game.
AD Katarina has ~850 health, one point in Q, three in W, one in E, and one in R. She Qs for ~80 if she pops the Mark, Ws for ~140, Es for ~100, and Rs for 280 a second for two seconds.
AD Katarina did around almost 900 damage before MR. AD Katarina has a legitimate auto attack and her AD ratios are both about twice as powerful as the AP ratios on the same abilities. AD is cheaper than it was. AD is more abundant than it was. And most champions, Katarina included, are more effective with early AD than early AP because of the lower amounts of defensive stats early
Just something for you guys to think about. Next time you see a Kat and he's not building in a way you've come to expect Kat to build, especially if you yourself don't play Kat, please, kindly, if the player isn't performing poorly, don't open your mouth and say something dumb like "Omg Kat no AP troll gg" or whatever it is you'd say. AD Kat is a bigger asset to your team than AP Kat early and mid game, because AD Kat is better at counter jungling, better at helping with Drag, she has more money to purchase wards with, she has better defensive stats, she probably has more farm than she would AP, and she's probably playing safer because AD takes a bit more skill to play properly.
Just give tolerance a shot, that's all I'm saying. If someone is playing AD Kat, they're either a brand new Kat player who knows nothing, and you can tell before the game starts if that's the case, or they know what they're doing to such a degree that you're better off helping them carry than questioning the player's items/runes.
I don't expect this thread to make one bit of difference, and I fully expect to be downvoted into a close by trolls, but I wrote this for me anyway, because I refuse to play Kat AP on the basis that the build is neither fun, nor interesting. And we play this game to have fun guys. Remember that.