How to beat Malzahar as Katarina


How to beat Malzahar as Katarina
How to beat Malzahar as Katarina

Today we will discuss on everything you need to know about How to beat Malzahar as Katarina in a simple and easy to follow way.

Are you a Katarina main and struggling versus Malzahar? Look no further this guide will help you win this match up.

My articles are comprehensive and very specific with information that lasts across versions of the game. My goal is to help you climb in League of Legends and win more games.

I have been playing League of Legends Summoners rift since season 7. During that time I have played all roles of the game with particular focus mid and top. I have been able to easily reach high gold elo since the beginning of playing the game and have peaked to Platinum in several seasons. I have played in NA, EUW and EUNE servers. My main account is in EUW. I’m a Malzahar main that peaked at top 300 Malzahar world so I know the champion fairly well.

You can find more information on Katarina and his abilities here and for Malzahar here or one of the many articles which I’ve written about him on my blog here.

What Items to build as Katarina vs Malzahar

The item build for Katarina is not as important as how you play versus Malzahar. What we will cover below is a generic build that works well versus squishy mages and it’s more geared towards a one shot build style. Having said that we will be putting a lot more focus on when and how you should be buying each item as those depend a lot on how Malzahar is playing against you.

How to beat Malzahar as Katarina
What Items to build as Katarina vs Malzahar

Dark Seal/Doran Ring: Both of these options are good starts if you feel confident go for the dark seal as you’d be able to snowball easier.

Nashor’s Tooth: This item is a must in my opinion because of the attack passive which allows you to kill Malzahar easier

Hextech Rocketbelt: This is a good item in Katerina but not so great versus Malzahar if you want to play more of a roam style buy it

Sorcerers boots: Get this as you need to be dealing as much damage as you can

Zhonya Hourglass: Survivability which you need if you are ulting and the enemy team is about to cc and lock you down also it mitigates some of his burn effects which may kill you

Lich Bane / Deathcap: If you are ahead in the game both of these items are great the Lich bane gives you more one shot power whereas the deathcap gives you more damage in general.

What Runes to select as Katarina vs Malzahar

Similar to the item build the Rune set is not as important when laning against Malzahar. The below page is optimized towards a one shot build as this is how you basically counter him by killing when you have an opening. I recommend a few alternatives in your build path in case you fall behind or you want to be a bit more careful in your gameplay.

How to beat Malzahar as Katarina
What Runes to select as Katarina vs Malzahar

Electrocute: This is probably your bread and butter to amplify your damage as Katarina is very good at landing 3 separate attacks on his target and procing the rune to deal the extra damage so I think it’s a one way street to select it.

Sudden Impact: For the lack of something better Sudden Impact is not very helpful versus Malzahar but it’s the best choice of the other two.

Ravenous Hunter: Since you are a snowball champion and your survivability relies entirely on your items and healing this is a must for Katarina. If you are confident you can also go with rentless hunter to be able to chase down targets and escape faster.

Presence of mind / Triumph: Since Katarina is a 1v5 champion both Presence of Mind which gives you more energy or Triumph work here. If you need the extra healing go with Triumph it may just help you survive a tower dive but if you want to play safer go with presence of mind to increase your energy pool.

Coup De Grace: This is one of the most important runes for Katarina because she can secure those low health targets with the percent damage it deals. Also if you are cleaning up from a team fight you can kill easier those low health enemy champions.

For bonuses select the two offense ones and magic resist or armor depending on what mid laner you are facing.

How to lane Early as Katarina vs Malzahar

Early laning versus Malzahar as Katarina is one of the most important parts of how your game will unfold versus him. As you already know Malzahar is a mage that basically counters assasins after he reaches level 6. As you attack him his all in with his ultimate qwe combo counters you pretty hard.

The one thing you need to start doing is throwing your dagger next to him and on every opportunity you get go and attack him. If Malzahar trades with you he will eventually run out of mana and won’t be able to farm. Use your pots to sustain out his initial E’s if he uses them on you and then when he gets low enough all in him with ignite. He will not be able to respond to your early damage and farm at the same time. So take advantage of the fact that you are not mana reliant and can stay in lane longer. If you have too start with doran shield and pot or get pots and boots.

If Malzahar plays safe and passive in lane this is where you need to start looking for opportunities to roam and help your jungle or your top and bot lane. If you see one of them overextended sacrifise some farm and go for the kills. Any kill at this early stage will give you an initial advantage and you can use it to snowball. If there’s no neither opportunities open then play the wait game and look for over extensions from Malzahar or mistakes. Generally you are pretty safe until he hits level 6 and this is where the tides change and he has an advantage over you.

How to play in Mid game as Katarina vs Malzahar

On your first back try to buy snowball items if you have a kill or two if you do not go ahead with the build mentioned above. Katerina in general is a roaming champion and always gears towards high kill participation as this is her bread and butter. How you play this will depend on the following factors:

  • Is the enemy team full of tanks/bruisers – Focus more on attacking bot lane and the jungler or any other squishy champion. If Malzahar is playing far behind and safe ignore the lane try to clear the waves and move to other lanes.
  • Is your enemy full of squishy targets – Start roaming wherever the lanes are over extended and try to secure some kills. Not getting the kill is fine for example getting ahead your bot lane could also drastically help your team or helping your jungle win a 1v1.
  • Malzahar is playing safe and most lanes are not pushed – Focus on farming and helping secure objectives such as dragon, herald, baron and helping push lanes. This last scenario is not great for you as you will be basically playing Katerina against what she’s designed to do and one shot squishies.

How to fight as Katarina vs Malzahar late game

Late game is fairly similar to mid game with one more difference, this is team fighting and it’s your time to shine. Katarina has a quick ability reset which helps you kill targets. If Malzahar is focusing you in the team fights and he will ult you invest on a quicksilver shash (QSS) item. I know this may not be ideal for your build but it gives you some protection and allows you to continue doing your job in team fights. Plus your high damage output will not be impacted greatly with one defensive item only so don’t be too concerned about it. After all this is a guide on how to beat Malzahar as Katarina and team fighting is more of a general concept on how to play Katarina.

One thing to note for late game is if Malzahar is split pushing. This is starting to become a lot of trend lately (I do it successfully). If Malzahar is doing this it will be hard to stop him directly unless you have already a QSS. If you do then you can try to all in him. Try to have ignite up before you go in and if possible try to dodge his q as it will temporarily slow you down and damage you. The best time to ultimate Malzahar as Katarina is when he uses his void swarm as your ultimate basically will kill the entire swarm for you.

Once you have your full damage output and have a Zhonya Hourglass try to use it towards the end of the fight to mitigate some of his burn item abilities which could actually kill you. Even though may seem as a detail it actually could make the difference between dying or staying alive. Another way around it is to heal from killing some champions or even a combination of both of the above.


If you found How to beat Malzahar as Katarina useful and you think it may have helped you please drop me a cheer below I would appreciate it.

My personal favorite when I am playing against Malzahar as Katarina is to poke him with my dagger to remove his passive.

If you have any questions, comments please post them below I check periodically and try to answer them in the priority they come in.
Also if you have any corrections please do let me know and I’ll update the article with new updates or mistakes I did.

What strategy you like to use against Malzahar as Katarina?

I have written similar articles on Malzahar which you can find below and give you insights on how to beat him.

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