Unbreakable Catherine - A Comprehensive Guide to a Versatile Catherine by Thorin

Unbreakable Catherine - A Comprehensive Guide to a Versatile Catherine

By: Thorin
Last Updated: May 23, 2015
265 Votes
Build 1 of 1

Catherine

Build: Unbreakable

Ability Path

Captain of the Guard
Heroic Perk
Merciless Pursuit
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Stormguard
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Blast Tremor
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Threat Meter

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Hero Notes
1
  No Threat
2
Catherine A Catherine vs Catherine scenario should ordinarily not happen cause you should be focusing on the opposing team's damage dealers and not her. Even if it comes down to it, you will always tend to have the upper hand, given that you've built her to tank and dish out good damage.
3
Glaive Catherine exists to make his life a living hell, especially weapon Glaive. Her shield would reflect off most of Glaive's hits and even when her shield is down, her armor can withstand a good onslaught from Glaive.
3
Ringo Good Ringo players will always try and keep their distance from you. However even at good range his auto attacks and skills aren't as dangerous to you as they would be to your allies. His Hellfire brew gets completely countered by your shield, one stun is usually all it takes to bring him down in team fights.
3
SAW Like Glaive, a SAW can have quite a diffcult time with you as long as your shield is up. However he can plow you down if he activates his mad canon whike your shield is down, don't take him for granted.
4
Joule Being a good tank herself, Joule can stand upto Catherine if she is able to constantly zap you with her thunder strike. The key is to dance around her and make her miss once. Your shield can be very dangerous for her and her allies if it is activated when she fires her lazer beam at you.
4
Koshka Watch out for Koshka, especially early game to mid game. Good Koshka players will target you, burst you down and stick to you when they have the advantage.
5
Adagio Adagio's heal and his damage buff skill do small ticks of damage that doesn't reflect off Catherine's shield. Attack speed weapon builds can also plow her down easily before she can reach him, given Adagio's good range. In team fights try and preserve your stun to cancel out his ultimate.
5
Taka Good Taka players are oppurtunists, they will wait for your shield to go doen before they try and attempt to burst you. His constant crit damage can also be a pain to deal witn.
6
Krul A smartly built Krul's autoattacks won't reflect off your shield and the CP reducing debuff csn be dangerous for you, given how crystal intensive your build is. Try to take him out fast with the help of your team mates, with you initiating with your stun.
6
Petal Petal's good auto attack range makes it a pain to approach her. Her munions too deal small ticks over damage over time which doesn't get negated or reflected by her shield.
7
  No Threat
8
  No Threat
9
  No Threat
10
  No Threat

Introduction Top

Table of Contents
1.Introduction
2.Skill Set
3.Roles
4.Build & Strategy
5.Conclusion
Catherine is a versatile melee hero who excels at being a mobile front line fighter, locking her enemies down and disrupting them given her impressive ability kit. Her natural tankiness coupled with her abilities also makes her one of the best initiators in the game.With the right items and play style, she can become an even better initiator with good support capabilities and potential to become a strong late game semi-carry. She is a formidable foe who can turn the tide of battles and is always a great asset to any team.
This guide is aimed at trying to maximize the potential of all the viable roles she can play while meshing them together so that she provides the maximum utility possible in any team, which so far in my experience has always led to the best results. I will be explaining things through in detail, however if you wish for a small summary, you can to straight for the conclusion from the index on the left.

Skill Set Top

Now that we have got a gist of what Catherine is all about, let us have a look at the arsenal she brings to the Fold.

{$ability.display_name}
Slot: Heroic Perk

Catherine gains 2 armor & shield every time she stuns or silences an enemy hero with her abilities.
STATS LEVEL 1-12
HEALTH
772 - 1509
ARMOR
25 - 80
ENERGY
200 - 464
SHIELD
25 - 113
WEAPON
74 - 141
RANGE
15
ATTACK SPEED
100% - 136%
MOVESPEED
3.4

This perk contributes to you being a bane to all weapon carries. The play-style and item build suggested also aims to ensure you stack up as much as armor as possible throughout the game so as to get the most out of this perk. Catherine also has an above average armor and shield protection as she levels up, as shown above which makes her difficult to deal with even for burst damage/crystal heavy heroes.

Merciless Pursuit
Slot: A

Catherine gains a burst of move speed for 1.5 seconds. Her next basic attack is replaced by a powerful stun attack. Resets basic attack cooldown on activation.
STATS
LVL 1
LVL 2
LVL 3
LVL 4
LVL 5
CP Ratio
WP Ratio
COOLDOWN
13
13
13
13
13
-
-
ENERGY COST
40
50
60
70
100
-
-
BONUS DAMAGE
10
50
90
130
170
100%
-
STUN DURATION
0.75
0.90
1.05
1.20
1.75
-
-

Catherine's signature skill, which also happens to be the most reliable lockdown/stun ability in the game as of now. Your judgement regarding its use, the target you choose while initiating team fights and your preciseness with this skill will usually determine how good of a Catherine player you are.

Besides initiating team fights, this skill has several other uses like running down a fleeing enemy, escaping enemies using the initial speed burst, stunning enemies on scout traps, stunning enemies from using/completing their abilities etc. more on which I will explain as we go on. I always put all my five points in this skill as you can see the stun duration has quite a big increase (0.5 seconds) at level 5.

Stormguard
Slot: B

Activates a pulsating bubble that burns nearby enemies and deflects damage above 77 (+7 per level) to nearby enemies. Each deflection reduces the shield duration by 0.5 second.
STATS
LVL 1
LVL 2
LVL 3
LVL 4
LVL 5
CP Ratio
WP Ratio
COOLDOWN
8
7
6
5
4
-
-
ENERGY COST
40
50
60
70
80
-
-
DURATION
6
6
6
6
6
-
-
DAMAGE/SEC
35
37
39
41
83
23%
-

This is the skill that most contributes to your Tank role. You will be using this skill in all your team fights. A good combo would be to glide into middle of the opposing team with your merciless pursuit and instantly activate your shield to start burning your opponents down and deflecting/absorbing all incoming damage.

Catherine can be quite vulnerable when her shield is down and on cooldown as her natural tank attributes wouldn't be able to hold up well against the opposing onslaught. This can be minimized however, much of which I will discuss when we go deeper into the roles she plays. I tend to put four points into this skill as the main benefit over levels is the damage/sec increase with the duration remaining the same throughout.

Blast Tremor
Slot: C

Catherine slams the ground, damaging & silencing enemies in a large cone in front of her.
STATS
LVL 1
LVL 2
LVL 3
CP Ratio
WP Ratio
COOLDOWN
105
85
65
-
-
ENERGY COST
95
135
175
-
-
DAMAGE
370
495
620
130%
-
SILENCE DURATION
2.5
3
3.5
-
-
RANGE
11
11
11
-
-

Catherine's other signature skill that is both quite disorienting and damaging. The silence of this skill (which prevents the opposing team from using their abilities for a set amount of time) is what that makes this skill a deadly initiating move. The usage of this skill also requires good judgement and preciseness, even more so than the Merciless Pursuit, given its long cool down. Its decent range can also be made good use off to kill fleeing enemies on the brink of death.

I always put all three points in this skill as and when it becomes available to upgrade. Not only does it increase the damage over levels exponentially ( even more so with crystal items, given its high crystal damage ratio), it increases the Silence duration too which could always be the difference between getting an upper hand in team fights or retreating.

Roles Top

Now that we have gone through her kit, we can now see how these abilities mesh with the item build recommended and how their synergies allow her to play various roles, as and when the situation demands.

A.Initiator/Disabler

Initiators are heroes who can safely and advantageously start a team fight. They are typically durable and have strong area of effect damage or disable or some ability to affect the positioning of the enemy team. Thus given Catherine's kit, she is a perfect initiator with her Merciless Pursuit and Blast Tremor. This role, I feel along with Support is one of the more crucial roles for her, as her effectiveness in these roles will usually determine the outcome of the match. Knowing when to initiate, when not to requires good analysis and judgement beforehand, all of which must be processed in your mind in seconds. Though a lot of this is best learnt with experience, following some general rules will help make your initiation game better.

General Rules of Initiation during team fights
  • Try and be as accurate as possible with both your stun and silence. Always ensure you land your stun with proper timing and positioning. Always ensure that atleast two members of the opposing team are silenced, if not all three with your Blast Tremor during team fights.
  • Always initiate during the instances and at locations where you outnumber the opponent ( 3 vs 2 or 2 vs 1 ganks), but only after you ensure yourself that the third or the other two team mates aren't hiding somewhere close. During 3 vs 3 or 2 vs 2 ganks, always ensure you are in a tactically advantageous position while initiating. Be patient and don't rush. You're like a tiger on the prowl waiting for a weak-spot to be revealed and the perfect opportunity to pounce. There will always be something that you can take advantage of, like imperfect team positioning, a SAW using his suppressive fire on lane, unaware that you are close,a Koshka overextending with her speed boost, the opposing team hiding in the brushes unaware that a mine close by is revealing them etc. Ensure you have some advantage over the other team before initiating so as to win the team fight.
  • Always target and lock down the carry of the opposing team or rather the one who deals the most damage and has highest number of kills while initiating. It may not always be possible as smart players will usually distance themselves away if they are playing the heavy hitters, in which case focus on their semi-carry while keeping a close eye on the carry. As soon the enemy carry starts wrecking things up or moves to a tactically advantageous position for you, immediately focus on him.
    Sometimes this strategy can be counter-productive if the enemy carry intentionally stays further away from his team mates, making you overextend which can make both your allies and yourself very vulnerable. Flares are your best friends in situations like this.
  • Many a time, the opposing team will have a Catherine of their own who may try and face check in between brushes where you and your teammates would be waiting for an ambush. She may also intentionally run into you, which would prompt both you and your mates to attack and waste all your skills on her. Do not fall for this trap. As she distracts you, both her team mates would take out your damage dealers before they can react, since their skills would be on cooldown. In situations like this, flare up, completely ignore the opposing Catherine and rush towards their Carry along with your allies or retreat further back if you feel they are in a more tactically advantageous position.
Following these will generally give the best results but more often than not, your judgement on how to react to situations will play a much more important role as the match progresses on.

Thus given how important Catherine's initiation role is, I go with the item that best augments her initiation game - Clockwork , as the her first Tier 3 item. Not only does it give a decent enough crystal power damage boost but it also gives a 50% Cooldown Acceleration (CDA) which is the highest any single item can provide. It allows for both your stun and shield to be usable atleast twice in most team fights which can be incredibly useful for shifting the fight in your favor.

B.Support

Given that Catherine is the most gold and exp independent hero in the game, she can play a great support role. Her purpose here is to keep her allies alive and give them opportunities to earn more gold and experience. Though her Blast Tremor plays a supporting role in disabling enemy abilities, the crux of her support skills comes from two items in this build, which are Fountain of Renewaland Crucible. As a support, you should allow your ally jungler majority of the farm; starting off with an ironguard contract will ensure you get enough gold too.

Once you finish building clockwork, rush to complete the Fountain of Renewal from the Lifespring. In team-fights the order and usage of the two actives from the Fountain and Crucible is extremely crucial. The Fountain is a little tricky to use as it heals better the lower the target's health. So ordinarily you would have to wait till either you or your allies are at low health levels to activate it for the best effect but if you wait too long it can result your or your allies death. It is to be used prudently. The crucible, comparatively is easier to use as it used used mainly to block single, high damaging area of effect abilities like Adagios' Verse of Judgment, Ringo's HellFire Brew or SAW's Mad Cannon along with normal sources of damage. Avoid triggering it too early in team fights as you only get to use it once every fight. Studying your opponents' main damage dealer's attack pattern is key to successfully using it.

C.Tank

Catherine's above average armor and shield values, her heroic perk and stormguard skill makes her a durable front line fighter who can 'tank' or absorb incoming enemy damage for her team mates. The Clockwork we got early on as our first tier 3 item, further enhances her tanking capabilities as she can use her stun more frequently to stack up more armor than usual. The Fountain of Renewal, we got as her second tier 3 item, further augments this with a good amount of health, health regeneration, shield and armor, along with a powerful active heal.

What truly makes Catherine an indestructible force in team fights however is the next item we will be focusing on, which is the Eve of Harvest. This item has great synergy with her all her abilities, but mainly her shield due to the 25% crystal damage lifesteal. Activating her shield with this item in the midst of enemies will actually start healing her, keeping her health intact for as long as the shield is up. It must be noted however that an Eve of Harvest by itself wouldn't be able to provide sufficient damage to lifesteal effectively, unless there is another crystal damage source available. This is where crystal damage from the Clockwork we bought earlier becomes very relevant and helpful. It ensures that the damage is high enough to maintain a significant level of crystal lifesteal.

D.Roamer

As a Roamer, your main goal is to gain as much map control as possible through various phases of the game. Catherine's high mobility and tankiness allows her to slip into enemy territory to face check or to gain vision and then slip out safely. Your main map control tools are going to be the Scout Trap and Flare Gun with the traps being preferable early to mid game. Keep checking your mini map time to time for gank opportunities with the vision both the mines and flares provide. In the picture below, I have marked out the areas where it would be most beneficial placing scout traps assuming you would be starting off from the left side of the map.



The ones marked as "A" are the most important. Both you and your jungler ally should try and fill in these areas with traps as and when possible to maintain the edge over the other team. It will be easy to quickly spot enemy heroes who stray too far away from their team mates, allowing for some early kills. The areas marked as "B" and "C" are places where you can place traps after you have successfully invaded their jungle and stole their creeps.

Capturing and holding both the gold mine and minion mines are key to your Roaming role. Use the vision you gain from the traps to your advantage to capture them and hold. Assisting your team mate who lanes with either defending your turret, stunning enemies who move in too close for comfort and pushing the lane are also important for successful roaming play.

E.Semi-Carry

Although situational and least important of all her roles, Catherine can rise to become a very effective semi-carry late game, when the need arises. This is because of her survivability and the crystal damage we have accumulated so far, which we will be supplementing with an Aftershock, bringing with it additional crystal power and a powerful passive ability.

Aftershock is preferable late game as its slice damage passive is most effective when Catherine reaches level 12, where the damage percentage would be at its maximum : 20 %. The passive effectively slices off the said percentage of the target's health when you perform an auto-attack right after activating an ability while also life-stealing half of that damage back. Thus as you can see, the combination of Crystal Power (125) augmented abilities coupled with an aftershock can make her dish out a good amount of damage.

Though the slice damage is reduced by shield values, it would still be a more reliable source of damage when the opposing team has completed building their defense items. Aftershock also procs automatically when you use your Stun and its life steal component has great synergy with Eve of Harvest. The extra 25% CDA is a nice perk.

To dish out the maximum damage in team fights, try and leave two second intervals between abilities so as to stay outside of the cooldown range of the slice passive. This may not always be feasible however as 2 seconds can sometimes be the difference between winning or losing a fight, so be careful to execute it wisely.

Most players will always counter build based on the damage source of your carry completely ignoring what you would build. Thus even if your carry gets countered or falls off late game, you can still step in and carry your team to victory, use your enemy's ignorance to your advantage!

Build & Strategy Top

Now that we have seen what Catherine's roles are and how her abilities and the items suggested contributes to them, lets see how to put it all to action!

Early Game

Start off with your first ability point on your shield, an ironguard's contract and 4 halycon potion and make your way to the jungle minions. Head straight for the minion camps at middle and begin by attacking the ones on the enemy side, pulling them to the brush next to the jungle shop if required, to avoid being seen. A nice way to clear the minions faster is by attacking the larger one first and immediately activating your shield. By the time you are done with the larger minion, the burn damage of your shield would have killed the smaller one , or atleast reduced it health to minimal. Repeat this for the lower minion camp on your side, by doing so you would effectively clear both camps in the time you would otherwise take to clear one. To pull this off, it is important to reach the camps before the 45 second mark (the jungle mine spawn time). If for whatsoever reason you are unable to do so, it is best to play safely and start clearing the camps on your side. By the time you clear the lower camps , your ally jungler would be done with the three camps on your side. If not, head over to to assist them in clearing it, but make sure you allow them the last hit.

With your camps cleared you can now try and attempt to invade the enemy jungle. Get your next tier 1 item, the Energy Battery and use the left over gold to buy some mines. Place them in the areas suggested in the Roaming Role topic above and use their vision and the damage to your advantage to push the enemy out of their jungle to steal their minions. An efficient way to do this is both you and your ally attacking the same minions with you again allowing your ally the last hit for most of them while take some of them for yourself too. While invading always keep an eye on the lane in the minimap, if you see the enemy hero missing there, it is most likely he is on this way to help his team mates push back. In scenarios like this, either pull back or ping your lane ally to come and assist you depending on how tactically advantageous the situation is for you. If you have mines on you while engaging in early team fights, drop them in midst of your enemies to deal good AOE damage. You could also lead them to already planted mines and stun them as soon as they reach there. Leaving mines on your escape route will also help slow them down. If you step on an enemy mine, immediately activate your shield negate the damage and have it reflect onto your opponents.

Continue building up your items in the listed order, going with the Crystal Bit next. Again, use the spare gold to buy traps and replace them in the areas where the previous ones have blown off. Continue restocking your mines as you progress your way up with your items, till all your item slots are filled with tier 1 items suggested above, your last item being the lifespring, the sole tier 2 item. Capture the minion mine on your side and ensure you have vision over the gold mine as it spawns.

Mid Game

This build methodology helps Catherine to be as versatile and effective as possible early game going with our "meshing all roles together" philosophy, while also providing extreme flexibility in choosing the first tier 3 item without compromising on her other facets. The combination of good energy, CDA, damage, speed, health and energy regen can make her a very formidable foe to encounter. However, going this route would mean you wouldn't be able to restock your traps or potions for a while. This would ideally be the best time where you ally jungler could help with the replacing the traps till you complete one tier 3 item.

It is best to first rush and finish off Clockwork so as enhance your initiation game. Once done, restock and replace the traps again and then move on to the Fountain of Renewal from the Lifespring and then work towards getting your tier 2 boots and Eve of Harvest. You can sell your ironguard's contract at this point to make room for building The Crucible.

In this phase, the focus would be on pushing the lane, securing objectives and invading the opposing team's jungle. Use the superior vision from the mines to your advantage to secure and defend the gold mine. When you are ready to push the lane, capture the minion mine on their side.

Late Game

This phase is all about your initiation game. You will lead your allies through, initiating on the right targets and using your judgement to avoid potential baits and traps. Before you get Aftershock, stock up on flares to avoid running into ambushes. Start building Aftershock only if you are reasonably convinced that even if the enemy team gets the first move on your team, you'd still be able to hold them off as you won't have an option to flare up later. Flare guns are preferable to mines at this stage as most of the other team would have build boots which would be make it easy for them to dodge the blast. Placing a trap over at the Kraken spawn point helps, preferably at a place where it would't get triggered. Catherine is great at tanking the Kraken and helping capture it with decent damage, especially the slice damage passive. She is also very capable of stealing it from the enemies with careful play and proper timing of her Blast Tremor. If you find yourself at the receiving end and are down to your last two towers, get a Crystal Infusion and use its temporary stat boost and buffs to try and push back. Infusions are also great items when you get a good advantage over the enemy team early on and you and your team is going for a final push to win the game.

If you have made it so far with all of her build, you should either be doing good quite or both you and the opposing team would be on equal standing where it would then boil down to who has the better team synergy. Thus experience is always going to be your best teacher. Analyze every match you complete, both wins and loses, always look for ways you could improve on and better your gameplay and soon enough you'd become and unstoppable force in the Halycon Fold.

Conclusion Top

To summarize, Catherine is a versatile and flexible front line hero, her ability kit and item build allows her to play various roles.
  • As an Initiator, Catherine's job is to strategically initiate fights and locking down the main damage dealer of the opposing team.
  • As a Support, she should assist her ally in the jungle to farm and protect the team during ganks with the Fountain of Renewal and Crucible.
  • As a Tank, Catherine must always be at the frontline of combat, taking damage from the opposing team or objectives like the Kraken, so that her allies can focus on killing them without having to worry about damage mitigation themselves.
  • As a Roamer, she must help maintaining map control using traps and flares, capturing the jungle objectives and pushing the lane.
  • As a Semi-Carry, Catherine can rise the occasion to push her team to victory if the main damage dealer's effectiveness wears off or if they get countered.

Following the item build suggested ensures you are are well equipped to perform your roles, prioritizing based on their importance. If you observe closely, you would notice that each and every one of the final tier item suggested contributes to atleast two or more of your roles. This is why I tend to avoid items like warhorn and Tension Bow. Though these items are individually great items to have on her, they don't synergize well with the other items and her overall versitality, atleast not as well as the items suggested.

On an end note, Catherine's biggest strength will and always be her flexibility. This is just one of the many builds and playstyles for her which I personally found effective over most others. The key is always to build according to the needs of your team and ensuring that it works well for you. I hope this guide helped you gain some insight on Catherine, do let me know your feedback below. Good luck and hope to see you all in the Fold!

x-x

Special Thanks to Sixx for helping me with a lot of the codes, editing and proof reading.

Special Thanks to CarryPotter for proof reading, initial feedback and the wonderful drawing she made for this guide, which you would have seen at the top.

Special Thanks to Mowen for helping me with advanced codes.

Special Thanks to PartyGod for proof reading and initial feedback.

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