Catherine: Builds, Playstyle, and Discussion

“Calm down, no rush.”

Welcome to the forum-built introduction to Catherine, part of our #guides series! If you’re new to Catherine and would like an overview, you’re in the right place! You’ll find builds, playstyle tips, and other resources by clicking the links below.


If you’d like to contribute, please do! These posts are wikis that forum members can edit. Post your builds and playstyle tips! But don’t make it too detailed. The goal is a quick, easy-to-browse overview for players who are new to this hero. You may want to check out our other hero #guides for examples!

This thread is also for discussion, so feel free to reply with comments and questions about Catherine and the builds and tips posted here.

Catherine Builds

Bubble Bum :vgroles_captain:

_:vgitem_fountainofrenewal: :vgitem_clockwork: :vgitem_aftershock: :vgitem_journeyboots:

_:vgitem_atlaspauldron: :vgitem_crucible:

Hit and Run

Hit and Run. With this build you want to be in quick skirmishes. Body block skill shots or high AA when your bubble is up then when its down follow up with a stun. Be wary of Petal and Skye, they will go right through your bubble while rarely procking a reflection. Rush Renewal then work towards a clockwork. Finally always be 100% about your decision. If you are going to fight make sure you are point blank so even your bubble can activate clockworks effect; if your running ping it and get out of there. (Note that bubble reflects will refresh journey boots)

added by @Geenmen, update 4.2

CAPTAIN OF THE GUARD :vgroles_captain:

Catherine is my favorite hero and I believe she is extremely under-rated. Having played and experimented countless rankesd matches with Yates, Ardan, Phinn, Lyra, Lorelai - you name it, I personally believe Catherine belongs in the conversation as one of the very best captains.

CORE: :vgitem_fountainofrenewal: - :vgitem_wartreads: - :vgitem_rooksdecree:/:vgitem_crucible: - :vgitem_clockwork:

Notes on CORE items

A :vgitem_fountainofrenewal: should be the first T3 item on every captain in almost every sitatuon. :vgitem_wartreads: should be next. It helps your allies engage for early kills, and to get out of sticky situations. IMO, as a Captain main, I also feel that :vgitem_wartreads: should be the second T3 item for captains. :vgitem_rooksdecree: provides a nice armor/shield boost to go along with your perk increasing and the slight cooldown reduction is useful. Obviosuly, the barrier it provides is the best part, as Catherine is constantly in the fray, applying her abilities and attacking her opponents.

:vgitem_clockwork: IS A MUST AS A :vgroles_captain: CATHERINE! I can’t stress that enough, and from my experience, it’s usually my 4th T3 item. By this time in the game, there are way more team fights happening, my energy is starting to dwindle, and a Catherine with no energy is useless. This can happen often without a :vgitem_clockwork:. Additionally, having your abilities available to you faster is critical to being more effective especially on Sovereign’s Rise (5v5).

SITUATIONAL: :vgitem_crucible:/:vgitem_rooksdecree: - :vgitem_atlaspauldron: - :vgitem_superscout2000:/:vgitem_contraption: - :vgitem_stormcrown: - :vgitem_aftershock:

Notes on SITUATIONAL items

:vgitem_crucible: - you’re probably wondering to yourself, “what is he smoking!?”. I believe that it’s a situational item in general, moreso on the 3v3 playing field than the 5v5. If the opposing teams don’t have much CC, and you’re already providing barriers with your :vgitem_rooksdecree:, I believe the added armor/shield and 5% cooldown outweighs the 70s cooldown reflex block it provides. With all of this said, if more defense is what your team needs (and thus you’re foregoing getting :vgitem_stormcrown: or :vgitem_aftershock:, and the enemy team has pretty oppressive CC, then :vgitem_crucible: MUST be your third tier 3 item OVER :vgitem_rooksdecree:. :vgitem_clockwork: must still come 4th, before your :vgitem_rooksdecree:, vision item, or whatevef you may want next.
:vgitem_atlaspauldron: - this becomes almost a core item if the enemy team has heroes where there kit relies on attack speed. In a 5v5 game, if the enemy team has two or more heroes where this is the case, do your team a favor and get it. You may even want it as your third T3 item.
:vgitem_superscout2000:/:vgitem_contraption: - check in with your teammates. Study the flow of the game. If your frequent dropping of :vgitem_consumable_scouttrap: in 3v3 hasn’t done the trick, and your team feels vision is a prioity, get vision. If in the 5v5 game, your team continues to face check brushes, or just doesn’t seem to have a grasp on the enemy’s patterns, get vision. At lower elo play, I do recommend vision. At higher elo play, hopefully your teammates are more aware of common and predictable patterns in the game.
:vgitem_aftershock: - I love aftershock and try to get it whenever I can on Catherine. It provides a good boost in damage and pairs well with her Merciless Pursuit (A). It helps you out-duel the opposing captain. You can also take down some enemy carries 1v1 with it in your back pocket as your B reflects their damage, and your A keeps them within reach. However, if a lot of the above scenarios are really weighing your team down, your team doesn’t need their captain to deal damage. They need the support/utility the other items provide.

:vgitem_stormcrown: - probably the least purchased item as a Captain Catherine in my opinion, but I still put in in here. Vainglory is all about capturing objectives. With the Kraken now spawning on the 12 minute mark, and the importance of Ghoswting and Blackclaw, especially late game, having a second or third hero on your team with :vgitem_stormcrown: can help take and clear the objectives extremely fast. The added cooldown buff is nice. This is the last item you should buy, and it should be bought with the intention of helping your team take objectives if you feel that is something you’re struggling with.

For more information about me, my history and love affair with Catherine, and on playing Catherine effectively as a captain, please read my contributions to the Catherine Playstyle Tips

added by @Lebatron, update 4.2

HUNTRESS OF THE GUARD :vgroles_carry: :vgroles_carry_top:

I am very excited to share my CP top Catherine build with you all! I have SO much fun playing this role with Catherine, and while my game sample size in this role is far smaller than playing her as a captain, my win rate is extremely high in this situational role. I’d argue it’s over 75%!

Disclaimer: this is a situational role. You need to be a patient player. You need to focus on CS. You need to be OK with fighting by your tower. This is not “META”, but it is certainly not a troll build if you practice it first, study it, and try your best. Catherine has decent base stats (as do most captains) that allow her to be very effective at containing the enemy’s bot laner.

FULL BUILD: :vgitem_journeyboots: - :vgitem_stormcrown: - :vgitem_aftershock: - :vgitem_eveofharvest: - :vgitem_pulseweave: - :vgitem_brokenmyth:


:vgitem_journeyboots: - with Catherine’s new and improved 4.1 base move speed, the importance for you to stay with your enemy to keep applying damge (in addition to the reflected damge) of B, and to keep stopping an enemy in their tracks with A, this is a must as a Catherine carry. This should be your first T3 item. (NOTE: :vgitem_t2_stormguardbanner: should be your starting item!)

:vgitem_stormcrown: - this is helpful for clearning your healing camp, helping to take objectives, providing a little boost to your basic attacks against opponents, and giving you a much-needed cooldown boost to your abilities. The health boost is great as well to make you a tanky/tough and bruising laner. This is stypically by 2nd T3 item. Partly for the added dmg vs :vgitem_t2_stormguardbanner: but primarily for the cooldown.

:vgitem_aftershock: - same as above, except it’s better. 10% of an enemy’s health is 10%. I find the “tip” in-game to be misleading. I feel it makes players think it’s only good for fighting heroes with high HP. Again, 10% is 10%! It’s a good boost of damage against any hero. Couple that with beginning to scale your CP abilities, and providing more burst alongside your :vgitem_stormcrown:, and it’s my 3rd T3 item.

:vgitem_eveofharvest: - NECESSARY. You NEED that huge energy boost and recharge. This also provides great sustain. If you’re used to playing Catherine as the tanky, beastly captain that she is, you can drop quickly as a laner. This helps to counter that. Especially if you need to clear a large wave, but you’re nervous of vulnerability your current remaining health presents - pop your B, and begin to farm glorious amounts of gold and watch as your health bar quickly replenishes.

:vgitem_pulseweave: - Gives Catherine another boost to her HP, giving her a small feel of her inherent captain ways, it also allows Catherine to be arguably the fastest hero in your game. When it’s activated, you now have a window to provide some significant burst damage between :vgitem_aftershock:, :vgitem_stormcrown:, and now :vgitem_pulseweave:! You’re now a huntress! Go get 'em!

:vgitem_brokenmyth: - help your more powerful, damage-dealing mid laner! Dive in there, engage, give some burst, and apply some shield pierce! Catherine doesn’t need loads of CP as her abilities have decent base stats and pretty good scailing.

EARLY GAME: :vgitem_t2_stormguardbanner: --> :vgitem_journeyboots: --> :vgitem_stormcrown:
MID GAME: :vgitem_t2_voidbattery: --> :vgitem_t2_chronograph:–> :vgitem_aftershock: --> :vgitem_eveofharvest:
LATE GAME : :vgitem_pulseweave: --> :vgitem_brokenmyth:

I hope you find this build fun, entertaining, unique, powerful, and surprisngly effective in your ranked 5v5 games. I have not tried this build as a carry or jungle in the 3v3 map yet. I recommend this strictly for top lane in the 5v5.

For more about me, my history and love affair with Catherine, and for general playstyle tips with Caterine, please read my contributions to the Catherine Playstyle Tips page!

added by @Lebatron, update 4.2

add more builds here

Catherine Playstyle Tips

As a Cath your not the tankiest Caption, not by a long shot. However you are one of the most versitile. Stay away from sustained fights, although you could come out ontop its better for you to move in and out of fights. When using your stun try to use it on heroes who really on a “specific moment” to make an impact: IE Anka is reliant on her making her A’s time limit to deal massive damage so deal with it accordingly.
The Bubble is yours best friend also. Dont just spam it, time it. Make sure you dont waste it on a weak poke that would go through it anyway. With good reflections you can even do enough damage to kill an enemy hero. (RIP CP saw) Side note on the bubble; it is a great help for clearing lane when you need to pick up after your dead laner as its passive damage works on minions without setting off a reflect.
Lastly your ult, how you use it is up to your own playstyle that you build, personally i almost always miss the timing of the ult during team fights, so instead i use it as an initiator or to build stacks when 2 or more enemies are near each other. Worst comes to worst you use it to quickly clear the lane and stop a push. _

added by @Geenmen, update 4.2

Captain of the Guard (Perk): I will respectfully disagree with the wonderful @Geenmen in regards to Catherine’s tanky capabilities. Catherine’s perk can rapidly increase through the mid and late stages of the game. In the early game (first 5-10 minutes) I always have the goal of increasing the perk by 2.5/60 seconds. It’s easy to do so as :vgroles_captain:. Just be careful you have a teammate with you, or if not, you have a decent amount of health left, are aware of enemy positions on the map, and don’t have too much distance to reach your target. Get that perk up and you will be a TANK with items like :vgitem_fountainofrenewal:, :vgitem_rooksdecree:, (which should be staples for Catherine) and :vgitem_atlaspauldron:.

Merciless Pursuit (A): aside from getting your perk up, it is a great way to turn team fights in your favor. This especially works well with heroes like Celeste, Glaive, Ylva, and Malene. While in 5v5 you’re only stunning 20% of the enemy team, it’s a great way to pick off an enemy who’s out of position, or to make one become out of position. You’re not only pursuing carries. Often, using it on the enemy :vgroles_captain: is best. It’s great for interrupting Adagio’s and Grace’s ultimate, for example. As with any hero, mastering Catherine’s abilities takes practice. Her A is both a great counter and a great initiator in team fights. An enemy Ylva, Glaive, Alpha, Rona, Reza, etc dives in, stun it. Closing in on your opponents, or tired of that pesky Samuel, Skye, or Vox being elusive - coordinate an engage and get 'em!

Stormguard (B): :vgroles_captain: - used well for body blocking. What is body blocking? Placing yourself between your ally and an enemy hero. This is great for reducing the effectiveness of that enemy Kestrel using her A against your ally, stopping Kenetic’s ultimate from reaching it’s intended target, etc. This should be a common practice all the time as a captain. Having your B active while doing this not only protects your ally, but it punishes the enemy carry. My preferred synergy if not body blocking is A to engage the enemy, immediately followed by B to provide some light damage and to keep the enemy reeling as they will likely avoid countering/re-engaging due to the reflected damage.

Stormbuard (B): :vgroles_carry:/:vgroles_carry_top: - YES, that’s right, Catherine can be an effective laner! I love Catherine as a top CP hero. Her B now becomes a decent wave clear to get your cs score up even faster and to push waves to be in a more advantageous position quicker. It also useful in keeping your opposing laner off of you when engaging. You’re also likely to reflect damage quicker, as with a CP build, your armor/shield won’t be as high, which means enemies attacks will be more effective and breach the threshold of B quicker. It’s now an offensive weapon as well. I still like the synergy of A–>B. However, if you want some CS, need to get a wave and enemy hero off your tower, just use B and take out the minions.

Blast Tremor ( C ): I believe Blast Tremor is one of the most powerful abilities in the game. A silence that can impact an entire enemy team, a great lure to make the enemy use their :vgitem_crucible: when they may not want to (opening it up for your Phinn, Ylva, Celeste, Samuel, Ringo, etc…). Many argue that Catherine’s C is easy to block. That is more true in 3v3 than it is in 5v5. Amongst the chaos of larger team fights in 5v5, I find that it is very easy to land Catherine’s C and totally turn a team fight. It can allow your teammates to successfully peel, kite, stutter-step, or run and regroup. PATCH 4.2 NOTE: with the serious increase in CD for reflex block items, a Catherine with a :vgitem_clockwork: (should be a staple due to her high energy demand) Catherine can likely get off a second ULT before the :vgitem_crucible: has recovered. You will land her ultimate if you’re smart.

How to land her C with the most consistency? Don’t start with it! (exception: you’re in the brush, the enemy doesn’t have vision, and your team is with you… and the obvious exception of when an enemy’s :vgitem_aegis:/:vgitem_t2_reflexblock:/:vgitem_crucible:/:vgitem_celestialshroud: are on CD) Use it in the middle/later stages of a team fight. Throw down an A, a B, heal your allies - get a bit dirty. Then, turn the team fight with a big “Silence!” Blast Tremor also has longer range than folks think, and it’s a great way to finish off a weak and fleeing enemy who’s about to get away. It doesn’t always have to hit multiple targets. If you can secure a kill by using it, don’t save it - use it.

Overall Playstyle Tips:
:vgroles_captain:: Get your perk up early-game. It will naturally increase, and quickly, mid and late-game. Mid and late-game, focus on prioritizing repositioning enemies in team fights, stopping enemies from channeling powerful abilities or disengaging their dive. Body block, body block, body block. Use your B when you know you and your team is about to take damage or to cause pause in your enemies. Be a little sneay with your ult. It can, will, and should land. Take advantage of her 4.1 base move speed. MOVE. You should have presence in the jungle and lane in 3v3 and all lanes in 5v5. While you don’t give the most damage, your A is a great way to stop the enemeny top laner in their tracks when they’re over-extended (helping your bot), and a great way to get the enemy bot lane to back off (helping your top lane). If you’re jungler isn’t harassing, Catherine can do the trick.

:vgroles_carry::vgroles_carry_top:: Don’t underestimate your abilities to trade blows with the enemy bot laner. When they see that YOU are the laner, a CATHERINE (ha!), they can often get over confident. Catherine is very easy to last hit with, has a naturally fast attack speed, and can be comfortable fighting under her turret. Let them feel confident, get them close to your turret, ping and communicate with your jungler, and then BAM - A + B + help from friend = win.

Blitz/ARAL/Talents: Her rare talent is awesome. It does NOT last all game. If you stop stacking your perk after 30 seconds (IE you don’t land a stun or a silence after 30 seconds from doing so, it resets). However, with all the action in Blitz, you can easily get your talent’s perk up to 5-10 in a heartbeat. If you’ve got just a :vgitem_clockwork: + :vgitem_spellfire:, and your talent is at level 10 (10%/stack), you’re CP is insane, your mortal wound is powerful, and you can really pack a punch. It can be relatievely effective with a WP build, especially utilizing a :vgitem_tensionbow:, but I still prefer a mostly support build with the two CP items mentioned earlier.

Her epic talent is really effective with a standard support build. Land those basic attacks and you will be stunning and silencing often.

I believe her Legendary talent is her weakest. Despite it’s boosted damage, it’s not worth going away from a support build. If you can get behind your enemies, it’s great for pushing them (literally) toward your turret/allies and getting them out of position.

Overall, I’d recommend focusing on leveling up and using your rare/epic talents.

I’ve hoped you’ve enjoyed reading some of my playstyle tips. I tried to keep it brief and relate it to multiple roles, game modes, and scenarios.

With the API being down, I can’t accurately report my statistics with Catherine. A little more about me. I started playing Vainglory actively in the Autumn 2018 season. A “new player”, I know. I’ve been playing MOBAs for as long as any one could have though - I started with Defense of the Ancients, have played other PC games like Demigod, and have experimented with a few other mobile MOBAs. I have reached tier 10/vainglorious every season I have played the game (3 in a row). I was Tier 9 gold in my first season with 3v3 (I din’t play it as much), but have been tier 10 since (2 in a row).

When the API was up, I believe I had logged over 200 games with Catherine with over a 60% win rate. Since then, I believe my win rate has gone up even more. My KDA from my last recollection was over 5 as well. I have received compliments from numerious t10 silver players, and pro players like Chuck and Oldskool for my abilities with Catherine despite her always being considered “not meta”.

Thank you for reading my playstyle tips.

added by @Veritas , update 4.2

add more tips here

Other Catherine Resources

Voice Lines

Official Hero Spotlight:

I’ve added playstyle tips and two builds to this glorious page! For whatever reason, I was not able to format my details/notes on her “huntress” build correctly. I did it fine for her captain build.

Regardless, I hope you all enjoy reading it. Please give me comments or feedback, and feel free to ask questions. If I need to condense what I’ve written, please let me know and I will do better to be brief. Hopefully I’ve written it well enough for a wide audience, ranging from new to Catherine users, to more experienced players who are looking to mix things up a bit.

Thank you for taking the time to read. I’ve spent the last two hours writing these contributions, so I would appreciate any thoughtful feedback and questions.

Oh - and Catherine is the best. Thank you.


@Lebatron how do you feel about your Cath builds in 4.4? Same as the ones you listed above for 4.2, or tweaked at all?

1 Like

So far I haven’t felt the need to modify anything. She’s still my hero with the highest WR so far. I will add that she’s seeming popular/viable in Jungle. I simply use my top lane build in jungle.


i think a lot of people looking for Leo counter , I see Catherine can be used as a Leo counter because his damage is AOE , Leon put her in the top of his tier list this patch that’s good .

1 Like

Well yeah! Her kit counters him very well. Her B reflects his A right back in his face. She also has an easy to land stun to make him vulnerable. And she’s tanky enough to take a few of his blows. She’s a great couner to Leo!