Introduction; Pros and ConsHello Community,
this is my concept of Karma.
Most people see Karma as a support champion but in my eyes, she is not, at least not viable in this role. She gets outclassed by most sustain-oriented supports, and outclassed on the CC-side even more.
But Karma is some kind of AP burst/support hybrid, like are. IF you have to duo lane, Karma is exceptionally strong with any melee with high (burst) damage.
Karma will get a remake in the next few months, so stay tuned!
- can lane against a lot of enemies, defeats most of them
- zones like a boss
- can heal the whole team
- can shield for ridiculous amounts on a low cooldown
- can deny lasthits with shield
- great pusher, easy farming
- works well if you have tank(y) supports on bottom lane like
- low autoattack range
- low range
- lacks hard cc like other supports or hybrids
- mana dependant
- farm dependant > doesn't fit in the standard support bottom role.
Introduction Part 2: hybrid AP role comparisonLets see what they have in common to get a feeling at which areas Karma shines and where she does not.
Long range pokes, decent farming, in built-sustain, zoning to a certain extend; shield
Karma can poke with and + but not as safe as Morgana can. Her sustain comes from + and (though E is not very reliable, see skill order). She can zone most enemies thanks to all her spells.
Morgana can zone with but if she misses her , the pressure falls off. Karma can clear entire waves with and +, Morgana must use her and can miss alot of CS this way (even if its safer).
Morganas only absorbs magical damage, but prevents her from being CCed. Since Karma should max 2nd, you get a lot more absorb from it, possibly negate all the damage you receive in the duration of most CCs.
Both have their pros and cons, but considering Karmas Skillset, I guess she has a point here.
Morgana relies on hitting with a single-target line skillshot which can be blocked by minions, Karmas damage cannot be blocked because every spell is an area effect.
Her shield is weaker in most cases. Her root is extraordinary good but easily dodged. She has no sustain so it is harder for her to go solo top. The burst is comparable, but Lux has more range on most of her spells.
If Lux misses her , she is no threat to most enemies anymore. Karma can slow enemies with most of the time as long as she remains CDR capped. This allows for her complete team to chase (and even escape) and slow the enemy in the same time.
Karma can kite a lot more than most champions can due to this fact but she needs quick hands to perform this.
Karmas shield is stronger but doesn't give a small amount of armor and MR. W can be better in certain situations and worse in others.
To escape and chase over a longer period, is stronger, but is less dangerous if you can land it in between your enemies and your team.
Another downside of : you must maintain the beam while still being in range. That means you need to be in a dangerous position sometimes.
Karma can deal more area damage over a longer time but needs to take a greater risk doing so. Orianna can't heal and has no real sustain whatsoever.
Except her ultimate and some more range (not so high since recent nerf), Orianna is not better in any point, is just situative as well as is. Both, again, have different pros and cons but no spell is plain "better".
Karma excels against melees (except ) and enemies with predictable (single) damage sources and damage-over-time-spells. She hardcounters especially: , , , , (unless fed) and some others. She is also effective against and to a certain extent.
Shielding targeted abilities with travel time (, , ) or Skillshots that cannot be dodged for whatever reason but have a certain delay (, ).
Karma renders champion like useless, since she can slow him 90% of the time and shielding his +some seconds of in the same shield.
MasteriesI thought of a more CDR-focused build but the problem with the utility tree is, that it does not offer much for offensive champions like Karma. Her base damage is mediocre at best and boosting her damage straight forward improves your ability to fight by a far larger margin than 3% movement speed and 6% CDR. Almost everything in the offense tree is sweet for Karma, especially stuff like Spell Sword, which is great with your passive and shield, for instance early on. Executioner is even stronger now and helps your incredible burst.
In utility, going for 10% more flashes and ignites should be superior to 108 mana, since Karma has no real innate escape (if you don't count ) and ignite complements to your burst. Combined with and your masteries, this severely reduces your flash cooldown which should increase your survivability.
Magic Pen fits best.
Manaregeneration per level: no other choice helps you so much since Karma is manahungry.
Armor is possible but you won't have much mana in lane doing so.
Shielding contributes you being in the middle of a fight.
Cooldown reduction (Focus) is a good idea if you don't go full CDR with items.
Warding is possible against strong early mid laners or tanky AP top.
Potency is a good option if you can handle to get out of focus fire.
Flat AP: helps your laning/early, recommended.
Fortitude against a strong early laner.
Movement quints for some tricky maneuvers.
Flash is mandatory for every champion without natural escape spell, to make plays, to get in range, to get away. 95% of all players will have flash so in most cases its a good idea to have flash too.
Ignite to finish off people, especially useful for early kills. Combined with your burst damage, you can 100>0 most squishies with ignite. Pretty much standard for a caster.
are also viable choices against given opponents.
Since Karma is a great pusher area-damage wise, you can also pick . But you most likely want your team around you.
Passive: Inner Flame
Karma gains increased Ability Power corresponding to her % of missing Health.
Amazing passive, boosts your survivability as long as you have your cooldowns up and can help you survive extremely tight situations.
Q: Heavenly Wave
Karma sends forth hidden blades from her fans, dealing 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+60% Ability Power) magic damage to units in a cone in front of her. Mantra Bonus: In addition to dealing damage to enemies, Heavenly Wave will also heal allies in the cone for 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 / 135 plus 5% (+%) of their missing Health.
Cooldown 6 seconds
Cost 65 / 75 / 85 / 95 / 105 Mana
This is your bread and butter spell. It is a decent multi target nuke but it has a low range. It's a great farming tool as well. It has a low cooldown and can be used to procc alot, if you build this way.
Use the heal as late as you must to heal more in certain situations. Either heal a badly wounded ally or a bunch of wounded allies.
Sustain wise, it is not as strong as comparable spells, since the cooldown on is pretty high in early levels, the mana costs also and the amount healed not so great as well. Can save teammates though.
Note: the amount healed scales with missing HP. This accounts for the AP-ratio as well.
Max CDR caps this ability at 3,6s.
W: Spirit Bond
Karma creates a beam between an ally or enemy for up to 5 seconds. Allied anchors move 10% / 12% / 14% / 16% / 18% faster and enemy anchors are slowed by 10% / 12% / 14 %/ 16% / 18%. The beam deals 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+70% Ability Power) magic damage to enemies and applies the same movement speed adjustment anchors receive to any champion it passes through. The beam breaks if the bonded target is stealthed. Mantra Bonus: Karma strengthens the bond to double the effect of the movement speed modifier.
Cooldown 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 seconds
Cost 65 / 75 / 85 / 95 / 105 Mana
The weakest but also most underrated spell in Karmas kit. You can kite enemies using this on them or a focused teammate. This is also a great chasing/escaping tool after teamfights. You must use this on something behind (friendly or hostile) your target to deal damage to them. Hits apply the speed buff/slow for a very short time so consider wisely which enemy you want to slow/which team mate you want to speed up the whole duration.
In outrageous situations, you can use to empower this. This is not recommended in usual situations.
With 40% CDR, you can keep this up 83% of the time.
E: Soul Shield
Karma summons a protective shield that absorbs 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+80% Ability Power) damage for 5 seconds. Mantra Bonus: In addition to casting the shield, energy radiates out from the shield dealing 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+80% Ability Power) magic damage to enemy units around her target.
Cooldown 10 seconds
Cost 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110 mana
The strongest (and if you play against Karma most annoying) spell she has. The amount shielded is huge and it can soak up to ~700 considering end game items. This helps the most against burst damage, dots and predictable damage sources. Combo-based nukers will fear this ability, since it can render them useless. Try to shield as early as you can when your damage prediction is experienced; shield allies hit by hard CC (stuns/suppressions).
Note: Smartcast this ability in lane/if you're in danger. (default: Alt+E)
With 40% CDR, you can keep this up 83% of the time.
Karma empowers her next ability with an additional effect. Karma gains a charge every 25 seconds up to 2 charges. The refresh rate is reduced by Cooldown Reduction.
Cooldown 30/25/20 seconds at levels 1/7/13
Mantra is the reason you should cap CDR. It has no cost but can only have 2 stacks. You should never let your pants down using all your mantra stacks in lane (as long as you dont go for a kill). Try to use every mantra to maximal use. If you can save someone with +, don't + someone solely for damage (as long as it is not their fed AD Carry with 5% life of course).
Skill OrderI max first to maximize damage/harassment, farming and healing, since helps only against dots (predicting enemy damage can result in popping the shield too early or to get fooled - enemy can trick you using the shield without attacking you), so it is not reliable in terms of sustain.
Due to the pretty long cooldown on at the beginning, the damage from is not very reliable as well.
In mid game, you need the most, because teamfights begin to erupt alot more. Since the heal from is pitiful in comparison to the focus damage a teammate will receive, the shield helps far more in terms of avoiding/negating enemy damage.
Ignite and other healing-reduction spell have no effect on shields, so this is again a strong point. Since you should reach level 11-12 until midgame as a solo lane comparable fast, it should be no problem to max both and .
Take a point in whenever you feel the need for it (e.g. your jungler is going to gank), but take it as late as you can.
Item BuildsStarting items:
usual boots of choice with any mage, if you can cope with the missing CDR.
Karma has to get comparably close for a mage. Get these if enemy CC is just way too much.
if you plan on skipping other CDR items.
Increases damage as well, which can be about 30 AP more.
There are often 2-3 possible options for the same left spots. All you need to do is getting AP, CDR and magic penetration. Some defense on top of that keeps you alive in teamfights. You should strive for ~40% CDR (cap), every spell depends on it, especially . However, obtain atleast 120 AP before buying this one.
Other strong items:
Deals with your huge mana problem, adds AP, CDR and resistance. What else would you want?
HP is always a good choice for Karma because of her (you don't want to die abusing it, do you?), it adds a 5% DoT effect on every enemy hit, which can be the whole team multiple times in a row in a teamfight. Since this is scaling indifferent (if you don't count the magic penetration), this adds a lot to your strong, but limited burst. The magic penetrations helps your decent base damage, since Karma's scaling isn't that great.
Huge chunk of damage, some defense, improved team damage (probably 1+ of your mates deals some magic damage). Solid overall choice.
When 2+ enemies are building more than 100 magic resistance, you should get that instead of other AP/magic pen choices.
Overall very strong item for Karma, you can use every stat and the passive is neat against certain champs (e.g. ...). However it adds 0 defense.
Ap, Mana, slow effect on ability use and armor. "Okay" item, consider when you need the item effect or when other choices are stronger.
Enemy Carry or another auto-attacker giving you hell and you always run out of mana? Get this and fix one part of the CDR issue.
This item is very nasty playing as Karma, because it gets harder to kill when you are low (), but if you just get revived and do the same thing again, it's even more frustrating for your enemies.
More mana, more AP. Glass cannon 'til you got the passive, though.
Solid overall choice, when a large mana- and HP-pool is of use. Needs time and is expensive though.
I rarely buy this item, but if you need some armor, the ability to avoid huge burst spikes and lots of AP, get it. Keep in mind you can't use this item silenced, stunned, knocked up or suppressed.
Lane Counter Guide[Under Construction]
- You can shrug off harassment with , and counter-harrass everytime she takes a step in your direction. or + your minions she is going to lasthit with .
Overall this should be easy as long as you don't get the full combo with stun. If you get the combo (e.g. ), instantly yourself, + and her.
- Get used to her attack paradigm. Most Cassios try to lead you while you run from them. Just run straight into her and attack her with your spells. (to be continued) Be careful if she has up, in this case you should wait for a gank/wait passively or flash out of it. With quick hands, you can the damage and turn around while she casts it. everytime you get poisoned when she is in range for . In general, you have to move a lot and be unforeseeable in your movement.
- Should be pretty hard, since her range is far superior and you can't CC her probably. You can try to outfarm her by a) healing your minions with + b) push your lane like no other. Bait her into wasting her mana into your . Try to ward atleast one side to be prepared for ganks.
- you should be able to outfarm her. You can also a large part of her damage. Constantly try to poke her with . You can also bait her by walking in her direction. If she uses to heal herself upon minions, immediately push your lane to move your minions.
Early GameKarma can go support bottom, but as already mentioned, mid or top should fit her better. Most common AP burst enemies can't really do much about Karma, with the exception of and , but hey these 2 can lane against almost everyone and still win the lane. If you have to lane against high-range+kiting enemies like , stay defensive, of course move alot and concentrate on farming.
You should concentrate on farming and lasthitting in general, as well as harassing your opponent with / + or deny him from last hits with on minions. Doing so should not push your lane and you should not receive too much damage at all while you do this. Keep yourself from farming waves with your spells until you have some manaregen/.
Incoming harass should be shielded, as well as ; healing yourself consumes to much mana to constantly do it, use // to keep topped off. Constantly autoattack your opponent if you can avoid minion damage or trade hits with shield up.
Karma can easily firstblood enemies because of her high early level-burst and the shield, which gives you the opportunity to towerdive from level 1 on (if played thoughtful). If you know you can go for a kill, poke here and now, and finish your opponent with +++ as long as he has no innate escape spell or up. you can also flash+combo your enemy to surprise him or flash out from a towerdive.
Ward your lane!
If you have to recall / you want to gank another lane, push the enemy minions and proceed. This is exceptionally effective when your lane opponent is at base/dead.
Karma can cover most lanes against most enemies. Constant harass can be shielded and dots are no threat to you, as long as you stay safe when your cooldowns are not up.
You can get back to lane faster using + on a minion.
Mid Game and TeamfightsFarm as long as you can, but stay with your team as much as you can if the situation calls for it. If you benefit from blue more than your midlane/jungler, take it as often as you can. Dragon should be warded and taken on every opportunity. If you can, catch opponents offguard with so your team can come it for the kill.
In teamfights, focus on keeping your carries and yourself alive above anything else. Your burst damage isn't as high as the usual AP nuker, but you can deal constant damage and sustain your allies, especially single targets from burst peaks.
Teammates caught from hard CC should be immediately shielded so you have earlier up again (instead of using it one time and maybe to late).
+ as often as you can when your whole team has received damage and some of them clump together. You can counter or similar ones to a certain degree.
Assassins diving in for your mates should be punished for this, + the focused teammates and ++. Karma can switch every second between supportive role and pure damage, you must be fast and flexible to fully extent her role.
If you get focused, use as early as you can and + your opponent if you received damage. Kite him with and constantly shield yourself, while throwing on him. If you get focused by the whole team, use + on the first enemy near you or a teammate.
Use your as early as you can if you know you will need it to have your "third" charge up as early as possible.
Late GameFirst rule: dont die!
Second rule: do everything to let your carries survive!
Try to push as long as you know you are safe, take baron and dragon/buffs on every opportunity. In teamfights try to both deal as much damage on as many opponents as you can while helping your team staying alive. Never die for a kill unless the situation calls for it.
You can bait kills on greedy enemies if you shield/heal just in time.
Final CommentsKarma is fun, versatile and also hard to play properly. She needs a lot of practice but she is able to pull of things other champions can only dream of. But of course she is not Mary Sue.
I hope you enjoyed the guide and I will try to improve it as much and as often as I can to maintain quality. Give me feedback so I can fill in whats left and change what is inappropriate.
Links of my other guides: