Karma Build Guide by DAmWAZ
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Solo Lane Karma
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Why play Karma in lane?
In short, because it's fun!
While I'm not any kind of good player, this build has proven to be both effective and efficient in both normal and ranked play.
Pros / Cons
Hard to catch/gank
Strong early game harass
Hard to kill late game
Strong teamfight utility
Not great at carrying games
Will melt under concentrated fire
While her utility in teamfights with her spammable poke/slow, snare, and shield/speed buff is crazy good, if the enemy team focuses you down, you will melt and fast. Positioning in these fights is key to maximize your use to your team.
Tanky AP Karma
This Tanky AP build is the most fun and successful build I've found for Karma. It's way more survivable than a Glass Cannon build (over 3000 health!!!) and does a good amount of damage (each Q hits at around 500 damage, Mantra -> Q will do 1000!!!).
Rocking around late game with over 3000 HP on a mid laner is incredibly intimidating. That massive beef walking up and 3 hitting the enemy ADC is a great feeling and really catches the enemy off-guard.
Personally I love the Hybrid Pen Marks for Karma. Here base AD is really strong for an AP caster at early levels, and Hybrid Pen allows you to get more out of her AA harass.
(I have also used flat AP and Magic Pen marks and they work but for a different playstyle than the one used in this guide.)
I can't stress enough how important Armor Seals are on Karma (Flat or Scaling). Yes her shield blocks damage and helps her escape, but Armor adds a dash of survivability to her kit.
(I have also tried Mana Regen, CDR, and many other Seals, but none seem to be as useful as straight up armor.)
Scaling MR Glyphs give Karma the defense she really needs in a standard mid lane. While flat MR gives you more early game, you don't want to be defensive with Karma in the early game. Come late game, these will give you an important defense in teamfights.
Each build is relatively straight forward. See the notes attached to each build order for the situational use of each build.
There are situational items as well that are for you to experiment with or use in your games if you find that you need something extra.
Karma's abilities are useful in every situation. Each one has an offensive and defensive use and are strong in both cases.
Q - Poke and slow. Great for harassing and farming and kiting. It's a great all-around skill. Also, Mantra -> Q will clear the caster minions if you want to roam or back.
W - Leash and snare. Great for receiving ganks and ganking other lanes. Also, empowered W will give you a burst of HP in clutch situations. You can use this to bait out aggression and ganks and still get away.
E - Your method of winning trades, escaping, catching up to enemies, and giving your team a speed boost. This skill is borderline op with how much utility it has for yourself and your team.
R - The bread and butter of what Karma is and does. You have it at level 1 and makes your abilities more powerful once every 30 seconds, which can be reduced by harassing enemies with abilities AND autoattacks, so realistically, you can use this ability about every 15 to 20 seconds.
In most cases, you will want to max Q first to maximize your poke, slow, and damage output. In some cases you may want to max E first if the enemy laner is bullying you out of lane.
As in all cases, skill order is situational and depends on what you need.
note - spamming your spells with sap your mana faster than you can blink so try to use them sparingly at first until you get chalice or blue buff.
In conclusion, Tanky AP Karma takes her borderline OP kit and adds on 3k health and the ability to burst down enemies and control teamfights.
With halfway decent positioning, any Karma can change the flow and momentum of a game through teamfight and general team utility.