Karma Build Guide by Frye01
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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.
I've played Karma in ranked matches, randoms and duo queue's. She is an extremely fun support and if you have not played her, I would highly recommend that you do.
Knowing how to play Karma breaks down into two major jobs: 1) When do you use Mantra? 2) When do you level up which spell? Please, please, PLEASE, I beg you, learn these things. While you can only learn these things for yourself by playing games, (I can tell you for some situations, but it never is the same) it is extremely important that you pay attention to them, because without knowing, you will fail as Karma .
+ Easy to play.
+ Extremely versatile.
+ Can help carry.
+ All moves besides ult need no target.
+ Has extremely good sustainability.
- Can not target with heal.
- Skill order is never the same.
- Low mobility (without Soul Shield).
- Hard to master.
- Very weak solo mid and late game.
For the masteries, I have found that these work best. Some would say to drop 1 point out of Strength of Spirit (from Utility) and add one to Arcane Knowledge (from Offense). This is made for more of an aggressive style of play and when I play Karma , I typically sit back and just bubble poke and heal, rarely going for any sort of poke. And with this strategy, magic pen is not as useful as the mana regen that you get from the other talent.
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power: Ability Power, do I really need to explain why I chose this as my rune?(if you say yes, please go read the AP scaling of Karma’s
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration: This will give you that little magic pen that you might want and is nice when there is a giant group of allies and enemies together, (use your heal/AoE).
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power: This will give you more Ability Power. Scaling per level is better for this because the need for it is not as big at a lower level.
- Greater Seal of Replenishment: More mana regen is more mana to use for your spells. Plain and simple.
- Inner Flame: This passive really doesn’t need any explanation. It just means the more health you are missing, the stronger you become.
- Heavenly Wave (Q): This is your main source of damage and, when used in combination with your ult, your heal. It is an AoE (Area of Effect) damaging/healing spell which shoots out in a cone directed by your mouse. This spell is huge as support Karma
. It is one of the best scaling heals in the game.
- Spirit Bond (W): This is your movement modifier. It creates a beam between you and the target that will break if the distance between you becomes too great. On an ally, it speeds them up (along with you). Any ally who is in the beam will also get the speed increase. If used on an enemy, it will slow them down (does not slow you down). As before, any enemy who passes in the beam will be slowed. This spell should not be learned until YOUR CARRY starts to roam.
- Soul Shield (E): This is your Shield of Pain. It is the spell that will do the most during team fights. If it is not on cool down during a team fight, you are not doing it right. Typically try to use it on your carry, but if there is not anyone near your carry, use it in combination with your ult on one of your melee to cause damage to the other team ALONG with preventing damage done to them.
- Mantra (R): This is the spell that makes Karma able to support, carry, or tank so well. It modifies each of her spells to make them better, stronger, or adds an effect.
For Heavenly Wave , it makes the cone heal your allies as well as damage your enemies. For maximum effect, use this on the HUGE PILE during team fights, if no big pile, use on your carry.
For Spirit Bond , it increases the speed buff (for allies) or debuff (for enemies). There is almost no reason to use it for this unless you know you will get another Mantra back before you run into more enemies.
For Soul Shield , it makes the shield do an AoE damage from who the shield is placed on. This is a great way to poke an enemy hugging a turret, use the shield on a minion to hurt them. It is also good to use this on whoever the melee of the other team is focusing during team fights (a.k.a. use shield against the melee attackers).
***Your order of skills will change each game if you are doing it correctly. This is just a basic guideline to follow*** Heavenly Wave and Soul Shield will be leveled almost equally due to the fact that you will not need Spirit Bond until the later levels. I recommend that you max Soul Shield first if their team is playing defensively, Heavenly Wave first if they are playing aggressively.
: These are the best boots for Karma
. Sorcerer's Shoes
do not help as much because the AP does not scale near as well as the CDR does for Karma
: I will then get this item or Frozen Heart
depending on the other team’s composition. Use this item against a more AP heavy team (so 3 or more AP characters) other wise use the Frozen Heart
: I will choose either this item or Abyssal Scepter [Abyssal Scepter] based on the other team (this one for a more AD heavy team). This is an amazing item against attack speed champions like an on-hit Teemo
, or Pheonix Udyr
: This will be used for the obvious reason that is the shield. The extra mana is also really nice.
: I will get this item because the crazy (good) scaling that Karma
has on her spells. I mean look at it like this; What AP champion doesn’t love 140 AP and a 30% AP increase?
- Sight Ward: Plain and simple people, but I will put in caps for those who do not understand. YOU ARE A SUPPORT. YOU ARE THE PERSON ON YOUR TEAM WHO NEEDS TO PLACE WARDS. DO NOT EXPECT ANYONE ELSE ON YOUR TEAM TO PUT DOWN WARDS.
DO NOT FARM!!!! Your job as a support is to get your carry the farm, and if you can, poke the other carry so they cannot farm. But that is just a bonus if you can ^_^ However, if there are creeps to kill and no one around to kill them, please, don't be dumb and just let them die :) Karma is a little unlike the other supports. She almost does need some farm. So your job is simple, do not put yourself into a position where you need to back. That way you can sneak in some farming while your carry has to back.
Your job is to keep everyone alive that you can, in this order: AD carry > AP carry > Melee Carry > Tank > Yourself. You typically will not die because no matter who else you heal, you get healed as well. Your Soul Shield , as stated before, is a great use of stopping damage and causing damage. Use it on whoever the enemy seems to be focusing with their melee (unless they are running in which case use it on whoever will make it hurt them). Also, make sure that your Mantra is fully stacked for every team fight, if you can. This is why CDR is so big for Karma , it gives you Mantra quicker.
Pretty basic here. Just keep your carry alive, poke the other carry, and get your carry as many CS and kills as you can, without dying. Try not to back until you can buy a Catalyst the Protector Catalyst the Protector. Once you buy that, go back into lane and help your carry more, IF YOU KILL YOUR TURRET, try to roam and help any other lane that seems to be losing. By the end of this phase, you should have your Catalyst the Protector Catalyst the Protector, or at least your Sapphire Crystal [icon=Sapphire Crystal. Make sure to ward what you can, typically keep the lane warded so you know if you have an enemy incomming, and ward dragon.
During this phase, STICK WITH YOUR AD CARRY. If they want to dive the nexus follow them and help them as much as you can (not really, but you get the idea). Your whole team should be starting to group up and begin team fights. Normally around this time will be when I get the first rank of E (Soul Shield ). During this phase, you want to get to Frozen Heart or Abyssal Scepter in your build. You need to at least get to the Glacial Shroud . PLEASE make sure that you keep warding every major part (the buffs, river choke points, their jungle) that you can reach while you are roaming.
Depending on how the earlier phases went, you should have: 1) your enemies whole jungle warded (if your team did well) or, 2) your whole jungle warded (if your team did poorly). Along with Baron and Dragon. During this phase your team should NOT be split up, unless you have a split pusher like Master Yi , Garen , or such. This means you should all run from lane to lane together, back at the same time, jump out at the same time, and attack the same target. As a support, people will be looking toward you for the communication at this point because the way they see it, it is easiest for you to talk. Make sure you PING THE AD CARRY AND AP CARRY FOR KILL TARGETS.
BASIC RULE OF ALL SUPPORT, Keep your team alive. Some of the best supports know when it is time to die. I for one, have seen my carry over commit, then escape because I dove the turret and drew all fire off my carry. So I died while he escaped. While dying for a dumb carry is extremely dumb, if you can save someone (or multiple people) that are worth saving (a.k.a. keeping a kill streak going or keeping The Bloodthirster stacked on your carry) please do.
Please comment with how I did, or with any questions. I am more than happy to help.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.