Karma Build Guide by Veanna
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.
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.
Hello everyone, my name is Veanna (also known as Ferix Rex on EU west) and this is my first guide here on mobafire. In this guide I will discuss my opinion on Karma and help everyone who is intrested in learning more about this totally amazing champion!
As all of you know, she recently got a relauch and her kit has changed. Many people think her kit changed her role and playstyle, but in my opinion it has not a lot. I've played plenty of games with Karma and I've actively tested her on the pbe. I played Karma a lot before the relaunch and I loved her. I will miss her playstyle but her new kit is also fun. Her baiting potential is still there even if some people disagree on this. She is very versatile and very fun to play.
Karma's potential lies in the player, her kit allows you to do some crazy things. In some cases you can prolong your life long enough with Renewal to trick the enemy into their own death. How can that not be fun?
In this guide I will discuss a few different kinds of lanes where you can play her.
-Jungle, I have recently started testing it after the relaunch and I'd like to mention that it's still viable. She has good clearing speed and thanks to Mantra Soulflare she can counter jungle the enemy jungler at red buff easily, and earn first blood here. The advantage of having an ultimate at level 1 is really fantastic for jungling. Her ganks are quite okay but you need Focused Resolve. You are required to build a bit tanky as the game progresses as it is often the role of the jungler to initiate so keep this in mind.
-Karma Top is a new Hype, and it's incredibly unfair for your lane opponent. Karma is very safe on the toplane and she can outlive almost every gank. She is a real bully on this lane a lot of toplaners just can't deal with the pressure she applies.
I play both mid-lane and support roles very often and mid-lane is my main role.
I will test top-laning with and jungling with Karma and add builds for these roles when I've found a good way to play them. Both were viable before the relaunch I believe they still are.
I would like to add that my guide is not complete and I will add more things to come;
Match-ups (both lanes]
Synergies for Karma
Top and jungle build and guide
Warding and safeplay section
Please let me know if you have suggestions for my guide and I'll look into it.
Please leave a comment when you vote! All comments appreciated
Hey guys! I'm working to update the guide for S4 and preseason standarts, keep checking for updates!
My pictures of warding etc dissapeared trying to fix that :C
Pros / Cons - Why Karma
Why would you want to play Karma? Karma is a very versatile champion at the moment, she can lane anywhere.
- Great damage
- High burst
- Awesome shield
- Impressive team utility
- Great farm
- Low cooldowns
- Great kiting potetial
- Has both slows and a snare
- Long cooldown on shield early game
- Needs good judgement to put her skills to good use.
- Only one mantra charge as of date
What does this mean? Karma is a good dualist and is capable of setting up kills with her snare, she can help allies escape with her kit and secure safety. Her movement speed boost is good for ganking and roaming.
Karma recently received some buffs on all her abilities and this puts her in a good position, the buffs really make her dominant in lane and especially the buff on Inner Flame. She might get nerfed again, but at the moment it seems unlikely since she's been only getting minor buffs since of late. Didn't really think she needed it but it in a way the buffs are appreciated.
Runes And Masteries - Preparing for the game
Runes are very situational and really depend on peoples preferrences. Runes are something you need to think about even before you start a game.
When deciding your runes you also need to think about which items you will build througout the game. Of course items are situational and you can buy other items every game. However your runes somehow influince in which order you can buy items or make it not neccesary to buy certain items at all.
Alright I've been playing around with masteries and my new-set up actually is really nasty and makes you a true terror in midlane, it allows good farming and sneaky sneaky auto attacks will hurt a lot.
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Seal of Health Regeneration
These runes go pretty well with my masteries, they compliment eachother. Karma is naturally tanky due to her shields, these runes compliment that and make it hard for the enemy to kill you on lane, or even when ganked! I also take hybrid pen marks, this helps you trade very well with auto attacks.
Suggested summoner spells
Ignite is highly suggested for mid-lane, it helps you secure kills early and helps you snowball. It can shut down healing on for example ad carries aswell.
Flash is neccesary for all champions, it gives you unlimited possiblities. For securing kills or escaping certain death. Take at all cost and learn where you can flash and where you can't. Nothing makes you facepalm more than fail-flashing. Take Ghost if you don't have flash yet or if you don't like Flash at all. You need some kind of extra escape. But I highly recommend Flash over Ghost because you have Inspire.
Clarity is good if you're not very good on mana management, but it's not hard now that Karma had a relaunch. Mana used to be a slight issue for her but now? No. But if you want to test things out and practice, go ahead and take it.
Ghost is a nice alternative you don't have or like flash, but in my opinion it's just another speedboost, something Karma already has in her abilities. Thus taking Flash is more logic, as it gives something Karma doesn't have already.
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Hybrid Penetration
Greater Seal of Health
Greater Quintessence of Armor
Exhaust is kind of the to-go choice for supports. It helps you disable one player, reduce their damage and speed making them almost useless for a few seconds. It helps you shut down fed enemies or win a skirmish. This can really save lives.
Suggested summoner spells
Heal is quite good for supports now. It can help your entire team during a teamfight and it can really save out your carry if they make a mistake. I'd like to suggest this an option to still offer a heal as a support, since Karma lost hers on the relaunch.
Flash is neccesary for all champions, it gives you unlimited possiblities. For securing kills or escaping certain death. Take at all cost and learn where you can flash and where you can't. Nothing makes you facepalm more than fail-flashing. Take Ghost if you don't have flash yet or if you don't like Flash at all. You need some kind of extra escape. But I highly recommend Flash over Ghost because you have Inspire.
Getting to know your champion - Karma abilities
It is important that you know your champion and it's role in a game. In this chapter I will dicuss what Karma's abilities do and how to use them. Tips and tricks are shown in the spoilers.
Gathering Fire lowers the cooldown of Karma's ultimate Mantra. Damaging an enemy champion with spells reduces the cooldown by 1/1.5/2 seconds and attacking with auto attacks reduces the cooldown by half the amount.
Since this passive is part of her ultimate I will dicuss that second.
Mantra has a low cooldown ultimate that enhances your other abilities. The enhanced version damage scales with Mantra and not the basic ability. I will dicuss the mantra at each basic ability.
Inner Flame is your main ability, it has a low cooldown and high damage. Use it often, the mana cost is low. The ability is aoe and provides a slow. Good for slowing and securing kills. The Mantra of this ability is Soulflare. A high damage ability with a high teamfight potential. So it use a finisher to secure a kill. The ability hits for increased damage and explodes after a short delay, doing another burst of damage. During the delay enemies in the area are slowed.
Focused Resolve is a short damage over time ability that snares the enemy after two seconds. This is your crowd controll and it is on a fairly high cooldown compared to Inner Flame. The damage of this ability scales well with levels. The snare duration also increases so putting some ranks into it early can secure kills or ganks. When you use Mantra this ability becomes Renewal. It deals increased damage and heals Karma for 25% of her missing health and scales with ap aswell.
Inspire is Karma's main utility spell, it provides a shield to prevent damage and it gives a nice movement speed boost. You can take a point early and abuse the shield to prevent harras on either yourself or an ally if neccesary. The movement speed boost makes it hard to gank Karma. When Mantra is used this ability becomes Defiance. Instead of shielding one target everyone around Karma will get the shield. This ability also deals damage to enemies around the target she shielded. This ability also provides the movement speed boost to all allies that have been effected. The use of Defiance can be used similar the item Talisman of Ascension may be used.
This sequence should be used as a guideline for mid-lane Focused Resolve first instead. Or leveling up them paired.
The following sequence is used for support-Karma Inner Flame at level one. You will most likely help your jungler take down blue or red, depending on what jungler you have on your team and on which side you play. Your jungler will be very happy if you Soulflare the strong neutral monsters, so another good reason to take Inner Flame first. You can take either Inspire or Focused Resolve after Inner Flame depending on how the enemy plays. After some levels more and more ganks will happen and mobility is essential, so maxing your shield might save you or your carry or maybe even your jungler. Maxing your shield can also enable your adc to catch up and get a kill he/she might not have gotten without the speed boost. Mid game it is your role to help on the cc and secure kills on primary targets on their carries, a longer snare will definately help. The snare can also save your carry from a bruiser.
Sometimes it may be neccesary to max your Inspire first. Very aggresive laners or poke champions can turn laning phase into a hell phase for your carry. It is important to help your carry in the best ways possibles. Maxing shields is an effective way to keep your carry safe while he/she is farming. If your reaction time is good then you can shield them before they get hit. I recommend using smartcast on all spells. Inspire will also help your adc retaliate, while not taking damage your adc can quickly attack and retreat thanks to the movement speed boost. Be sure your adc knows your kit, explain your playstyle before the laning starts.
A good guide-line is max Inner Flame when you are winning lane, this way the enemy will miss creep score and experience most likely.
If you are doing poorly, max Inspire to boost defense.
Starting the game - choosing your starting items
There is are other options and for everybody is a different taste, you might find yourself starting with a [[doran's ring] and two potions,I've been doing this for early lane controll myself lately. Build into an early chalice or another ring depending on how well the lane goes.
You can also decide to start with serious sustain. Start with a Crystalline Flask and some more potions and you can stay in lane forever. This is a good option against hard harrasing champions or very hard pushers with high sustain. I recommend this start against for example Cho'Gath.
My suggestion is to start with a Stealth Ward, warding trinket, Spellthief's Edge and 2 potions. This gives you some sustain, it gives lane controll and some vision. It's a safe start, there are other options but this is what I use every game!
Progressing into the game - Items
Items will very much decide your playstyle and how strong you will be, they decide how much damage you do or even how much you can take. In this chapter I will discuss items that are well suited for Karma in different situations. I will discuss items seperately and when to build them.
Doran's Ring is a very intresting item. There are two reasons to buy this item and you will usually get two straight after boots. Firstly you made some really easy kills and are certain you can snowball through the game. Secondly you are slightly behind on your lane opponent. Doran's Ring gives a lot of different stats; health, ability power and some mana regen. This is a very cost efficient item.
Athene's Unholy Grail is in most games a core item. You will rush this is you decided to buy Chalice of Harmony first. This is a safe path you will run most of the times when you're on equal grounds with the enemy mid-laner. This item provides a lot of good stats for Karma. Ability power, cooldown reduction and mana regen are all very important for Karma.
Rabadon's Deathcap is essential for any ap carry, including Karma. Build this for more damage, generally if you build this before your enemy mid-laner you will have a damage advantage over him/her. Always build a Needlessly Large Rod first if you decide to go for Rabadon's Deathcap. A situation where you might find yourself rushing this item is when you started with 2x Doran's Ring.
Zhonya's Hourglass is a very good item, in both offensive and defensive perspective. There are situations where you might want to buy this to counter specific champions that focus you. The active on this item allows you bypass certain ultimates that would otherwise kill you perhaps. Think of Requiem or Chum the Waters. The armor on this item will prove useful against physical damage mid-laners such as Zed or Talon. I kind of want to add that I think this item should be bought every game for Karma as a carry, sooner or later you will need it. If you do well you get focused and Karma is the god of baiting, this item just helps you do that even more!
Void Staff is a very strong item, it increases damage potential a lot. The magic penetration it offers helps your damage quite a bit, certainly if the enemy built some magic resist. More importantly you will need it if the enemy bruiser or jungler is fed and has some magic resist.
Don't ever rush this item, it does not offer anything other than some damage, rushing Rabadon's Deathcap is a better option in such a situation as it also increases shield strenght!
Liandry's Torment is a strong item for Karma. Build this item if you have a lot of early teamfights happen and you haven't really had the chance to get a lot of kills. This item gives great zoning controll as it makes your Inner Flame a real bother to get hit by. I kinda moved this item to optional because I don't feel it's core anymore, it's a great item but other items are just better.
Lich Bane is a very situational item. This is an item built when your team is snowballing through teamfights. If the enemy has poor map controll and your team continuesly ambushes the enemies and kills them 1 by 1 this is a good option to increase your nuke damage. In teamfights it will be rewarding to land a sneaky auto attack once in a while to decrease mantra cooldown so why not add up to your nuke while doing it? This item is situational and goes very well with Rabadon's Deathcap. The movement speed component on this item is very likely and helpes you position well. Even if a fight does not go to your favor you can escape easily with your Inspire. You might want to add the alacrity boots enchantment to your boots if you buy Lich Bane.
Abyssal Scepter is a very situational item for Karma. This is both an offensive and defensive item. You will want to build this item in a few situations. Firstly when you need to survive huge amounts of magic burst damage from champions such as LeBlanc, Fizz or Veigar. Secondly the enemy mid-laner is melee and has some kind of gap-closer. Think of Akali or Katarina. Subsequently the enemy top-laner is ap aswell and thus they have two ability power champions, think of Rumble or Vladimir. Ap junglers can count aswell, think of Amumu for example]]. Finally the last reason to buy this item; it may happen that you are required to initiate on the enemy mid-laner or other ap champs a lot. So having some defenses will help you then. Being closer will ensure the snare and you can bait a fight without taking too much damage. Your jungler or anyone else for that matter can perform a gank while you lure the enemy into the fight without having too much risk of dying. Generally if you need this item early always go for the Negatron Cloak first.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter can be good in a few games. It's kind of expensive but this item has good synergy with Liandry's Torment Furthermore it will increase your kiting potential, your supporting capabilities and your health pool to survive massive burst. This item has good synergy with Focused Resolve. It will make it easier to land the snare and start a fight for your team. It can be used to lock down high priority targets. If the enemy adc happens to escape a lot, or perhaps the enemy apc you might want to consider this item. If you need more damage while building this item start with a Blasting Wand. If you need more health start with the Giant's Belt.
Morellonomicon is a good subsitute for Athene's Unholy Grail if you did not buy Chalice of Harmony on your first recall. There are situations where you want to shut down healing and you need the passive. Ignite could be on cooldown for example. There are champions with high amounts of healing and shutting the healing down might be neccesary to shut down the champion completely. Think of Master Yi for example. If the enemy adc is fed and carrying a lot of lifesteal this item may also be useful. The cooldown reduction on this item makes it a good subsitute for Athene's Unholy Grail. I still prefer Athene's though, getting both doesn't exactly hurt and can be done in certain scenarios when you fight a Soraka for example.
Rod of Ages can be quite good on some champions and in some situations. There are a few champions you want to build it against. Hard pushing sustain champions. Or just hard pushing champions. Against some champions you will need the sustain or else they will outfarm you a lot. A good example is Morgana. If she buys catalyst the protector early you might want to do this aswell. Same goes for other champions that do this such as Anivia. They will push your lane and force you to stay. When you buy Rod of Ages start with catalyst the protector. Going down this road sacrifices some of your early power but it gives you a strong midgame.
Will of the Ancients is an sustain item, it also offers a bit extra cdr, which is really awesome in all honesty. It can be used to bait enemies, your Renewal will heal a lot!
Mejai's Soulstealer is an item you will hardly ever buy. This item gives a good amount of ability power if your team is snowballing, and more importantly: you. This item has many problems however, you need to build stacks by getting kills or assists. This item has little ability power early on and it might not be easy to get kills if your enemies are playing safe. The second problem is that if you make a mistake and die you lose some of your strenght, it can be regained but it takes time. The last problem is that it puts a sign on your head ''kill me'' and ''focus me please''. However you can abuse this, they will focus you, chase you untill you die. Don't forget Karma has great kiting potential! Your team can finish off them while you kite. This is turning a disadvantage into an advantage. You can and should perhaps build it when your enemy team is making many mistakes. If they have no wards are just playing way too reckless and end up killing themselves.
Ruby Sightstone is an item you want early so you don't have to buy wards the entire game, you will simply have them. Upgrade this from Sightstone as soon as possible, three wards is better than two! The health on this item also increases your survivability.
[Talisman of ascension]] is a very nice utility item. Every team should have one atleast. It does not offer any real combat stats but it's picked for utility! You could sell Frost Queen's Claim for this later in the game when your only role is to provide utility.
Locket of the Iron Solari is quite a good support item. It can save lives and certainly yours. This item adds to your survability during the game. In the current meta a lot of AP toplaners are seen, and this item is very strong then or even against AP junglers.
Banner of Command is incredibly useful. Yet nobody builds it. You can build this item if people on your team took teleport, don't do it yourself however. This item can be used to push a lane and therefore mid/late game you can splitpush. Make sure your team knows your strategy to do this and make good use of it. This item has good synergy if you have Shen on your team.
zeke's herald is quite a good item, it gives a good amount of cooldown reduction and health. Rush this if your adc is fed, the aura will make your adc even stronger and snowball through teamfights.
Liandry's Torment is an item that is in my opinion essential for ap supports, if your goal is to add damage to your team as a support. Other supports that benefit from this such as Zyra become a major threat even as a support. This item adds damage for a fair price without having to build a lot of more items for damage. The reason why this item is good is the health % damage. The damage you do with your aoe damage can stack up quite nicely if you hit many targets in the fights. Build Haunting Guise first if you want to make this item and start that off with Ruby Crystal to increase your survivability in early laning phase. You already have some ap from runes and masteries right?
I want to discuss this item seperately on the support section because I feel it has a niche value it can add to your team. Mejai's Soulstealer is situational but it has a few uses for supports. Cheap and easy ability power is a good reason to buy it. I used to run this item on Sona just because Phreak used it in his Sona champion spotlight. Either way I out it's quite good. Bacis rule ''don't focus the support'' will help you maintain any stacks you get from assists. Because you often just won't die. While in fact it puts a ''kill me'' sign on your head. I like to think that's good for a support. Because as the support you want them to use all ults on you and chase you all day long so your beloved team can mop them up. Don't forget Karma has good kiting potential, even if she gets chased you can often keep yourself alive.
Iceborn Gauntlet provides you with some additional slows aswell as a few good stats, a good item nevertheless. This can help you kite, slow and secure kills and protects you while doing that with the high amounts of armour on it. Build a Glacial Shroud first if you decide to build this item. This is not a traditional support item but it adds some additional utility you prove to your team.
Frozen Heart should be built by every team, if your top or jungler does not build it, you should. It gives 20% cdr and some nice stats so why not! The aura is good and counters a lot of meta champions that scale with attack speed!
There are a few other items perfectly viable for support Karma and I will not dicuss them, their roles are exactly the same as when you play as a carry. Please check the ap carry item list for more information on Morellonomicon, Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Zhonya's Hourglass and Rabadon's Deathcap.
Progressing into the game - playstyle
It is important to note that everyone has their own playstyle, while some kinds of play may work better for some champions than others. I will explain how to lane as Karma in this chapter.
This chapter is not complete and I will add some pictures of my gameplay with examples.
Early game level 1-6(-9)
Karma is very comfortable on mid-lane, she can play aggresive and play safe at the same time. Thanks to Inspire you can somewhat escape ganks without too much risk. Your main goal on mid-lane is to farm. It is a luxery to get a solo kill on mid-lane but it's certainly very possible. Try to poke your enemy while you keep the minions in the middle of the lane. Don't push too much and don't let your lane get pushed. Harras with Inner Flame and Focused Resolve if possible. Use auto attacks, they help a lot. But keep in mind that your goal is to farm and not die, minion farm is more important than to harras! If you've managed to harras a bit and the enemy has burned their health potions, or not taken any at all and started with a Doran's Ring for example you should look for oppertunities to kill the opponent. When you're level five your chances of killing the enemy mid-laner are quite good. Karma has an ultimate at level one, quite an advantage over other mages so use this advantage well. When you're level six, force the enemy to recall, push your lane into the turret and recall yourself. This way they lose out on experience and farm and you won't. Early game you shouldn't roam too much, the jungler will mostly take care of the ganks. If you do decide to roam make sure you work with your jungler, your Inspire will help your jungler engage and you can lock them down.
Mid-game level 9-15
Mid-game is quite an annoying phase when you're laning mid-lane. It all depends on how fast towers go down, if somebody destroys a turret early mid-game might start sooner than usual. Mid-game is the phase where people start roaming and their objectives are no longer farming but killing the enemy team and take objectives such as dragon. This might be a huge-set back for you, as ap carry. Depending on how people play, they might all come mid-lane and ruin your farm. Your best hopes are to start roaming then and take farm yourself, clear the jungle in secrecy. As apc you really need the gold and people often forget that. They don't realise they set you back by taking your farm. If you're lucky this won't happen too much. In a decent game you'll be able to farm quite long. Try to aim for 100-120 farm by 15 mins, then you're okay to roam. It's okay if you have a bit less and you took the oppertunity to gank. Kills count as additional farm, so add up like 20 farm for each kill you've made on a gank and you can calculate if your ganks were worth while. Karma is suprisingly effective as roamer, her snare gives a good crowd controll to secure kills and her Inspire allows her to move across the map sooner, or help people engage or disengage. Farming is important but it's not all about just farm, if you can help your other lanes out you can help them contribute more into the game aswell.
During teamfights it's important to position yourself well, so you can provide the utility you offer to your entire team. Don't get caught off guard. Focus the right people if you get the chance. Focus is important but don't blindly run into the enemies expecting they will let you attack their keymembers.
Late game is the most breaking phase of the game, and sadly Karma falls off slightly as carry in this role. Even if you're fed you can't really one shot their carries like some others can. But you provide a lot of utility and teamfight potential. You are still a great duelist and kiter and you should use these traits well. One mistake can make your team lose the game, so don't travel alone. Make sure there are plenty of wards. If neccesary help your support to ward the map. More vision helps a lot in this stage of the game. The deathcount is so long that when a keymember is dead you can lose the game. With proper warding you can find this keymember and pick them off alone if you're lucky. A major goal is to get baron buff, while baron buff doesn't secure your victory it surely increases your chances to win. Don't do baron if you have no vision, take in account which champions they have and ward accordingly. Take advantage if you won a teamfight and more importantly take advantage of your baron buff. It happens far too often that people take baron, and do nothing with it. They farm, they farm and lose the buff. So if you've taken baron, recall. Heal up, buy. And charge in as team.
When you're teamfighting, use your low cooldown as your advantage. Use Inner Flame on every possible cooldown, same for Inspire but check who needs it. Focused Resolve should be used at the perfect moment, so keep it a bit untill you see a good oppertunity to pin someone down. Keep in mind, eventhough your carry potential isn't optimal, you can still secure victory for your team by any means. You still have great damage and utility, and utility is my opinion key to win teamfights.
During early game you have a few resposibilities and the most important one of them is protecting your carry. Karma has a few days to do this, my personal favorite is harrasing the enemy carry and support, this should result them into staying back a bit and leave your carry alone a bit. The second way is to shield your carry from harras. You can do both, but it requires some management of mana. Don't forget you are a ranged champion and auto attacks may seem like they only tickle but trust me, they hurt when you sneakily land a few.
If you followed my suggested skill you will start with Inner Flame at level one, you will need this to harras. Turning this into Soulflare can really chunk a good amount of health from the enemies so be sure to use your Mantra. Early game your goal is to make sure your adc is safe, My suggesition is to take Inspire at level two, for multiple purposes. It will allow you to harras easier without taking damage in return and it will protect your adc from harras, or yourself. Try to keep one brush warded, essentially the one the enemy support is camping in. The other ward should be in the river, aswell as your Vision Ward. This will be easier once you got your Sightstone. Try to lure out a fight if your jungler is coming to gank, you should not die too fast thanks to Inspire or Defiance. It's much easier for your jungler to gank if you're lured a fight close to your turret. If they haven't pushed wait for your jungler to arrive. You can easily snare someone if you took a point in Focused Resolve. Inspire will also help a great deal.
You have a few things to keep in mind mid-game, that your job took a turn for the worse since early game, not only is it your job to protect your carry in teamfights but it's also your job to get map controll. You can do this with wards, any of your trinkets or Vision Wards. Vision gives you a significant advantage that should be utilized as much as possible.
Unless for some reason you really need to play full ap support I highly recommend to build tanky mid-game due to it making much easier to protect your adc this way, or even anyone on your team. After you took your Sightstone start aiming for a Locket of the Iron Solari I've found this item saved my team mates many times.
Ask yourself the question, are we winning or are we losing? As a support you need to realise how you need to adapt to the game to secure victory.
When you are winning you need to keep on the aggresive, and since it'ss not your job to kill, it's
your job to create oppertunities. You can do this by warding aggresively. But what exactly is warding aggresively? It is warding enemy jungle entry points, as soon as someone roams off into the jungle your team will know. And guess what, easy kills. Bigger advantage, 4vs5 gg. Anyway, the entry points are vital because it gives you an idea where they are even when they play defensively. Even a losing team will want to farm you should try to deny them every oppertunity.
When you are losing is there isn't much you can do as a support in my opinion, ward the entry points of your own jungle so your team will know if they invade your jungle and they escape in time. This gives them some chances to farm without dying more. Get boots of mobility, you can ward and move away fast if they are coming for you. Even when your team gets aced you can kite a stupid team all across the map making them waste a lot of time.
End game it is very important to keep some specific areas warded, especially the baron. One baron can win or lose the game so make sure it doesn't slip away while you're not watching!
You should see if your jungler needs your help, be sure to use Soulflare if you help on the buff, the extra damage is always appreciated. Once you get to the lane and the minions start to battle, you should play aggresive without taking too much risk. Auto attack when there are now low minions and try to shoot some Inner Flames. Try to combo your abilities to apply pressure, if the enemy is not a bruiser/tank you might be able to get an early kill. If not, just force the enemy away from the farm untill they are low or your jungler comes for a gank. Ganks with Karma in the lane have a pretty decent chance of succes on top. If the enemy is melee you can play aggresive, even if they have a gapcloser. You might want to save it just in case they have a gapcloser however, so you can snare them if they jump on you and avoid a lot of damage.
You should have some items by now, even if you didn't do too well you still have tons of utility to offer for your team. Start roaming, get yourself involved in some teamfights and it might work out in your favour. Focus on a cooldown reduction item if you aren't very lucky in your own lane. I suggest taking Athene's Unholy Grail. Cooldown reduction is very valueble when it comes down to teamfighting.
Best case scenario, you win your lane hard and you get fed. What to do? By high amounts of ability power. Rush a Rabadon's Deathcap or a Void Staff if neccesary as a second item. If you are far ahead, a single Soulflare can take up to 2/3 of champion's health! But remind yourself, only do this if you are far ahead.
This is the stage where you shine as Karma. With the right build that is, go for a mixture of tanky ability power items and some damage if you want. The utility will help you win your teamfights. If you got a fed carry in your team, priority for Defiance over Soulflare.
Synergies (very incomplete!)
This is a big chapter and it will take a bit for me to complete it, I will update it regulairly. I will discuss which champions have kits that work extremely well with Karma on various different roles. Botlane synergies need to be tested more and there is just one champion I can give reliable information on for now.
Volibear has got to be my favorite jungler when playing Karma. If your jungler picks Volibear then Karma is a good pick. Before the relaunch spirit bond on Volibear would make a hell of a good initiate. The movement speed would allow Volibear to easily rush at someone and use Rolling Thunder on them. They would instantly get damage and the slow aswell from the spirit link. The thing is, you can sort of still do this with Volibear. Cast Inspire on your bear buddy and let him easily chase your enemy. As soon as he flips someone over his head you Inner Flame for the slow and follow up with a focused resolved which allows for no escape possible. Great synergy.
Maokai has nice ganks and you can absolutely take advantage of this. When Maokai does Twisted Advance he will jump on someone and root them for a small period. He will try to Arcane Smash him back to you. This will allow and easy Focused Resolve and be ready to follow up with Soulflare and finish them off. Decent synergy
Rammus has in my opinion the best ganks of any jungler, his crowd controll lasts very long. Make sure you ask Rammus how long his Puncturing Taunt lasts before he ganks. They usually max it first for better ganks. So as a rule if you haven't asked take these following numbers in account; when Rammus is below level six his Puncturing Taunt lasts shorter than seconds so use Focused Resolve immediately. Between the levels 6-9 his Puncturing Taunt lasts two to three seconds, you can wait about half a second before casting your Focused Resolve. When Rammus is level ten it's safe to assume it's maxed by now and Puncturing Taunt will last a full three seconds. Wait one second with Focused Resolve to get the maximum controll on the enemy. To be sure, ask your Rammus if he's going to max Puncturing Taunt first. You can never know for sure, different people have different play styles. Great synergy.
Jarvan IV is a champion I have seen quite a lot lately and especially on the jungle. Jarvan IV can gank well, or his ganks can completely fail. Use Focused Resolve the moment he manages to knock someone up with his Demacian Standard + Dragon Strike combo. If he uses Cataclysm be sure to Soulflare because there is no escape for them at that point and the explosion will hit for certain aswell. Okay synergy.
Amumu is one of the best junglers in the game and this is because Curse of the Sad Mummy can almost garantee the victory in a teamfight if the team reacts well on it. Lucky for you Karma adds utility to a team with Amumu. She may not have a large aoe damaging ultimate like Brand or Fiddlesticks that can destroy people very quickly while affected by Curse of the Sad Mummy but she can do something else. Defiance is your friend here. As soon as amumu jumps into the middle of them with Bandage Toss and he manages to snare a few targets. Make sure you stand around as many members as possible then cast Defiance on Amumu. You will hit all the targets with damage that he just snared, Amumu will gain a shield to soak some more damage, so will the rest of your team by the way and best of all. Your team should benefit to from the speed boost to get into the fight. You should be able to cast Focused Resolve on a high priority target that just got snared for even more crowd controll. But even before teamfights Amumu can gank a Karma lane well. Bandage Toss and Focused Resolve have some kind of syngergy in lane which allows easy kills and you can even initiate yourself so Amumu can land the easy Bandage Toss instead of the other way around. Great synergy.
Warwick is quite an old jungler and he works quite okay with the right teams. The problem is he has no crownd controll early appart from red buff perhaps. This is why Karma works well with Warwick. She has the crowd controll that Warwick hasn't got early. Initiate with Focused Resolve and let him join the fight. Keep the enemy slowed with Inner Flame and it should be an easy kill early game. Ganks will be easy when Warwick gets Infinite Duress. The duration of the supress is just below two seconds so make sure you hit Focused Resolve as soon as Warwick uses Infinite Duress. Decent synergy.
Sejuani is actually my favorite jungler to play as myself. Her engages and utility are just fantastic. Make sure you initiate in lane. Inspire yourself and Focused Resolve them. Let Sejuani Arctic Assault into the fight and keep the enemy chain slowed for an easy kill. This will be even easier when Sejuani gets Glacial Prison. This easy to land stun will make an easy Focused Resolve for you. Sejuani is good at starting teamfights later in the game. Make sure to Inspire Sejuani if she wishes to engage. Great synergy
Udyr is just a jungler I love for some reason and gladly he goes great with Karma. Udyr hasn't really got gap closers so his burst of speed from Bear Stance is all he's got. You can make it much easier for your good friend Udyr and Inspire him. The moment udyr catches someone he will stun them immediately and that's perfect because it allows you to make an easy Focused Resolve but make sure to use Inner Flame while you chase and it hits somewhat when the enemy just got stunned. The slow will keep him from escaping the snare. This will be easier if Udyr gets a Frozen Mallet or Iceborn Gauntlet. Great synergy.
Vi is quite a populair champion and she is quite strong. You will see her often and quite often will this be in the jungle. Sadly Vi and Karma have little synergy. Vi is more a kind of bruiser jungler with decent damage and little crowd controll. She has a small knockback but her position has to be perfect to make good use of it. Finally there is Assault and Battery which is some kind of stun/supress ability. I'm not really sure what it counts as but it is a form of crowd controll. The range is amazing and she can engage on keytargets from afar. Inspire Vi to get in range or use Defiance if you're close to eachother. You will be able to follow up from her Assault and Battery with Focused Resolve. It's not a bad choice to use your Mantra to Defiance both of you. Like said before Vi is more of a bruiser and will deal plenty of damage so you won't need Soulflare most likely. Little synergy.
Olaf is like a massive truck coming to destroy his targets. His true damage will help to break people quickly and his slow can help you keep up for the snare. You can chose to initiate yourself with Focused Resolve and let him join the fight. You should be able to net a kill if you get the crowd controll going but other than this they have no synergy. Late game you can Inspire Olaf to make him rush into their team and make them **** their pants which is quite fun however. Little synergy.
Shen will make an appearance on the jungle from time to time and his Shadow Dash is nice taunt. You can easily follow up with Focused Resolve if the enemy gets taunted. However this is the only crowd controll he provides. Inspire allows him to get into position for Shadow Dash which can be quite effective if he can manage to taunt a key target later in the game. Okay synergy.
Xin Zhao can be quite good on the jungle and later in teamfights. Inspire him to get in range for his Audacious Charge and scatter the enemies with Crescent Sweep. If an enemy is knocked out of position be sure to cast Focused Resolve on them. Earlier in the game make sure you hit Inner Flame when he used to Audacious Charge to slow the enemy, follow up with Focused Resolve. With some luck the enemy will be snared right after the knock up from Three Talon Strike. Decent synergy.
When Shyvana is your jungler you need to make sure you pick Focused Resolve early. Make sure you can do your full combo at level two. Shyvana doesn't have any crowd controll appart from red buff but luckily she will start here and very often gank directly after taking red. If she chooses to gank mid-lane early make sure you engage. This isn't the most common lane for her to gank so be sure to communicate with your Shyvana.She has high damage so you can perhaps burst the enemy down. When Shyvana gets to level six her engagement becomes great, she can now jump on enemies and drag them with her. Dragon's Descent is a great initiate, when chasing the enemies make sure to Inspire shyvana. Shyvana has great movement speed thanks to her Burnout and she will be able to catch up with most enemies. Okay synergy.
Cho'Gath is quite a popular jungler nowadays and it's good to know you have some synergy with this guy. Make sure you tell Cho'Gath about your snare and let him Rupture when the snare hits for maximum crowd controll. Cho'Gath is a beast when he gets Feast at level six. Don't be afraid to allow your Cho'Gath some of the kills of he ganks your lane, a fed Cho'Gath will be very hard to stop. Okay synergy.
Hecarim loves movement speed and Karma has just that to offer. Together they can catch almost anyone. Hecarim ganks are quite good, he has a knockback on his engage with Devastating Charge which will allow an easy Focused Resolve from you. Even if they manage to escape the snare your chasing potential is amazing with Hecarim. Inspire your Hecarim all day long and he will love you, forever. No understatement really, but seriously this combo is great. Onslaught of Shadows is quite amazing aswell if Hecarim hits it properly, allows you to follow up with some spells. Great synergy.
Lee Sin is quite nice to have on your team, and I in particular love him on my team. I've never played him and don't intend to but you can make some very intresting plays with a good Lee Sin. They don't really have a lot of synergy speaking of their kits. Appart from speeding Lee Sin with Inspire when chasing. Snaring targets he kicked back with Dragon's Rage. Alright you have some synergy but not a lot in my opinion, yet I love the amounts of fun play you can make together with Lee Sin. Okay synergy.
Jax and Karma go together quite okay, but not amazing. Jax is a champion I really hate to be honest. Jax can stun with Counter Strike and engage with Leap Strike. Grandmaster's Might makes Jax quite beefy if he engages so make sure to Inspire him. Shields are very effective on allies with high defenses. Whenever Jax stuns with Counter Strike you can easily follow up with Focused Resolve and Inner Flame. They are okayish together but there are better choices. Okay synergy.
Nocturne has some pretty good synergy with Karma so you can make this work just perfectly. Nocturne has very good 2 on 1 ganks because of Paranoia. Be sure to Focused Resolve the enemy so Nocturne can fly in to help you out. Nocturne has his own crown controll similar to Karma's Focused Resolve. Unspeakable Horror works quite similarly to Focused Resolve. The crowd controll will hit if they stay in range, so this means they can help eachother triggering crowd controll. Even if out of range Karma can Inspire Nocturne for the speed boost and he can start with his fear and Karma can follow up with her snare. Later in the game you can Inspire Nocturne so he can quickly get on high priority targets even without Paranoia. Even if he decides to use Paranoia he will soak some damage with your shield. Great synergy.
Bot-lane synergy. You and your Carry
Karma does suprisingly well with carries that lack some kind of defensive tool of their own. Inspire can prevent a lot of deaths thanks to the movement speed and thus she can works great with champions that benefit from movement speed. She is a solid pick for carries with short range that need a little bit extra protection. Thanks to Focused Resolve you can easily pick a bruiser off your carry, Karma has decent peeling, not the best, but certainly not bad.
Champions I recommend Karma support for:
Vayne and Karma are quite a fun combination and they share some good synergy. As a support Karma makes up for the things Vayne lacks. Not just that, Karma also emphasizes one of Vayne's strenghts. Vayne has poor poking and pushing power and Karma can compensate for that if neccesary. Inner Flame is low cooldown and low mana, the aoe allows it easy to push a lane if you desire to do this at some point. As a support Inner Flame will never clear an entire minion wave on it's own so Vayne should still be able to take the last hits even if you push. She also has short range and Vayne is often picked on because of it. Karma can lane quite aggresively and poke quite well early in the game and keep them from harrasing Vayne in return. If the harrasing game doesn't go as you'd want there is another option. Let Vayne do the harrasing herself. Inspire her and let her tumble for an auto attack or maybe two if she feels like it. The shield will prevent some trade damage and allow her to back off quickly due to the movement speed. Inspire is the perfect support ability for Vayne. It doesn't just shield but offer speed aswell and allows Vayne even more chasing power. The last point I want to note is that the snare from Focused Resolve can lead to an easy Condemn if you happen to catch them near the walls. Great synergy.
Tristana does okay with Karma support. They aren't the best duo out there but it can work. If you can catch someone off guard with Focused Resolve she can easily jump in and unleash her full burst combo. You can also do it the other way around, Tristana Rocket Jump and then Buster Shot them back follow by your Focused Resolve it will not allow them to escape. Make sure to shield to Tristana if she does a move like this. The enemy might retaliate on such an attack. Okay synergy.
Miss Fortune is in my opinion one of the best carries in the game. She is good at trading, she is fast and her damage is crazy. She can even reduce healing with Impure Shots and gain a significant advantage over the enemy carry. You can improve her trading potential a lot by not letting her take so much damage with Inspire, it will not only block some damage but allow her to back off before getting some damage aswell. Make it Rain goes well with Focused Resolve so coördinate with Miss Fortune. Either let her slow them to make your snare hit for sure or make her slow after the snare, the choice is up to you, both options work fine. Miss Fortune goes really good with movement speed boosts from my experience, she is already quite fast but Inspire makes her wow. This lane should be played aggresively, thus maxing Inner Flame for zoning. Great Synergy.
In this chapter I would like to tell you about some opponents and how to deal with them. These are all from my experiences, you can always send me a message if you have problems with a particular champion and I'll let you know how to deal with them with even more detail. Keep in mind that all enemies are individual players and they can have different play-styles and might be familiar with Karma and know how to play against you. I will update this section regularly.
Akali is an easy opponent for you, if played smart you can force her to fall behind and become useless by mid-game. Naturally a good Akali won't let that happen and will ask for help. As thus you should ward when you play this lane, so you can play aggresive without taking too much risk. After she get's level 6, you should be carefull not to fully push the lane. If she has 3 stacks of Shadow Dash there is a chance you might die. You could try and bait her into diving you however, save your Mantra for Renewal if you plan to do so. When larger teamfights occur, remember to bring a Vision Ward with you always. Save it for when she tries to hide between your team with Twilight Shroud. Place the Vision Ward and enjoy giggling as she dies to having no way to escape certain death.
Annie isn't much of a threat for Karma, you out-range her and you can zone. Bring wards however, depending on the jungler you can lose this match-up easily. A stun from her can allow a jungler to close the gap on you and make them destroy regardless of your advantage. Just harras her and go all-in when she just used her stun to farm a minion.
Ahri is one of the lanes I don't fear, you can dodge her skillshots pretty much thanks to a well timed Inspire. You can hit her with a Inner Flame every time she goes near her caster minions, which she probably will, to hit all the creeps with her q. After six try to bait her into using her ult, Inspire yourself then focused renewal and the moment she uses Spirit Rush once, you run the other way. Come back and destroy her when your Focused Resolve is off cooldown. Especially if you harras her well in the earlier stage, she will fear for her life from a single Focused Resolve.
Brand isn't as popular as he used to be but you still see him from time to time. I used to have a lot of issues with this match-up on any of my mid-lane champs untill a while ago. I found out how to beat him and it's really simple. Play passive, make him use his abilities to farm, once he uses the fire ring aoe you make your move. Inspire yourself and go all in when his abilities are on cooldown. This should be one of the easier match-ups as Karma. When you get to mid-game/late-game, you can bait his abilities and dodge them with a quick Inspire.
Diana is a very fun lane to play as Karma. She is a melee champion and thus very vurnable to harras, abuse this but be weary if u do not bring wards. Early this is rather easy, you should be able to deny her some farm atleast. After 6 she becomes an assassin. Don't use your Focused Resolve untill she has jumped on you, or unless you got someone to help you in lane. You might need the snare to protect yourself. You can sometimes bait her into the turret, by using Renewal under the turret.
Lissandra is is a formidable opponent, however range is her weakness. Start with a sight ward atleast. Lissandra has really poor range in my opinion and her Ice Shard is really easy to dodge. Just don't stand behind your minions, keep moving around them and standing next to them. She will keep moving to find the oppertunities to harras you, but use these to your advantage and hit her with Inner Flames, let it hit minions and let the aoe strike her. Be creative and you will win. You can very easily kill her if she makes the mistake of using Glacial Path wait untill the claw is gone and then go all in. She won't have her escape and she most likely won't expect it. A good Lissandra will not make the mistake of misusing the ability but once they do, punish them for it. Inspire yourself and lock her down with Focused Resolve and finish off with Soulflare. Keep in mind that she lock you down with a snare aswell, making an easy gank for their jungler. Highly recommended you Always ward in this lane.
Zed is a champ I've laned against a lot recently and this is match-up is a piece of cake really. If you have the luxury in ranked/draft to change your runes/masteries to armor you should definately do it. His harras won't harm you a lot at all and he won't be to one-shot combo you at all. I usually go for armor seals and some defensive masteries and build double Doran's Ring and a Haunting Guise in this match-up. You can rush a Zhonya's Hourglass after this if you feel like you need to counter his ultimate.
So I wanted to make a special chapter for this, as Karma jungle has been a thing lately. I won't get deep into into the mastery/rune section, you can copy/paste them from the guide.
But let's talk about goals:
Karma is a support jungler, you don't aim to get all the kills and carry by yourself. If that's what you like then Karma is not your jungler. Karma is a utility champion and should be used as thus, sure you can pick up a kill here and there, nothing wrong with that. But your priority is to help your team mates win their lanes.
The biggest problem with Karma jungle is getting counter jungled, that's a big issue. If a buff gets stolen and you're up against a strong counter jungler like Lee Sin or Shyvana you will have to find different methods of leveling. Make sure your team knows that they need to help you in worst case scenario. Let your team come if they try to steal your red, don't be a hero and try and get it by yourself, because if you die it's kinda over with your Karma jungle.
As mentioned before, Karma is all about utility, so maxing cooldown reduction is helpfull. I do not take masteries for it, Instead I max it with items. It really helps with your team fight potential.
Keep in mind that I'm not an expert jungler, I know the basics but if you are intrested in Karma jungle you should probably watch some video's of GG benq diamond (prox). He is quite famous for his Karma jungle.
Warding - Protect yourself and your team!
As promised I'm adding a warding chapter, with a few pictures to help you visualize where to ward. Keep in mind, you should always carry a ward, perhaps multiple! Just because a place hasn't been mentioned in my guide it doesn't mean there shouldn't ever be a ward. Ward as if needed in your current game. The following pictures are just an indication with spots which are helpfull to ward.
So this is basically my priority ward when I'm blueside. It is very common for the jungler to try and gank you after they take wraiths, this gives enough vision to know if they come from their jungle. You can slide it more into the river if you feel you lack vision from the river.
This is usually my secondary ward, when I'm mid. It gives enough vision from the bot-side of the jungle to be safe. Stay close to this side so you have an escape route if you warded this side. Always run into the opposite direction you see the jungler coming from. So if you spot the jungler at this side, run to the top-side of the river.
I used to plant the ward in the brush as a standart rule, but from experience putting the ward bit down the river gives you more vision if you are on the blueside, well atleast time to respond if the enemy takes this route. This ward covers less area than for example the brush ward, but the good thing is it does give you more time to escape if you spot the jungler.
This is the alternative I was talking about, you can place it here and it gives quite a lot of vision. But if you have no escapes in lane on your carry, you might want to consider the previous one. As you might not have enough time to escape even with an Inspire or Defiance if you are pushed.
The ward in the tri-bush is essential, as it is a place where a lot of action might happen. You will see them if they come from your own jungle, or from the enemy jungle if you are purple side. It will also give you vision if the enemy mid-laner tries to gank. Always keep this warded, this might result in a Vision Ward battle. Check how many your enemy support brings or don't bother to try and Vision Ward it. Only do it if you are sure you can prevent the enemy from taking full controll of the tri-bush.
So things changed a little with trinkets, sweepers usually cover the usage of a Vision Ward when doing drake. But warding the brush near drake can help you protect against a steal!
Thanks for reading, my guide is far from complete but I hope you enjoyed reading what I had to share. Karma is quite new from her relaunch so I'm glad I can help if anyone found my information usefull! Certainly after recent buffs she has become a really strong pick.