Karma Build Guide by Samnson
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.
Introduction to the Guide
As you may have guessed, this is a Guide.
A collection of knowledge of the hundreds of games Ive played with the champion Karma.
But, let me be frank with all who read this.
-This is not a Guide on how to be a better player,
-I will not tell you how you will carry your games,
because the nature of carrying any game in league is not determined by why you read on websites; But rather that you have the aptitude to actually do well in your games.
-The items and builds that I use, have proven to be very valuable for me in my games.
Because, as I will state in the guide, find that they simply WORK for the game that I play, and think carefully about why I buy them. As a disclaimer, if you do buy things as I do but don't put thought into why you buy it; That is your fault, not the guides.
I'm not here to teach to game mechanics, Farming/Fighting/Pushing, you pick all that up by playing. if your not good at it, well its time to get better. Feel free to use Karma, just don't blame the guide.
I present you with the tools, but don't get mad at me if your trying to hammer a nail in with a Screw Driver. I should not need to tell you that doing that is stupid, you should have the good sense that it will not work well.
This Said, Here is my guide.
Everything to Know About Karma!
Introduction: Understanding Karma
Karma, The Champion that; for the longest time was considered underwhelming.
And at time considered "barely" a Champion.
Long since her release she was looked down upon as a pick in any game,
Only receiving the light of play from the few players who found her and came to love her,
or found herself in the hands of the elite and played for the World(s) to see.
Now, as one of those people who came to love her, I wish to present to you why she is Strong and why she is a GREAT champion who is Surprisingly more capable then many people give her credit for. Why her strong points greatly outweigh her minor weaknesses, And why you can't judge her by her design as a weak Champion.
So in the Following I present to you:
Everything Thing to Know About Karma.
Understanding the Kit
Karma's Kits, both old and new have always been very unique; it simple in nature but not the easiest thing to grasp and use effectively. Particularly the Co-relation between her Spells and Her Spell Steroiding Mantra. But Regardless of the Mantra itself, understand this: Karma has one of the Highest utility Kit of champion in the game.
(note: if you want to see the damage scaling refer to the display above)
[Passive] Gathering Fire:
Refreshes Mantras Cooldown when Dealing Damage to Enemy Champions;
-reduces cooldown by 2 seconds if source damage is a spell
-reduces cooldown by 1 second if source damage is a basic attack
[Q] Inner Flame:
Fires a Line skillshot a decent distance; upon hitting an enemy, detonates and deals AoE damage in a marginal area.
[Q+R] Soul Flare
Stacks Additional damage, with added effect; Upon hitting an enemy or Reaching max distance, Detonates for AoE damage, Leaving a ring that after 1.5 seconds, detonates again for Additional AoE Damage in a Marginal.
[W] Focus Resolve:
Single Targeted Skill Attaches a Line of Spiritual energy to a target champion, dealing damage over the duration (2)seconds. At the end of the Duration if Target champion remains Tethered, is rooted for for a scaled duration (between 1-2 seconds)
Stacks Additional Damage, with added effect. Initial Tether will Heal Karma for 20% of her missing Health, at the end of the Tether Duration she will again be healed for 20% of her missing health.
Ally Singly Target: Places a Shield that mitigates damage based on skill level, Also gives the Target % movement speed for the duration of 1.5sec which scales off for .5seconds afterward.
Added Effect: Provides and AoE Damage Detonation in a large area
-Enemy's in Detonation area are Dealt magic damage
-Allies in Detonation area Receive a shield based on half the damage as well as movement speed.
As you can see, Karma kit includes:
Strong AoE, Slows, Roots, %Self-heal, Shields, Movement Speed, Low Mana Cost, Low Cool downs.
One of the (if not the most) Versatile Kits in the entire game.
She is not exclusive to one particular Role!
the many things she can be includes:
-Team Fight Initiator
-AD Tank Bruser
Because, because of her Kit, she simply is.
How to Play: Play Style & Spell Attacks
There are a plethora of ways you can play karma, she built to make many tons of interesting decisions in what to build and how to activity pursue counter play. But, if you want the most bang for your buck and make the most of what she can do; Be AGGRESSIVE.
Land your skill, put in lots of attacks, keep the pressure high, Keep your Mantra up and ready when ever you need it! Regardless of what you build, often times your based burst damage and survive is strong enough to pull you through much of the game if not make you a powerhouse that your enemies will fear or focus.
But you may ask, why is this aggression important?
to answer that, I'll give you two of the most core reasons:
1- Because of Karma's Passive, and her Ulti.
The Passive Reduces the cool down of the Mantra based how successfully aggressive you are,
Landing your Q's/ Sticking to your Target for the full duration of your W/ Throwing in auto attacks. These will ALL reduce the cool down of your Mantra, Which with a bit of AP, will chunk off huge potions of your opponents health. Play right and you can begin to steamroll the game.
2- High Aggression will leave your opponent scared.
Key word here: Zoning.
you can very quickly set someone in lane back, keeping them away from farm and experience. Make it known that being close to you should be something feared, and that at any given moment you will just run up and start beating on them and send them home running.
Important thing to note:
How you are aggressive can be important.
Sometimes you will need to rely on your auto attacks more, other times Keep throwing Q's until your opponent is so exhausted from being slowed so often; but usually use both in Unison!
Always consider your positioning as well, since your Q is based around Hit Detection, Your W needs you to be within a set distance from your enemies with CC require some fancy footwork and timing, but in the best cases those enemies will usually be using that CC to run from you.
Some Spell Combo's (with Anime names! :D)
-Point Blank Cannon-
Close the Gap with Inspire
Grab Them with Focused Resolve
Right Before The Root Takes Effect, Blast them in the Face with a
Mantra+ Inner Flame (which because of the root will catch them in both detonations) Finish them up with a Inner Flame & DubStep Ignite
-Faking Weakness- Best played with low health, and is great when being dived.
Position yourself in a way that leaves you open for a trade, Once your enemy takes that moment to jump on you..
Inspire to mitigate the initial damage,
Mantra+ Focused Resolve to start the self heal
Inner Flame them when possible to chunk of their health while they are stuck to the ground.
Then Kite them with auto attacks and Inner Flame until they die.
-You Know What They Say... Cannon- best when catching out an enemy
Open with Mantra & Inner Flame
While they are slowed hold them down with Focused Resolve
Position yourself along their movement path and pelt them with damage.
Finish them off with another Mantra+ Inner Flame
Items and Builds: Built+Kit Harmony
Below are the Items that Sync with her kit and can put special consideration into her build, and more importantly her counter build.
[note] Many other items not mentioned here also work well, but just not what I personally use.
Rod of Ages
Blade of the Ruined King
Boots of Mobility
You notice that I've included many AD/Attack-speed items; This is not a haphazard addition and is in fact items that sync powerfully with karma.
Flash back to her Abilities for a moment, to her passive AND her Mantra:
-reduces cooldown by 1 second if source damage is a basic attack**
"But she doesn't scale with AD" I hear you say; yes, I will say, she indeed does not.
BUT, I say to you. she is not HELPLESS without AP. Again, look at her Kit. Full of slows, Utility, and Insainly potent Heals, Heck you could build almost purely AD and bank entirely on her Utility to carry you in fights. Mitigating most of the damage done to you with your shield and your self heal; On top of the benefit of her being Ranged and Excellent at Kiting because of her speed/slow/root. And what you end up with is a champ who is hard to kill, can shield an entire team, can push/defend a tower, and can hold down a carry long enough for your team to glib them.
I have a distaste for full AP Karma for the following reasons:
-Her Kit only has 1 Truly realized damage ability without relying on her mantra
-Her 50%ap scaling shield is not fantastic, given that the cool down on it only leaves you to be able use it a few times per fight, and using it as a team wide shield leaves you without a mantra for your other abilities. (meaning that you will not have your self heal for a while)
-If your mantra is down, you are an open target, without other means of refreshing it fast you'll have about 10 seconds between uses even if you are applying lots of aggression, Again, the faster you have it up, the more powerful you are. with some attack speed, you can have the mantra up ever 5 seconds or less.
Pros / Cons
Time to talk about the Strengths and Weakness that Exist when playing Karma,
Depending on the picks of the Enemy as well as your team can greatly effect how you should build and play.
Incredible Early Damage
Strong Early Lane Presence
Kit Based Heavily around Utility
Very Useful in Team fights
Build Versatility Can fit Any Role
Hard to kill
Good at Lane pushing
Hard to Out Position
Mild Late game Descaling
Weak To Sudden Burst
Weak to Chain Crowd Control
Kit lacks Full damage Skills (not a burst Mage)
Suffers Mana Issues if Set behind
Over all, if you have map awareness, and can stay in good positioning, many of the cons can be avoided.
Ive Excluded a Specific Build Path from being shown up top because I wanted to make my point clear.
Karma is strong, and Karma can be whatever you make her to be and can still be a force in all your games. Be thoughtful, and think about what you need to build and need to do to WIN, and Karma will be as strong as you can play her because of it.
If I had to say the most important part of playing her, it would be this. Be Humble, you are playing a champ who, in her history has never had the title "OP" attached to her. But when you Smash the face of your opponents, know that they will look at you as the better player, not because the champion is broken. Yet you win your games, because Karma is a great Champion.
Thanks for Reading Through, (if you did, I know its long and full of text but I did my best)
Leave a comment if there are spots that I need to polish or what you think in general.
Hopefully I'll get to see some of you rocking the builds should we ever play. :D