Karma Build Guide by Lugignaf
This build has been archived and is for historical display only.
PLEASE NOTE: This build has been archived by the author. They are no longer supporting nor updating this build and it may have become outdated. As such, voting and commenting have been disabled and it no longer appears in regular search results.
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.
HUGE RE-CONSTRUCTION GOING ON!
I have recently picked Karma back up and am making a ton of changes to the build. Everything whit notes before the main section, is out of date and will be changed soon.
Let's get this straight. First, this is my first build. Second, I am not level 30 although I am fairly good with Karma. Third This will not teach you an un-godly way to play Karma. This is my personal way to play Karma which focuses on her AP strengths rather than her support abilities, although those will be used. Even though her box says she's only ranged and support, she can be so much more. Notes are running rampant in this guide. Look for green text for lots of little helpful hints.
Abbreviations used in this guide are:
AP= Ability Power
CDR= Cool down reduction
HP= Health Points
MP= Mana Points
MagPen= Magic Penetration
There are others that other people use. I just don't care to memorize them.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity has been increased in price making this a slightly more expensive build.
Frozen Heart has been lowered in price and CDR. Should not hurt much.
Rammus' Powerball has been slowed a bit. Bit more difficult to initiate with it now.
v188.8.131.52 The CDR on Morello's Evil Tome has been increased making it a much better option than Frozen Heart.
Inner FlamePersonally, I think this is an odd innate. It improves her healing and survivability when she is close to dying by providing an AP boost corresponding to the amount of HP missing.
Heavenly WaveYour biggest source of healing, outside of Heal. The scaling is 5% of their missing HP initially and one extra percent for every 50 AP you have. It only gives the healing if you use Mantra first. It's also fairly good for farming due to the AoE it has. At high levels it can tear through minions like paper.
Note: This also heals minions. You can use it like this if you want to delay an enemy champion. But it's usually better to use Soul Shield.
Spirit BondThis is an odd skill. It slows or speeds up the thing it's anchored to. Slows if it's an enemy. Speeds up if not. It only damages the targets the beam passes through, not the target it's anchored to. It also does the most damage out of all your skills. It applies the "anchor" buff/de-buff if it passes through them. The Mantra bonus just increases the amount it slows/ boosts speed. You can anchor this on any "physical" model other than a turret/tower. Be it Teemo's mushrooms or wards that you drop around the map. Even minions.
Note: It's probably a good idea to ask if your teammates know how this skill works before you yell at them for not knowing what to do while it's on them.
Soul ShieldOne of the best skills. Huge amounts of damage and, lack of damage late and even early game. There is great potential for this skill. Farming, nuking and even jungling. It blocks a set amount of damage from anywhere. Even poison, ignite and other global damaging skills. The Mantra boost makes it explode when you cast it doing the same amount of damage that it can block.
Note: Don't be afraid to use a Mantra charge on this to shield a minion for extra gold. It helps with farming a ton. Especially late game when you can use this to one-shot the smaller ones.
MantraHow Karma deals with every situation. Low on HP? Mantra and then Heavenly Wave. Turret attacking buddy with minions nearby? Mantra and Soul Shield them. In short, don't initiate without at least one charge of Mantra to explode a Soul Shield on yourself or an ally.
Note: With the Mantra change, it now takes 30/25/20 seconds to gain a Mantra charge. Not much of a difference but it matters a ton early game.
You want to start with a
simply for the fact that it's better to have Mana regen than an increase in the amount you have. Stay in lane for as long as you possibly can. When you have the cash for
push back their champ and recall. You want an increase in mana as soon as possible.
If you stayed out long enough, buy the if you have enough. Otherwise, just wait until you have enough for the Ionian Boots of Lucidity. Just muddle through, getting gold. Jungling if you want. (details later)
Complete the Archangel's Staff as fast as you can. This will speed up your AP gain.
Whenever you have a free moment, look to see if you have enough for a part of Rabadon's Deathcap. If you do, go back for it. Use Spirit bond to get back quickly to your partner. This makes your AP shoot up, and keeps it up. Which is good news for your shield power.
Get more gold and get The gunblade that builds into Will of the Ancients. this will help you gain HP off your shield when you explode it.
If it gets to later game, make a Morello's Evil tome. It gives you a nice AP boost. It's just fun times for Karma. If they still have a lot of AD/AS people, you may still use the Frozen heart if you want.
Your last Item is completely situational.
Stunners/Slowers/Silencers? Ex: / /
Get Quicksilver Sash. For when Cleanse is on cooldown.
Full out AD? Ex: / /
Get Thornmail. It's nice to hurt while being hurt.
Other magic users? Ex: / /
Get Abyssal Scepter. You get AP, Magic resist, and lower their Magic resist.
If nothing else, get a Lich Bane or a Mejai's Soulstealer. Only get the Soulstealer if you can keep the stacks, obviously.
If you are completely godlike, just get another Archangel's Staff. I don't think anyone will blame you for the extra damage and healing. Strangely enough, I've never had a game go on long enough to get this...
If you want, you may buy Morello's Evil Tome. Just for a little extra Cool down reduction and AP.
We go with a slightly modified caster Mastery tree of 9-0-21. It's slightly different because,I don't take the buff increase, I take Greed, and, I don't have a movement increase. Why? 1: Karma can get buffs but, she can't get them fast enough for them to really be effective. 2: She needs the extra cash for the expensive things she builds. 3: She has Spirit Bond. Need I say more?
Taking Teleport because, if you're not there, you can't do anything about it.
Heal, is just because the heal from Heavenly Wave really doesn't do much if you're not missing much HP or have almost no AP.
1: Clarity. Sure you can take this but, it's only useful early game. With the staff, you won't need the mana late game.
2: Cleanse I used to take this before I took Teleport If they have a ton of CC, take this over the spell of your choice..
What you shouldn't take.
1: No. Karma should never rush into a base fight. Even though she has good HP for a mage, if there are no allies around, she will die. HARD.
2: She isn't pure offense. Just leave it alone.
3: Never have I needed to jump around with Karma. There are very few times I wish I would have kept my Spirit Bond on longer.
4: I know the purpose is to not die but, she gets stronger at low HP. let them hit you a bit, pop a shield, escape with Spirit Bond. Running isn't a problem.
5,6: / Let another support get these. Please.
Currently out-of-date. Will update soon.
I don't think I really need to explain the runes.
AP+Heavenly Wave=Good near death healing.
AP+Soul Shield=Good nuking/death defying power
MagPen+Soul Shield=Good nuke
I take the per level runes because by the time you really need the AP, you're already at the point where you go over the flat AP runes.
Note: I'm not too experienced with runes so, if you see a way to improve this, please, tell me.
If you really want to do this for extra cash, here's how. Early game, you don't want to do this unless you have a goods source of healing or else you'll fall behind. Later, Mantra Shield yourself to deal nice damage to all things around you and survive longer. Repeat many times on every camp you want, excluding the "boss" camps. You can still do this to them but make sure you start with a spirit bond on one of the back minions first to deal some damage to the "boss" before you kill the minions.
You cannot solo the dragon very easily. I'm not sure if it's possible even.
You want the Blue Golem buff as much as possible. But don't go out of your lane too much to get it. It takes a good while to kill it.
The Red Lizard Buff isn't really worth the time. Let someone else get it.
If you convince your team to go after the Baron wait until the fight has started before you shield someone. Mantra Shield the ally who is being hit and try to Soul bond an ally on the other side of the Baron.
Note: Again, I don't do this much. If you find a way to improve this, please, tell me.
You need to decide as a team when to attack. If you are busy farming, and Udyr is coming at Karthus from behind and you don't notice it, Udyr has a much larger chance of dying. Just remember shields, attention and, communication saves everyone from rage-quitting.
Just simply who you do and don't want to leave the base with or lane against.
Sivir... She will get in your way of last hitting minions and slow down your AP ramp. Sure you can out-farm her but, it sacrifices a huge amount of attention and mana on your part. In general, most ranged champions are bad for you to lane with.
Master Yi... Again, last hitting with him in your lane is going to be tough. If you must have him, it's much better late game.
Soraka... If you have her, it vastly increases the amount of time you can stay in lane to get EXP and gold. One of the few ranged people you want in your lane.
Rammus... Have him Powerball in. You Mantra Shield him. Then Spirit Bond the enemy champ and give chase!
Veigar...If he is past level 6, you change lanes. He will nuke you for ALL your HP with his ulti. Unless, you aren't doing an AP build for some reason...
Taric... His semi constant stunning will cut you down early and somewhat late game. And his "mana steal" and heal keeps him in lane far longer than you can.
Sivir... One of my favorite games to play is let her push and then... Let's hunt/chase/kill Sivir!!! Fun times for all but her and her team.
Note: I have not laned against enough different people to really classify this as a complete guide to laning. Tell me if you find other bad/good partners.
I've been playing Karma almost non-stop for the past week and a half. This is the fruits of my testing: Don't rush in too much. A little is fine. Shields shave everyone, even the stupid people who deserve to die. Spirit Bond requires tons of teamwork so, do it. If you need some more mana from Archangel's Staff, use a Mantra enhanced Spirit Bond or, Soul Shield. You'll get it back soon anyways. Runes and jungling are still a little iffy for me. Improve them if you can.
Suggest new ideas. I could really use the help... sorta...
Please, tell me of any spelling or grammar mistakes in here as well as when things go out of date. I can't devote all my time to keeping this current you know.
2-9-11: Build first published.
2-10-11: Changelog added. Laning partners added. Misc. spelling/grammar/other changes.
2-12-11: Anavia replaced with Taric for bad enemy choices. Small item changes.
2-16-11: Patch notes section added. Major "additions" in there.
2-17-11: Small addition to items section concerning Morello's Evil Tome. Added abbreviation section.
2-18-11: Small change to Spirit Bond's description.
2-28-11: Item order changed. Morello's Evil Tome replacing Frozen Heart. Couple other small changes made regarding the new patch.
5-11-11: Made some changes to the runes to better reflect my learning of the game. Will edit rune section to match later.
5-12-11: Abilities section changed to reflect Mantra's changes. Summoner spells changed to be more supportive.