Build Guide by mobrebel
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.
Note: Please feel free to critique this guide, I can't think of everything and any help will be greatly appreciated.
Karma might as well be the Enlightened One, as she is one of the most unique champions in the game. Yes, Udyr might not have a ultimate, but Karma auto-learns hers at spawn. And her ultimate augments her abilities in a such a way so that not only Sion's shields blow up, but her's, too. She is probably one of the best Support/AP nuke champions I have seen so far.
In this guide, I want to touch on both viable ways to build her: AP nuke and support. I personally think that AP nuke is the best out of the two, as she can also support this way, but whichever you feel is better for you, go for it.
Pros / Cons
- Actually is tanky for a mage
- Passive allows her to become stronger as a teamfight rolls on
- Strong in both areas of AP carrying and Support
- Boobs are not the main point of her. (That's right Miss Fortune and Sona)
- Strong mid to late game
- Gets killed easily if focused
- Weaker early game than most might like
- Mana pool is small early game
- Boobs are not the main point of her... (Just kidding!!)
- Item Dependent (In my opinion)
- Mantra has a total of 2 charges....Great....
Note: Although she is tanky, she cannot take any focus in team fights. So, still be wary of your positioning.
[Q] -- Heavenly Wave - Karma sends forth hidden blades from her fans, dealing magic damage in a cone.
Imagine this skill like Kassadin's Force Pulse. It's range is a little bit farther out and seems to be about the same width. It can do about the same amount of damage late game, too. This is why she can be an AP nuke. Also, it's cooldown is about 4 to 5 seconds after getting the Ionian Boots of Lucidity. This is a priority.
[W] -- Spirit Bond - Karma bonds an ally or enemy creating a beam between them. Allied anchors have increased movement speed and enemy anchors have reduced movement speed. Enemy units that come in contact with the beam take magic damage.
This ability can save lives and catch that troublesome Teemo or Master Yi. The speed boost is amazing and the tether has a decent range, about the same as Morgana's. Not a Priority unless playing support.
[E] -- Soul Shield - Karma summons a protective shield that absorbs incoming damage.
Yup, this is Janna's bubble with no attack damage increase. Nothing special about it except the amount of damage it really can absorb. It takes A TON of damage. This is what gives Karma the ability to 1 v 3 or more. A must for both support and even AP, for various reasons.
[R] - (Ultimate) -- Mantra - Karma empowers her next ability to do an additional effect. Mantra is available at level 1 and does not require a skill point.
Listen to me, just this once if you have been disregarding me this whole guide. I don't care what you think. This... Is... The... BEST... Ultimate.... EVER!!! This is what makes her unique. If you are thinking that I am on crack, read the second sentence again, and again, and once more again. It NEVER requires a skill point. This means, for one, that your other skills (other than the passive. of course) go to level 6, and she has it ready first thing for first blood. This will give you those wonderful shivers down your spine, especially when you see what it does to the skills.
Heavenly Wave - In addition to dealing damage to enemies, Heavenly Wave will also heal allies in the cone based on a % of their missing life.
- The percentage is 5% with no AP. But, with AP, it can exceed 15% with a full build. This is why I believe AP Karma is better.
Spirit Bond - Karma strengthens the bond to double the effect of the movement speed modifier.
- Meh. Not the greatest unless you are trying to catch that pesky Crit Master Yi... Or that Crit Teemo.....
Soul Shield - In addition to casting the shield, energy radiates out from the shield dealing damage to enemy units around Karma's target.
- Ungodly. You get to protect someone and kill another. What more could a AP carry need? Support and Nuke in one. What more to say? By the way, the damage is equal to the amount of damage the shield can take... Another reason I think AP is better.
Now do you understand why this is amazing???
[Passive] -- Inner Flame - Karma gains increased Ability Power corresponding to her % of missing Health.
For those of those League of Legends followers since the beta, this is what Ryze's passive was going to be. Not much to say. It is just some extra AP. But, it does some work with a Rabadon's Deathcap. Hmmm, is this another reason for AP Karma??? Also, it is around 110 AP when you are missing ALL of your health.
Skill Sequence - AP
I usually start with Heavenly Wave, as, even though it doesn't have the greatest amount of damage in the beginning, the heal with Mantra helps a ton to harass and get first blood. It is nice to start with a person with Exhaust so you can beat them up faster.
It then goes on by prioritizing Heavenly Wave, but getting a point in both Spirit Bond and Soul Shield. If you prefer those nice little "Alligator Mouths" (less than and greater than signs), then here you go.
Q > E > W
Skill Sequence - Support
Not much to say here. You could start with Spirit Bond or Soul Shield. (so you have some kind of damage...) I personally see Support Karma going with this order.
E > W > Q
Of course it is important to get one point in Heavenly Wave right away for the nice heal.
Runes - AP
Not much to say here. Basic runes for a mage. Of course, since the patch, Flat HP Quintessences (I hope I spelled that right...)suck now. So I would go with Flat AP Quintessences to add to the chance for a nice First Blood.
Runes - Support
I find Cooldown Reduction and Mana Regeneration a priority if you are going to be a support champ, so I would go with that. But, It is up to you.
Masteries for both are the usual 9/0/21 for mages with the only difference being masteries and:
- Greed for the extra gold on AP Karma as everything costs more.
- Quickness for extra speed as the Support Karma. (Gives better chance to get to allies)
The points for Meditation are different as Support Karma finds herself not needing mana regen as much early game. Late game her mana is fine.
AP Karma should go with Ghost and Flash. That way, you can reposition well and get away/catch up from/to everybody... Spirit Bond anyone??
Support Karma should go with Clairavoyance and Ghost. Clair is used for the ever so useful map scouting, and Ghost to keep up with your carries as they chase those last couple of enemies. Again, I call for a Spirit Bond.
Items - AP
Every game as Karma I play, I start this way. Begin with a Doran's Ring. It helps with mana regeneration and gives that nice amount of health to keep you alive as you harass the enemy. I then rush Ionian Boots of Lucidity. They give cooldown reduction that she desperately needs. Afterwards, I grab a Tear of the Goddess and rush a Rabadon's. So it should look like this for your core.
Then, it is just situational. I usually try to get a Rylai's and finish the Archangel's. Other items you could get could be:
- Rod of Ages - More health and mana. AP is nice, too. Get it if they concentrate on you a little bit more than other champions on your team, and if you know the game will last another 10 minutes at least.
- Abyssal Scepter - If your team is mostly mages and they are stacking some magic resist, you probably should get this if no one else is. It buffs all the magic damage users on your team. Also, if their team is mages, the magic resist is nice.
- Deathfire Grasp - Nice against those who have a lot of health. Also has some cooldown reduction.
- Mejai's Soulstealer - ONLY if you can get and KEEP stacks.
Items - Support
Stack Auras if you want, I still believe the core should be the same, except, of course, the Rabadon's.
You could use any support item you see fit that your team needs.
I won't say exactly what you should get, it just depends on what is happening. Your call.
The items I provide in the build is just an example of what you could get.
- During a teamfight, put a Spirit Bond behind the enemy on a minion or the farthest back champion to allow it to hit the enemy champions for damage and to slow them.
- Do not be afraid to flash near someone just to use a Mantra + Soul Shield. The Soul Shield should keep you alive while you escape and will deal some nice AoE damage to them.
- Mantra + Heavenly Wave doesn't just heal champions, but minions, too. Use that to your advantage if you are stalling the enemy.
- Try to always keep one stack of Mantra for a gank or a teamfight.
- As always, be careful. You might not be that squishy, but you certainly are not a tank.
Note: I will add more as I see fit. As I play Karma more and more, I will try to find other nice techniques to use.
If you read through that IMMENSE passage, congratulations!!! You now have a good amount of knowledge on how she might be played. Although I say to do something, you do not necessarily have to do it. It isn't the Karma bible...
I am sorry this guide is so big, but what should one expect from a very unique champion.
Please feel free to comment and vote. No trolls please.
Have a good time with your next League of Legends game as Karma!!! You will not be disappointed.