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Karma Build Guide by Frivolous Fox

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Frivolous Fox

Karma, Victory is Assured [Rework Updating]

Frivolous Fox Last updated on March 7, 2013
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Mid/Top and Support

[VS]

Jungle

Ability Sequence

1
6
8
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
4
14
15
16
17
18
Ability Key W
2
3
5
7
9
11
Ability Key E





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
 
 

Defense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pickpocket
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Nimble
 
 

Utility: 0


Guide Top

UPDATES

This guide is going to be going through some changes as more info on the Karma rework comes out. It has been announced already and I will post some pictures here. I will be doing extensive testing on the PBE when the new kit gets released onto it and will release a pre-live update to my guide. When it goes live I will update anything that may be changed. Help me become one of the top Karma guides out there.




Guide Top

Introduction



Hello and welcome to my extensive Karma guide. I will try to keep this guide as up to date as possible, especially with her rework coming soon and I'm really hoping it wont change too much. This is not a guide you should read while you are in the loading screen as I go very in depth into the world of Karma. This is my first guide so any sort of feedback would be appreciated and I would prefer if you did not down vote until trying the guide or at least giving a reason. I'd like to start by saying that this guide should not be followed word for word, this this just the way I have had success playing Karma. Builds are completely preference based, and you should build based on your own play style. Now that that is out of the way, I'd like to say that Karma is my absolute favourite champion. I've played hundreds of games with her and feel I have mastered her enough to share the collection of my knowledge with you. I'd also like to say that I have spent hours on end testing different builds and lanes with Karma (since Mobafire doesn't host a wide variety of fresh guides) and I hope you value the information that I have collected from it. I am still working on the finite parts of the Junglema section and will update it once it is done.



This is the perfect music to play while finding your inner peace.
Give it a listen while you read through the guide!



Guide Top

Karma, The Enlightened One






Karma in my opinion is an AP nuker or bruiser mage (Like Ryze). She is best played in Mid or Top lane and although she has an amazing support skill set up, she requires her lane partner to know how to manipulate her abilities. If they can not do that, then there is no point in you supporting them. I have also had some success playing her in the jungle but it is difficult to play her in that role without a pre-made team. Her abilities require, to some degree, a large amount of skill to pull off in a prefect combo. Minions are Karma's best friend in lane. Use and abuse them to their full effect. They count as anchors for Spirit Bond for a quick speed boost to escape, or for instant tether damage + slow to an enemy champion. Learning to abuse minion position as well as your own will be one of the hardest things you have to master while playing Karma. The biggest downside to playing Karma is the fact that people will constantly want to report you for "troll picking" the second you lock in. I've not a clue where the general hatred towards Karma comes from but with her rework drawing a lot of attention, hopefully it will start to die down. Karma has a very unique skill set up. She doesn't have an ultimate but instead has a mechanic that buffs her already fun to play line up of abilities. A lot of people will say that she has weak scales for an AP champ that only has 3 abilities that actually do damage. This is true she is weak number wise but what makes Karma fun to play is messing with your opponent's head. Since less than 1% of LoL's population plays Karma on a regular basis, people are still unsure quite how to lane against one. Completely flipping what might seem like a guaranteed kill into a kill for yourself is one of the most enjoyable things to do while playing Karma.


Guide Top

Pros / Cons





PROS

+ Strong Burst
+ Good Early Game
+ Super strong shield
+ Great at baiting
+ Fun to play
+ Most don't know how to lane against her

CONS

- Susceptible to ganks early on in the game
- Focused in team fights if fed
- Falls off if not kept fed
- Someone always wants to report you
- Countered by magic resist
- Heavy item reliance


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Spells (Detailed Breakdown)




Inner Flame


Detailed Use Of Inner Flame



Heavenly Wave


Detailed Use Of Heavenly Wave



Spirit Bond


Detailed Use Of Spirit Bond



Soul Shield


Detailed Use Of Soul Shield



Mantra


Detailed Use Of Mantra


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Summoner Spells



I will go more in depth on which summoners spells are good to use in the build's individual chapters. This section is just for the summoner spells that you shouldn't use and the ones that aren't recommended you use.





Do NOT use these summoner spells



Why you shouldn't take barrier

why you shouldn't take heal

why you shouldn't take ghost

why you shouldn't take revive




It is not recommended that you use these



Why it is not recommended to use clarity

why it is not recommended to use clairvoyance

why it is not recommended to use cleanse

why it is not recommended to use teleport


Guide Top

1.1 Midma and Topma



This chapter will go over everything you need to know about Midma and Topma




How to Play Topma/Midma



Top and Mid are the challenging lanes for Karma but the way you play them is generally the same. To start your only real counter is another Karma or Morgana. You harass and poke with Heavenly Wave (save your mantra for Soul Shield) and then when you know you can kill them, land a Spirit Bond on a creep behind them (for damage and slow) walk up and Mantra Soul Shield and follow with Heavenly Wave and Ignite. It is not uncommon to have to Flash in to do this combo and I can also not tell you how many times I've had to flash auto attack just to make sure Ignite would kill the enemy. When you are getting ganked all you have to do is use Spirit Bond on their jungler, shield and heal yourself if needed and walk away (flash if you have to). Karma is really good at 2v1 but I am NOT suggesting you go and try it. A skilled Karma can turn and enemy gank in her favour very quickly.


I will usually start with a Doran's Ring with Midma/Topma for early game mana control. If you feel you are using too much mana early game and suffering because of it, then build a second one after your boots. If you are having problems with Mantra never being recharged then you can buy an early game Fiendish Codex and get Ionian Boots of Lucidity.



Masteries


Standard Build 21/9/0

Masteries
1/5
4/1
2/1
4/5
1/1
3/1
1/1
4/
1/
4/1
2/1
2/5
1/1

These are the 2 mastery pages I use when playing Midma/ Topma. The one above is my standard mastery set up but if you have having mana problems, use the one below. I suggest using the 21/9/0 page as it makes laning a lot easier. If you are comfortable farming, you can take 2 points out of Butcher and 1 out of Mental Force and put those 3 points into Havoc for more damage (this works for both mastery pages).


Mana Problems Build 21/0/9

Masteries
1/5
4/1
2/1
4/5
1/1
3/1
1/1
4/
1/
1/5
3/1
1/5
3/5
1/1



Runes



For any of these rune pages you can replace the seals with Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration for more mana control and the glyphs with Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction if you are having mantra problems.

AP Nuker (Super Squishy)

Runes

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration
9

Greater Glyph of Ability Power
9

Using this rune page will make you incredibly squishy in lane but it will also make you hit like a tank. If you are confident you get enough kills to rush through to your Abyssal Scepter (which usually is quite a number of kills), then use this rune page. This rune page requires you to snowball early and if you fall off it usually will slow your build progress and put you very far behind.

Ying-Yang (Balanced & Recommended)

Runes

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
5

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Mark of Armor
4

A modified version of this rune page to include 9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is my preferred set up. It gives you enough armor to take hits while also giving you enough AP to be deadly in lane. This is the fail safe rune page and I recommend it to ALL Karma players.

Tank Mage (Tanky)

Runes

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
5

Greater Mark of Armor
4

It is not uncommon for Karma players to tank. This build will get you one step closer but should only be used if you plan on skipping some key survivability items for more damage or you are going full Karma tank. I usually will not use this rune page as it falls off late game and the small amount of resistance you are getting from it becomes meagre.



Ability Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

There is nothing special about this sequence it is usually the same for all my Karma builds. It includes maxing Soul Shield first for its threatening shield + damage followed by Heavenly Wave for its utility and damage and lastly Spirit Bond for its utility.



Item Sequence

THIS SECTION WILL ONLY PROVIDE MORE INSIGHT ON THE LAST TWO ITEMS FROM THE ABOVE MIDMA/TOPMA BUILD GUIDE


Item Sequence











Zhonya's Hourglass
2900

Guardian Angel
2400

Deathfire Grasp
3100

Athene's Unholy Grail
2250

  • Build Zhonya's Hourglass if you are not as fed and you need a little bit more survivability and damage.
  • Build Guardian Angel if the other team is incredibly bursty and you are constantly getting focused in team fights.
  • Build Deathfire Grasp if they have a large amount of health or you are comfortable using it.
  • Build 2 of these 5 items depending on your situation.



Summoner Spells


SPACESPACESPACE


There really isn't any other choice in summoner spells for Midma/ Topma unless you want to sacrifice Ignite and replace it with Exhaust to stop ganks or prevent escape. Even then, the damage loss is pretty severe as Exhaust is easily countered by any sort of escaping mechanic


Guide Top

1.2 Supportma



This chapter will go over everything you need to know about Supportma




How to play Supportma



Supportma is really, really easy to play. You use Soul Shield on your carry, Mantra Heavenly Wave to heal as many people as possible (any damage you do with it is bonus), and Spirit Bond to speed/slow as many people as possible. Avoid using Mantra on Soul Shield as your intent is not to do damage. When playing Supportma, all your spells are treated as a utility so any boost to that is nice. What this means is, when playing Supportma, save your Mantra for Heavenly Wave and Spirit Bond. Other than this you do all the things a generic support should do like building the Auras ( Runic Bulwark, Zeke's Herald,etc.) and warding. Look in the "Warding and Counter Warding" section for more information on that specific aspect of Supportma.


I start with a Mana Manipulator just to let me spam spells early game. If you are having mana issues then I suggest starting with a Doran's Ring OR the normal support start ( Faerie Charm3x sight ward2x Health Potion). If you take the second option then rush your philosopher's stone and then build Kage's Lucky Pick.


Masteries


Standard Support Build 8/0/22

Masteries
4/1
4/5
1/5
3/1
1/1
3/5
4/1
1/5
4/1
1/
3/
1/

The page above is the one I use the most often. It is a little different from most general support pages but it works. There isn't much to say as it is fairly self explanatory, you want points in Offence for CDR and AP/level and the rest in Utility to support. I recommend this page to anyone playing Supportma. The bottom page on the other hand is another way to support as Karma which I have aptly called Tankma. This page should be used if you want to use Soul Shield on yourself and take hits while your ADC goes to work. This reduces her overall utility and focuses more on survivability and CC.


Tankma 8/22/0

Masteries
4/1
4/5
4/1
3/1
3/5
2/1
1/1
1/5
3/1
3/
1/
1/



Runes



For any of these rune pages you can replace the seals with Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration for more mana control and the glyphs with Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction if you are having mantra problems.

Aggressive Support

Runes

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Mark of Ability Power
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Using this rune page will give you just a little bit of needed survivability but also give you enough AP to make your shield useful and potent early on. This rune page is usually used if you want to mimic a kill lane but with a support. It makes her deadly early on but falls off after that. It is intended to feed your ADC kills early on and put him ahead before the enemy jungler makes his rounds.

Neutral Support

Runes

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Mark of Armor
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

This page focuses more on being useful as the game goes on. AP/level Glyphs will give you the chance to build Utility items (like Philosopher's Stone) early on while still giving you a potent lane shield. I take armor seals and marks to make myself basic attack tanky towards their ADC especially since my spells need me to be up close to use. It evens out the trade if I felt the need to poke and later in the build MR gets filled in for by survivability items. You can replace the flat AP quintessences with Greater Quintessence of Gold for more Gp10 and quicker item builds. I prefer the gold quints but flat AP will help your early game.

Tankma

Runes

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

Greater Mark of Armor
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
9

This page is used when playing Tankma. It is a very defensive page and makes you extremely tanky early on. My preferred rune page with Karma includes this page with except with 3x Greater Quintessence of Gold. It makes me very beefy early on and lets me buy items faster. It is my preferred way to play Supportma and I recommend it to anyone just starting off with Karma.



Ability Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

There is nothing special about this sequence it is the same as my other Karma builds. It includes maxing Soul Shield first for its threatening shield followed by Heavenly Wave for its utility and lastly Spirit Bond for its speed boost + slow.



Summoner Spells


Space Space



The current meta calls for all supports to use Exhaust and you should follow the meta. The reason why I have included Clairvoyance here is because it is the next best summoner spell that you can take if your ADC takes Exhaust (for some unknown reason).


Guide Top

1.3 Junglema



This chapter will go over everything you need to know about Junglema




How to play Junglema



This section of the guide should NOT be taken seriously. Every single champ can jungle and although you can jungle as Karma it doesn't make it viable in ranked play. I only suggest doing this if you are in a pre-made team or else you are going to get reports from every single person in the game.
When playing Junglema you want to start shield and go to blue. You should be getting a leash her so do NOT use mantra shield on blue minion just the regular shield and smite. Go to wolves and level up heavenly wave. Spam heavenly wave and use mantra shield once. Go to wraiths same thing as wolves (if you are late using your mantra shields you may have to wait a second for it to come back up). Then red buff, this is the hard one you should have 1 mantra going in and you will be relying on the second one to come up during the encounter. Mantra soul shield and spam heavenly wave as usual (if your mantra comes up before soul shield is off CD and you are low health, use it on heavenly wave. If mantra comes up just after soul shield will come off cooldown, then use it on soul shield). You do not want to let that mantra go to waste. Smite when needed. At this point you can start to gank lanes. Same strategy as the other builds Spirit bond + mantra shield + heavenly wave. If you are lucky you will leave with an assist or even a kill. Karma is a utility jungler like Alistar so don't expect to always get kills.



Masteries


All Around Jungle Build 9/12/9

Masteries
4/1
4/5
1/1
1/5
4/1
2/1
3/1
1/5
1/1
3/5
3/1
2/5
1/1

The page above is my all around build. It is for defensive jungling and utility ganks. It helps you survive the jungle and feed the other lanes kills. When I play Junglema it is the build I use the most often. The page below is for an aggressive approach to the jungle. It is used for quick clears and ganking lanes for kills. You reduce the chances of them getting away by just doing more damage. It also makes you a more viable counter jungler as the other jungler will have a ton of problems trying to stop your early game damage. I don't recommend this one as much as you might aswell be playing Topma/ Midma.


Aggresive Jungle Build 21/5/4

Masteries
1/5
4/1
2/1
4/5
1/1
3/1
1/1
4/
1/
1/5
1/5
2/1
1/5
1/5
3/5



Runes


Standard Jungle

Runes

Greater Mark of Armor
9

Greater Seal of Armor
9

Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
9

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power
3

This is my standard jungling page. Armor to help against the jungle creeps and AP for early damage. It is fairly self explanatory and this is the only rune page I recommend to use when jungling. You can make some adjustments to the page to fit your play style;
space Greater Mark of Ability Power for more early game damage but less survivability.
space Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration for mana regen but less survivability.
space Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction for mantra control but less damage.
space Greater Quintessence of Gold for GP/10 but less early game damage (I don't recommend this).




Ability Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

There is nothing new here. Again this sequence it is the same as my other Karma builds. It includes maxing Soul Shield first for its damage and shield followed by Heavenly Wave for its damage/heal combo and lastly Spirit Bond for its speed boost + slow.



Item Sequence

THIS SECTION WILL ONLY PROVIDE MORE INSIGHT ON THE LAST TWO ITEMS FROM THE ABOVE JUNGLEMA BUILD GUIDE


Item Sequence











Will of the Ancients
2300

Zhonya's Hourglass
2900

Void Staff
2650

Abyssal Scepter
2750

  • Twin Shadows is very good for ganking as it gives you an extra slow to use. Build this if you are having trouble keeping up with their team.
  • Will of the Ancients gives a large amount of spell vamp and should be bought if there is more than one AP carry on your team (and no one else on your team has one yet).
  • Zhonya's Hourglass should be built if you are getting focused in team fights or need the extra survivability.
  • Void Staff should be built if you are fed and are only snowballing further (and they have over 130 magic resist).
  • Abyssal Scepter should be built if you are in the same situation as Void Staff BUT they have less than 130 magic resist OR they have a hard AP nuker/strong AP damage on their team (LeBlanc, Veigar, Akali, etc.)
  • Build 2 of these 5 items depending on your situation.



Summoner Spells


SPACESPACE



No doubt about it, these are THE two summoner spells you REQUIRE if you plan on jungling as Karma. Smiteless Karma never works (plus you need Smite to finish off minions and no jungler should even not have it) and Flash is a must have for its mobility. I highly recommend you DO NOT try any other combination of spells when playing Junglema


Guide Top

Warding and Counter Warding



Sight Ward Sight Ward

This portion of the guide goes very in depth. I will put a TL;DR version at the top here but inside the spoilers I have included in-game pictures to help you. I have also divided it into categories to make it easier to understand why wards go where they go.




YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE ON YOUR TEAM WHO CAN BUY WARDS. IT IS NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO WARD MID AND TOP DURING LANING PHASE. THEY CAN BUY WARDS TOO.



The Cost of a Ward



This section will elaborate on the choice between Sightstone or Sight Ward



You should inevitably get a Sightstone but what if you don't have enough money to buy one when you back? This question is asked too much and my answer is simple: Until you can buy a Sightstone, buy wards. This raises another question though, "How many wards do I need to buy?" This all depends on the situation of the game. First we start with the Gold/10 (Gp10). From support masteries you will have 2 Gp10, Runes should give you another 3 Gp10 and depending on your items you will have another 4-9 Gp10. All this adds up to be somewhere in-between 5 Gp10 (with no items) to 14 Gp10. Now lets make a theoretical situation. You have 500 gold in reserve but absolutely no wards on the map. The first thing you need to do is drop 125 gold on a Vision Ward and put it on Dragon. There is a pretty high chance there will be another ward already there. Destroy it (Both types of wards AND wards from Sightstone will give you 25g) and you should have already made 1/5 of the cost of that ward back. Now wards will run for 3 minutes (180 seconds). This means that over the full duration a Sight Ward you will make (from Gp10) anywhere between 90 (5 Gp10) to 252 gold (14 Gp10) -75 gold for the ward. In case you haven't connected the dots this means when buying a Sight Ward you will automatically make 15-177 gold over the course of it's duration (not including the time it takes to place it AND if you bought a Vision Ward, the amount of wards you destroyed). Wards are valuable and the team who controls sight of the map controls the game. Only save gold for a Sightstone if there are already wards on the map. Sightstone should still be one of the very first items you build as a support regardless, buying wards only lets your team have vision of the map while you work towards getting one.



TL;DR Ward Map




This map should be easy enough to follow. You want to usually have the Neutral Wards, Lane Wards and Baron/Dragon Wards covered. Leave the Jungle Wards to the jungler. The rest of the wards should only be placed when the situation calls for them.




This map shows a lengthy route you can take to counter ward the enemy. You should have an Oracle's Elixir before embarking on this journey. It should bring you through all the bushes that will have dangerous wards in them. Keep in mind the enemy team can easily kill you if you are by yourself and that doing while your team is getting pushed or is pushing may cost the game. You could also just check the same bushes you would normally put wards in instead of walking all the way around the map.



In Depth Version (With Pictures)


From the above warding map, I have separated each section and included it in a spoiler below. Keep in mind that all of these pictures are taken from Blue team's point of view and if you are Purple team Defensive and Offensive are reversed for you. Be careful opening these as the pictures are quite large and may take up a large amount of monitor space. Some wards will overlap sections. Baron and Dragon should be warded at all times and note that you can have more than one of the situations below so don't be afraid to put wards where you might see them as beneficial.



Neutral Warding (Blue & Purple)


Lane Wards (Blue & Purple)


Defensive Warding (Blue) & Offensive Warding (Purple)


Offensive Warding (Blue) & Defensive Warding (Purple)


Baron & Dragon Warding (Blue & Purple)


Jungling Wards (Blue & Purple)


Guide Top

Documented Scores



Scores


Feel free to send me pictures of your scores with your name/lane and I will include them in a spoiler in this section. I will be uploading pictures of some of my better games with her to this section as well. If you don't want to show your name just put "Anonymous" and I will black out anywhere where your name is showing.



Frivolous Fox's Scores (Assorted Lanes)


Guide Top

Conclusion and Credits



Well this is the end of my guide and I hope you enjoyed it. If I get positive feedback from the community I will put together guides for some of my other favourite champions ( Nami, Thresh, Nidalee). I hope that the information I've provided you was sufficient and if I am wrong anywhere feel free to correct me in the comments. I hope this guide will turn the heads of those who despise Karma everywhere and maybe draw some attention to this very fun champion to play. If you have any questions post them in the comments and I will put together a Q&A section just for those. I will do my best to keep this guide as up to date as possible especially with her rework coming out soon. I will also try and capture some game play footage to clarify her skill combos and such.




I have to give credit to Jhoijhoi's Making a Guide for a ton of help on how to make a guide and general BBcoding. Also would like to credit to Riot for making an extremely fun champion to play. Lastly I would like to give credit to the old and outdated spotlight for Karma for some pictures.


Guide Top

Changelog

    * 25/01/13 - Started the guide on sheer impulse
    * 30/01/13 - Published it (Junglema WIP)
    * 30/01/13 - Added Athene's Unholy Grail (Credit to Sirell for suggestion)
    * 30/01/13 - Fixed Ability Sequence
    * 31/01/13 - Added varies pieces on mana/mantra control throughout the guide (Credit to Throatslasher for suggestion)
    * 15/02/13 - Finally had time to update and finished Junglema section. Minor tweaks and changes here and there
    * 07/03/13 - Added an UPDATE section to keep you [the viewers] up to date with all the new changes happening with Karma