Karma Build Guide by SentirNA
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.
The Enlightened One has been the talk of League for the past few months now, demanding Karma reworks left and right, some laughing about how amazingly bursty AP Karma is.
Karma is not as bad as people seem to think. Every game I lock in Karma support, people say GG 20 minute.
I always leave the match with very good notes from both my team and the enemy team, have made several friends through it, and enjoy Karma more than any support from bothering to learn her limitations and capabilities.
She is probably the breakthrough champion of the game. She is a support that can do everything and build however she really please (except AD as her AD Range is laughably pathetic)
Please continue reading and see how I play Karma, why she works this way, and why she can see the light of day without being **** on by the other 9 players per game.
This guide now features a very fun way of playing Karma that has a 5% chance of getting you reported. See the AP Mid section for more details.
Pros / Cons
* Incredible shield
* Incredible cooldowns (late game)
* Very, very underestimated
* Passive is the best way to bait an ace
* Naturally durable
* Better healer late game than Sona, Soraka, or Taric (with less range)
* Probably the best teamfight support I've ever played
* "Guess what's about to hit the fan?"
* Terrible laning phase pre Level 5
* Completely dependent on Mantra, extremely long cooldown until Level 13~18
* Cannot work with an ignorant team (will not pull someone out of danger for 1v5ing and expecting you to heal shield them so they can somehow get a pentakill)
* Very weak heal until leveled
* Very low mana pool and noticeably high mana costs until built
Alright, so to try to help keep this guide updated, since it is the best one I have on MOBA, I feel like this is a section that needs to be added. So here we go.
Clairvoyance is always a good option if you suspect that the game will wear on into 50+ minutes. Oracle's Elixir is an infuriating item for any support, and with this summoner spell that is rarely ever seen anymore..you can honestly do better than taking Exhaust.
Exhaust is currently the standard Support pick. If and ONLY if you're going for aggressive play, take this spell. If not, don't take it. Have the jungler take it or have the top take it. I would honestly recommend taking this spell against a burst champion though. Rengar, Veigar, etc.
Flash is necessary 90-100% of the time. Escaping, flash-W'ing for your team to catch up to the target, flash saving with shield, etc. Always take this.
Heal is somewhat of an option but I really don't recommend taking it. While Heal is fantastic for baiting, you should leave it to the AD Carry to take it. The cooldown is far too long for me to actually want it, but it's always an option against burst or bait plays.
This rune setup is meant to cover Karma's weakness of 'not being a GP10 support'
This is a discussion that needs to be had.
I agree that Karma is nowhere close to being a GP10 support, but I disagree that she is an AP-build Support. I have never played a game as AP Support Karma, nor will I ever. It does not work. The current meta forces supports to be 0 CS so long as the AD Carry is in the lane. The only time I EVER take CS as Karma is by accident with Spirit Bond, or when it's time to push a lane/when the AD Carry has recalled.
Karma has surprising armor scaling w/o runes. She has no MR scaling, thus the glyphs are for obvious reasons. The seals and quintessences are completely necessary for early gold flow. The magic pen is for her passive. It's a very nice passive. :3
You can always swap out the GP10 seals for armor or magic regen, but I have yet to lose a game as Karma with this setup.
The masteries are also to help with the following:
* Pathetic mana pool :3
* CDR early game
* Innate tankiness
* Armor/MR Reduc. from Exhaust
* Early gold + gold flow
* CDR on summoners
* Extra EXP in teamfights
If you'd like to try another mastery page, feel free to post it in the discussion.
You should immediately shoot for the Philosopher's Stone. It will make your mana bar happy.
Never stop buying these. Sight Ward They make your team happy.
Kage's Lucky Pick is the last GP10 item you should build. Immediately after, work toward Glacial Shroud and then Frozen Heart. The CDR makes you noticeably more effective.
After Frozen Heart, it's your choice on what to get next. Is the game going well? Is your team not building resistances? Do you have trouble initiating or are they better chasers?
If it's option one, build the Athene's Unholy Grail.
If it's option two, build the Aegis of the Legion.
If it's option three, build the Shurelya's Reverie.
Banshee's Veil should be your second-to-last or last item. It offers her incredible resistances and helps her passive come up faster. Great item on Karma.
Heavenly Wave will always be your first skill. There is no better substitute.
Soul Shield is your Level 2 skill. There is no better substitute.
Spirit Bond is your Level 3 skill. There is no better substitute.
Skill priority should go as follows:
Soul Shield > Heavenly Wave > Spirit Bond
"But why, Sen? why? :C"
Mantra is truly what makes Karma a breakthrough champion. It is amazing to have a support with a speed buff, a shield, and a healing capability.
In that case, why not max Heavenly Wave first?
Karma is an incredibly inconsistent support. She needs Mantra to heal, and it's up every 25~30 seconds during the laning phase. This is the most detrimental thing about Karma and it's why she's a pathetic laner. Her heal is naturally weak early game and buffs up noticeably late game.
Heavenly Wave heals for 35 + 5% of missing HP at Level 1.
Let's say your ADC got harassed. He takes 100 damage. You, being Karma, use Mantra-Wave to heal him back up. You heal 35 flat HP. You also heal 5% of 100 HP. That's 40 collective HP. It's not a good heal at all early game and leveling it will do two terrible things: unnecessarily chunk your mana bar, and make Soul Shield look pathetic.
Soul Shield provides a noticeably healthy shield on a short cooldown. It makes Janna look silly other than the BF sword it provides.
It is better to level Soul Shield first because your ADC can harass with it. You can shield him while he right clicks and he will usually make it back losing 50~100 health instead of 400 health. Soul Shield needs to be prioritized above Heavenly Wave at all times.
Mantra What more is there to say?
Karma is the best at clearing large minion waves, if needed. The AoE effect of Soul Shield destroys minions, and partnered with Graves, he can truly get 20 CS within a few seconds.
The most non-understood function of Karma is Spirit Bond.
If an enemy unit walks through the tether, they are slowed and take damage. USE THIS. Go with a good initiator like Jarvan IV or even Nocturne. It's such a good skill and it makes me feel so much better about myself as a support when my team knows how to manipulate Spirit Bond.
Team Work / Team Fights
You should never use Mantra -> Soul Shield in an effort to do damage.
You should rarely use Mantra -> Spirit Bond in an effort to initiate
You should ALWAYS prioritize using Mantra -> Heavenly Wave in an effort to heal your team.
Position yourself in a safe area, shield whoever's getting focused when it's off cooldown, and repeatedly use Mantra -> Wave when Mantra is off cooldown. I have saved so many Teemos, Akalis, Ashes, etc. from Ignite, the brink of death, and burst because I prioritize shielding and healing. She is the best teamfight support I have ever had and I have never been aced when playing Karma.
Play smart. You're tanky for a reason. If they focus you, you won't drop like a fly. Just reposition yourself while your team cleans them off of you.
This is Karma, the Enlightened One. This may not be the best guide on Mobafire for her, but I really appreciate you reading this. Give her a try, don't play an aggressive bot lane, have your jungler help. She is probably one of the best supports in the game, and I mean that. She's closet OP and people need to realize that she doesn't need CC or AP to be effective.
Go. Fight. Win.
Ionia will not fall.
Guess what's about to hit the fan?
[9/28/12] - Wow I'm 2nd place in Karma guides. Thanks guys. This was really cool to see! =] Minor updates done to the guide.
Welcome to the AP portion of this guide to Karma!
I've had a long time of playing Karma, and earlier in this guide I said to you the reader that I would never, EVER play AP Support Karma.
There's several reasons why.
1.) She's terrible early game either way
2.) She needs to farm. Metasheep say "**** off this is my farm."
3.) She loses tankability. The support build is the way it is for a reason. People like to focus the support if they do damage, and building tank Karma is a great way to actually bait them to you anyway. AP Karma is a much different style.
4.) You're considered a troll and useless to your team even though you're pumping shields and heals.
How to play AP Karma Mid; Teamfights and more!
This should be pretty obvious, but here are your PRIORITIES, in order.
1.) Get minions as soon as possible as consistently as possible.
2.) Push your lane and start roaming
3.) Maintain your lane.
4.) Get kills
5.) Support your teammates late game.
AP Karma starts off as a great, nuke-your-*** mid laner. She can use this to do several different things
1.) bait counterganks
2.) deny creeps for the enemy mid
3.) Be a total ***** while doing #1 and #2.
The first few levels should be nonstop farming. It is crucial to get as many CS as you can early on, and it's very difficult with 425 Attack Range. Pull through it.
Stay in the lane as long as you can. You need minions to become a ***** late game. Remember that 17 minions = 300g! :3
Once you're leveled a bit, you can try letting your enemy mid push a bit if your jungler's getting restless, but I really don't recommend it. You should honestly be roaming with your jungler after pushing your lane. Yes! Karma goes against the meta! She says "**** THE META I WORK IN TEAM COMPS!!!"
Remember that Karma works very, very well with initiators. Renekton, Akali, Malphite, Sejuani, Nocturne, anyone with a target gap closer or a good charge works extremely well for two reasons.
1.) Karma gets to R->E the initiator. She shields the tank who the enemy team will initially focus while dealing huge damage.
2.) It's a great way to disrupt the enemy team. Usually they'll be scared ****less of half their health bars missing.
Save your mantra charges, and keep an eye on them. Once you use the first charge to Shield-Nuke the enemy team, save the second one until it regenerates to two. Your priority afterward should be to use Heavenly Wave to do some damage. Use Spirit Bond on your tank/initiator/whatever in order to kite around the field and do damage while kiting.
Once Mantra hits two charges, try to heal as many people on your team as you can. When Soul Shield is up, use Mantra and shield whoever's getting focused or whoever's in the middle of the team.
You should not focus on doing damage now. It should be your initial move with your initiator, but don't only focus on it. This is where you are at your best. This is where Karma becomes amazing. This is where you carry WITHOUT carrying.
Immediately use a Mantra'd Soul Shield on your initiator once a teamfight starts. Damage goes out. Now that you've contributed, take the time to spirit bond your tank and kite around the field more. Use Soul Shield on your carry/whoever's getting focused, and then use a Mantra'd Heavenly Wave in order to heal your entire team or as many people as possible. Remember that your heal goes off of % of MISSING HP. It's a very good heal when your teammates are at low health, so let your tank take damage. Your shield should be covering 500~700 HP depending on your AP.
The easiest thing in the world if built AP.
your Q will oneshot minion waves late game, and that's no exaggeration. Fully built Karma don't care about no minions.
Pushing should be all game. Your turret should have minimal missing health (mostly from roaming) and you should be the best at it while having the most minions or second most (AD Carry is the god of your team 0mg y u steal creeps n00b ur getting report) CS end game.
This is AP Karma and my god she's amazing. I think she's one of my new favorite mids. Very good at baiting, very good at teamfights, and very underestimated.
Go! Fight! Win!
Ionia shall prevail!
This dress may have been impractical!
Guess what's about to hit the fan!?