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Karma Build Guide by throatslasher

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Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author throatslasher

Throatslasher's Honorable Karma ft. jhoijhoi

throatslasher Last updated on October 24, 2012
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Ability Sequence

2
4
6
10
12
13
Ability Key Q
8
14
15
16
17
18
Ability Key W
1
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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sunder
4/
Archmage
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Executioner
 
 

Offense: 21

 
 
 
 
 
Durability
Vigor
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Honor Guard
Mercenary
 
 
 
 
 
 
Juggernaut
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of Spirit
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mastermind
 

Utility: 9


Guide Top

INTRODUCTION

Hello I'm Throatslasher, and welcome to my Karma guide. I'm hopeful that you will shake off any preconceived notions of Karma's abilities, and approach her from a new perspective after reading. This guide is going to be fairly unorthodox, as Karma is an extremely unorthodox champion.

DISCLAIMER
I know Karma reworks are coming soon, and I will update the guide when Karma gets changed.

About me
I'm a platinum elo mid player, and I have always had a knack for playing mids in a manner designed to throw my opponent off guard. I think that the element of surprise is a tactic under-utilized in league of legends, and that's a shame. Forcing your opponent, essentially, to adapt or die puts a huge amount of pressure on them, and can easily throw them off their game. (put them 'on tilt' for the poker players out there) I've had great success with Karma mid, but more importantly, I've had a lot of fun. Sure there have been some blood, sweat and tears, but it was all worth it considering that I'm the best AP Karma mid player I've ever known (and on an unrelated note, the ONLY AP Karma mid player I know :P )

Special Thanks
- jhoijhoi: coding artist, killer of monotony, editing fiend
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Why on EARTH would I pick Karma mid?
There are a multitude of reasons to add Karma to your lineup.

1. Played correctly, she adds endless utility to your team. She secures lots of kills for your team early game as well as denying your opponents kills with clutch shields and heals.

2. If you really learn her, you will find that Karma has a lot of extremely favorable matchups mid. I would even go so far as to call her a lane bully.

3. You will unleash upon your opponent the strongest weapon of all: the element of surprise.

4. You get to enjoy watching your team have a heart attack in champ select.

5. Best of all, when you do well, people in your game will shake their head. You might even get THE BEST COMMENT EVER UTTERED IN THE HISTORY OF LEAGUE OF LEGENDS: "OMG KARMA OP".
(Thanks to TheAntiFreaK for the screeshot)
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Why SHOULDN'T I play Karma?
I'm not going to sugar-coat it; Karma has problems. If you try Karma and find her to be underwhelming, you're not alone. I've been in a lot of situations of 'win lane, lose game' with Karma, and sometimes, I felt like I could have carried the game with a better AP mid.

1. Her skills level up to 6, but are just as powerful as level 5 spells. This really sucks. You have to spend way more skills and be a much higher level to reach your 'peak power.' Most mids are strong at 6, 9, and 11, but not Karma. She starts to hit her stride when she finishes a few items, but not naturally when she hits level 9, like, say, Vladimir or Anivia.

2. She hungers for mana. She's about as mana hungry as Anivia sometimes.

3. She has no cc. I would not pick Karma when my team is very light on cc. Karma is very niche, and should only be considered when she fits into your team comp.

4. She has no mobility. Compounding this problem is the fact that in order to harass your opponent, you have no choice but to push the wave.

5. If your team doesn't know how to play with a Karma ally, (nobody ever seems to know) it will lead to a lot of missed spells. Playing Karma to the fullest will mean that your teammates have to stand their ground when they know your shields/heals are coming, and make full use of your Karma chain, which I've never really encountered in solo queue. Typically at the start of every game I have to tell my team how to teamfight, and how use my Karma-chain as much as possible.

6. Karma is not the kind of champ you can just read a guide and go start stomping solo queue games. Karma is just wierd, and difficult to get used to. Her item paths and playstyle are completely unique. I encourage you to learn Karma, but do so knowing this: you probably won't be good right away.


Guide Top

KARMA'S ABILITIES

INNER FLAME
Karma gains up to 30 / 50 / 70 / 90 / 110 / 130 increased ability power corresponding to her percentage of missing health.

This is a lovely passive. Who can pass up free AP? Managing this passive is crucial. If you're guaranteed to take damage, say, during a Maokai gank, it can be beneficial to wait until you lose some health before you cast shield on yourself (If they can't 100-0 you). This passive combos EXTREMELY WELL with Rabadon's Deathcap, which is why I almost always rush it.
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HEAVENLY WAVE
Karma sends forth a wave of hidden blades from her fans, dealing 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 / 270 (+60% of ability power) magic damage to units in a cone in front of her.

Mantra Bonus
In addition to dealing damage to enemies, Heavenly Wave will also heal Karma and her allies in the cone for 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 / 135. An additional 5% (+1% per 50 ability power) of health the targets are missing is added to the heal.

It sucks that this ability only does 270 base damage at rank 6. You'd think leveling up something past level 5 would make it more powerful than your typical level 5 spell. This ability makes AP karma a huge threat during the teamfighting phase. A well placed mantra wave can be almost as effective as soraka's wish. You can use this ability during long seiges or during dragon/baron to continually top-off your team's health bars. With 400 ability power, you will be healing your team for 135+13% of their missing health. If someone is missing 1000 health, that amounts to a 265 heal. If your team is all missing health, you can potentially heal your entire team late game for well over 1000 combined health.
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SPIRIT BOND
Karma creates a beam between her and an ally or enemy for up to 5 seconds. Allied anchors move 10 / 12 / 14 / 16 / 18 / 20 % faster and enemy anchors are slowed for the same amount. The beam deals 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 / 305 (+70% of ability power) magic damage to enemies and applies the same movement speed adjustment anchors receive to any champion it passes through for 3 seconds. The beam breaks if the bonded target is stealthed.

Mantra Bonus
Karma strengthens the bond to double the effect of the movement speed modifier.

40%, or even 20% movespeed buff for 3 seconds is nothing to scoff at. With 400 ap, an enemy that passes through the chains will lose 20% movespeed and take about 600 damage. This ability allows Karma to develop into a late-game support monster. With 40% CDR, this ability has a 6 second cooldown, allowing multiple casts during a teamfight. You typically want to put this on your initiator first, and as the teamfight progresses, put it on one of your carries (typically the adcarry) to enhance their kiting capabilities. You must stay in close proximity to your target to keep the chain from breaking, but you shouldn't put yourself in harm's way to maintain the chain.
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SOUL SHIELD
Karma summons a protective shield on an ally or herself that absorbs 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 / 280 (+80% of ability power) damage for 5 seconds.

Mantra Bonus
In addition to casting the shield, a surge of energy bursts out from the shield dealing 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 / 280 (+80% of ability power) magic damage to enemy units around her target.

This is Karma's bread and butter. Mitigate damage, push waves, or nuke their team, this spell does it all. The AoE and the damage is quite exceptional and takes some getting used to. With 400 ap, your shield value and nuke is 600. With 600 ap, your shield and nuke is almost 800. This shield combos well with champions that have high resistances. The 600+ effective health you lend an ally will be actually be hundreds of points stronger if their resistance values exceed, say, 100. However, keeping yourself and your carries alive is a high priority. You can cast a mantra'd shield on your initiator, and as the teamfight progresses, use your next shield cast on an ally carry that's being focused.
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MANTRA
Karma empowers her next ability to do an additional effect. Karma gains a charge every (30/25/20) seconds and stores up to 2 charges. The refresh rate is reduced by cooldown reduction and does not progress when having max charges. Mantra is available from level 1 and does not require skill points. The time needed to load a charge is reduced at level 7 and 13.

This is what makes Karma who she is. Strategic management of mantra charges separates a good Karma from a great Karma. When you exceed level 13 and have 40% cooldown reduction, you will store a new mantra charge every 12 seconds. If you are able to extend the duration of a teamfight by ****-blocking the enemy team with shields, you can potentially get to use 4 Mantra charges in a single teamfight.


Guide Top

MASTERIES, RUNES, SUMMONER SPELLS

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Masteries
I've chosen the typical 21/0/9 mastery page on Karma for various reasons. Maxing out any other tree besides offense will kill what little damage Karma can do. Since Karma is a low damage champ, you should take every opportunity to maximize your damage. I go 9 in utility primarily for extended blue buffs.
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Runes
This rune set-up is typical for casters. Magic pen marks are I mean, standard caster marks. The mana regen per level seals will assure that your mana can stay topped off mid and late game. These runes combo well with Chalice of Harmony. The flat magic resist glyphs were chosen to ensure that Karma is able to handle trades in lane. It is extremely typical for most mids to take flat MR glyphs. If you skip these glyphs, your opponent will be doing almost true damage to you with Sorcerer's Shoes. (8.5 pen runes + 20 pen boots =28.5 mpen) The AP quints well give you some kill potential early in the laning phase. You CAN substitute movespeed quints, but late game they will fall off, as you get your movespeed from chains. Karma has a pitiful 310 base movespeed, but playing smart and conservative will keep you from getting caught out of position often. I mean, you're playing KARMA ffs.
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Summoner Spells
Flash ignite are your only options. Flash is mandatory to keep you safe during the laning phase. You must run ignite, or else you will lose all of your kill potential in lane. If you want to be different, I have played around with heal before the nerf. Since heal has been heavily nerfed, I don't think it's viable anymore.


Guide Top

ITEMS

Viable Items
My Karma build varies from game to game, but there are a few constants. I feel that rabadons is core. The earlier, the better. To utilize Karma to the fullest, you should abuse your passive. There are times when you want to not drink a potion when you're at half health for the AP, and there are times you want to be full health. Building and playing Karma comes more from intuition and adaptability than static item builds. For example, sometimes I will build Athene's Unholy Grail, and sometimes I will build Abyssal Scepter, it just depends on the game. I recommend you play around with the following items, they're all borderline viable on Karma:
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CDR boots vs SORC SHOES:
I personally have mixed feelings about CDR boots on Karma. Karma's damage early is pretty low, and you will shoot yourself in the foot if you pass up on 20 free magic pen. CDR is nice, and extremely important on Karma, but you're going to have to rely on managing your mantra charges if you want to maximize what little damage you have.
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athene's vs abyssal
I recently started building athene's, and I like this item. It doesn't give the MR that abyssal does, but it does give you more AP and great mana sustain and CDR. Abyssal, however, can amplify the damage from your entire team if you can handle standing in the middle of the fight.
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Rabadon's vs zhonya's
Zhonya's will lend you the armor you might be looking for, but you should skip this item. The activation is bad for Karma. You need to be constantly throwing out shields, waves, and chains, and going into stasis may save you from some damage, but it will keep you out of a teamfight, and Karma is queen teamfight.
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Frozen heart vs GA
I used to build frozen heart on Karma back before the days of Athene's. Now, I skip Frozen heart and take GA to round out my resistances. Frozen heart gives fantastic CDR, but no AP. You can still take Frozen heart if you are extremely hard pressed for armor, though. I'd build it after I picked up a good chunk of AP, though. You're the mage, not the tank. With proper positioning, you should minimize the damage you take.
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Morello's vs DFG
DFG is somewhat effective on Karma. She's not a burst caster, but she can fake it somewhat with DFG. I personally vary my build between morello's and DFG. I haven't quite figured out which one I prefer, but at the moment, I'm building deathfire grasp.
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Rod of ages vs Athene's
I've playtested Rod of ages on Karma, and I hate it. The health and sustain in lane are nice, but Rod of ages is too expensive for Karma for what hat it gives her. For the same amount of money, you can get either Athene's or Rod of ages. Athene's gives more AP, and it gives it to you all at once. Rod of ages takes 'ages' (lol) to reach its full potential. Karma is starving for mana, AP, and CDR, and that's exactly what Athene's gives her. Also, as an early game item, I think chalice+dorans ring outclasses catalyst.
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Spirit Visage
Borderline viable, especially with multiple healers on your team. (heal summoner, soraka and you) Lends good early CDR, health, magic res, and improved healing. Not super optimal, but could warrant some playtesting.
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ITEMS YOU SHOULD NOT BUILD ON KARMA:
Rylai's?
Skip this item. Karma is pure AOE, which means she can't get the full slow amount, unless you put your chain on an enemy, which you typically should not do. It's also way too expensive for Karma.

Spell Vamp?
Pass on this. You're pure AOE, meaning you'll get 1/3 of all the spell vamp you buy.

Support items? Aegis, or Soul Shroud, or Shurelya's?
You're the mage, dummy!!! Would you go Shurelya's on Casseopia?

*Special note*
I have built Aegis of the Legion, and I have made it work. I went double Doran's rings, Rabadon's Deathcap, and Aegis (to round out my tankiness). This is a somewhat advanced build and should probably not be attempted in solo queue.


Guide Top

HOW TO PLAY KARMA

Key bindings & Smart-casting
First things first. Go to keybindings, and make self+smart cast spell 3 bound to a key you're comfortable with, I choose the 'a' key. This also is important to do for morgana. It will allow you to instantly shiled yourself (or black shield yourself) simply by pressing theshiled yourself (or black shield yourself) simply by pressing the 'a' key. You can mantra this by quickly tapping R and then A. If you don't use smartcasting, you should. 99% of spells are streamlined by smartcasting, and can shave fractions of a second off each spell cast. If you want to improve, learn how to smartcast (if you don't already)
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Priorities
Your main priority with Karma is to farm. Karma is heavily item dependent, and if you fall behind in your cs, it's borderline impossible to recover. Your second priority is to harass your lane opponent. Karma can kill her opponent 1v1, but don't count on it. You will basically have to capitalize on a huge mistake to kill your lane opponent, which you can't count on. Your last goal with Karma is to roam. I will explain roaming with Karma later. Karma has different stages of power. Typically I consider Karma's power to peak around level 6-8, when you finish rabadons, and when your adcarry gets some items.
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How to farm with Karma
Farm with auto attacks until level 6+. You can use your wave to dps your wave and pick up multiple low hp creeps, but always be aware of pushing your lane. Once you get a few ranks in your shield and wave, walk up to the creeps, mantra+shield in the middle of them, and then wave the caster minions. Use auto attacks or another wave to clean up the melee minions. When actively trying to push the lane while your opponent is dead or recalled, you can shield the cannon minion when it takes tower agro.
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How to harass with Karma
There are multiple ways to harass with Karma, and some are better than others depending on the matchup.
1. Walk up to your opponent and bait them into casting spells on you. Before you take damage, mantra shield and then wave. You should damage them with the shield and the wave, and then absorb all of their damage with the shield. This can push the wave, and is unsafe versus lane opponents with hard cc or aggressive, gap-closing junglers. This will only work a few times against smart opponents, who won't continue to be baited into taking free damage so easily.
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2. Wait for them to get too close to your creeps. This can happen in a multitude of ways. If they are going in to harass you, you can mantra a creep they are standing near as you retreat, damaging them from a safe distance. Another time this is easy to do is when you are pushing, sometimes your creeps will advance to, for example, start attacking the caster minions, and your lane opponent doesn't move back fast enough, allowing you to mantra shield your minion to damage the back wave and harass your opponent. This will typically set you up to clear the caster minions with wave.
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How to respond to ganks with Karma
When your jungler ganks, you should definitely be aware and ready to capitalize on his pressure. If your jungler is a gapcloser, like Maokai or Xin Zhao, wait for them to jump onto your opponent. Immediately mantra+shield them, and walk into range for a wave. If you're level 8+, make sure you put your chains on your JUNGLER and not your OPPONENT. Also, make your jungler aware of the fact that if he moves in such a way as to make the opponent pass through the chain, they will be damaged and slowed, making the gank more potent. Also, assure your jungler that you're ready to support him in case he decides to tower dive. Karma excels at tower diving. Not her personally, but her kit helps others tower dive with a combination of heals, damage mitigation, and damage.
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How to avoid ganks with Karma
Flash. Just kidding, but seriously... Karma's biggest problem is mobility. She's not particularly fast, and she has low range, meaning you're going to be a target for certain junglers. If you're concerned about jungle pressure from champions like Maokai and Xin Zhao, max your shield immediately making sure to get a point of your chains at level 4. When you get ganked, shield yourself and put your chains on their jungler. If you have 2 mantra charges, Mantra the chains cast. If you have 1 or less, just cast chain without Mantra. As you drop, Mantra Heavenly Wave will heal you slightly. If all else fails, Flash. Don't forget to ward your side brushes, and be aware of the enemy jungler's position. Don't be shy about buying sigh wards, either. 75g is definitely worth your life. Even a single ward at their wraiths will save your bacon more times than not.
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How to roam as Karma
Roaming with Karma is tricky business, but it should be a strategy you should be familiar with. Your roaming is dictated entirely by your jungler. You should almost NEVER roam alone with karma, as your kit doesn't have the potency of a true dedicated roamer, like Ahri or Morgana. What Karma CAN do that other mids can't do, is increase the potence of tower dives exponentially. Encourage your jungler to follow you through their jungler to flank the enemy bot lane from behind. Then, get your bot lane to push to the enemy tower. Assuming you haven't been spotted by a ward, you are ready to 4-man ambush their bot lane. Your jungler should initiate and take the tower agro. Chain him when he comes out of the brush to engage. When he's in range of both enemies and starts taking tower agro, mantra a shield on him. Then, if possible, use a mantra'd wave on him AND your enemies. If you're able to, try to also hit your carry or support with the wave if they're in range, but it's more important to top off your jungler's health and damage your targets. If successful, you should have aided your bot lane in mopping up a kill or two while keeping your jungler at high health. If the gank is successful and everyone is healthy, you should do dragon, if it's available.
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***Roaming will put you behind in cs. I encourage you highly to ks kills from your jungler. If your allied adc is positioned to secure the kill, you MIGHT want to let him have it, but he should realize that you're giving up a BOATLOAD of cs to come bottom and pressure his lane. After the gank, he can potentially continue farming, but you have to truck your way back mid. The cs he can pick up in that amount of time should make up for the gold you ks'ed from him. Be aware that griefers at 1000 elo don't understand this, and they might afk if they perceived you ks'ed them.***
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How to teamfight as Karma
Teamfighting with Karma can be broken down into multiple stages. Initiation, fleeing, and chasing.
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Initiation: Let your front lines smack into each other. Keep your eyes peeled for an ally that is tanking heavy damage that is also in proximity to as many champs as possible. Mantra shield him. This will heavily nuke his aggressors, as well as giving him hundreds and hundreds of effective health to continue fighting. Mantra wave as many allies as possible after you've all been smacked around with some cc. It's almost always optimal to keep chains on your adcarry to provide them with excellent kiting capabilities, but there are a few exceptions. It's great to chain a huge disruptor like singed, who can run around freely and smack as many people as possible with your chain. In solo queue, they will not know to do this, so it's wise to just keep your adc chained.

Once late game begins, it is much more important to use your spells to keep your allied ADC alive and fighting. Your tanks should be tanks, and they shouldn't need your spells. Karma effectively turns into a support late game, and should be played as such. Stick to your adc and keep him alive.
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Fleeing: When a teamfight turns sour, you have a couple options. If you're all fleeing together and the enemy team is pursuing, take a look at where everyone is positioned. If one champ on the enemy team is ahead of the rest of the enemy team, you should chains that person. That will ensure that the one person in the front will lag behind, and will be unable to catch someone on your team. If someone on your team is split and is lagging behind in danger of getting caught, you should chains the teammate that is lagging behind to help him recover ground and keep pace with the rest of your team.
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Chasing: When your opponents flee, you have 2 choices. You can either chain an ally to improve their ability to catch someone, or you can chain an enemy to keep them from escaping as easily. When chasing, I'm more inclined to chain an ally if they have important cc that will help us kill if he can get in range, like Irelia and Singed. I will chains an enemy if they have no mobility and no Flash, as it will almost always mean certain death ( Brand, Taric, Sion, etc)


Guide Top

SYNERGIES, COUNTERS, MATCH-UPS

Ally Synergies
Karma fits into many, many team comps. There are some champs, however, that fit especially well with karma. There are FAR too many to name, but I'll list a few below. I encourage you to playtest and experiment, and find some comps you particularly enjoy.
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ADCS:
Karma is a fantastic asset to the "protect the Kog'Maw/ Vayne" comps. A combination of speed up, heals, and 600+ damage shields will ensure that if they get focused, they will have a great chance at surviving AND teamfighting safely.
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Tops:
Singed: Make him faster. If you run Singed top + Karma mid, your team will be lacking in damage, though.

Darius: Make him fast and turn him into an even bigger aoe bomb when he gets in the middle of their team. Big shields will help this bruiser stay in the fight as long as possible.

Malphite: If Malphite can properly utilize your chains, you combo well with him. You chains him, he ults the team, you mantra shield. Not only is that incredible burst, when the knockup ends, they would have all passed through the chains, providing MORE burst and a huge movespeed reduction.
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Junglers:
SKARNER! This is one of my favorite combos. Mantra chains on skarner will combo well with his shurelya's, ensuring he ults his desired target, as well as dragging him a huge distance. Shields will also keep him from getting abused.

Maokai: Similar to skarner, chains combos well with his kit, allowing him to catch people out of position easily. Mantra shielding him in the middle of his initiation will guarantee you do as much damage as possible while helping him absorb some of the early burst. Keep your distance from teamfights, though.

Xin Zhao: Xin loves movespeed. Xin loves being tanky. Xin loves heals. With Karma behind him, a semi-tanky Xin can easily initiate teamfights with his charge as long as you're there to back him up with damage and shields.


Guide Top

COUNTERS

EXCESSIVE DISRUPTION

Champs like Orianna and Gragas can make teamfighting with Karma a nightmare. If they blow your whole team apart or run right through it, you're unable to combo your abilities in a predictable way, leading to lost teamfights.
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EXCESSIVE SUPPRESSION

Any suppression is excessive. Warwick and Malzahar are managable, but Skarner is your worst nightmare. If he pulls someone important, you can attempt to save them with your abilities, but you won't be able to use them to damage their team. If he ults you, you die.
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EXCESSIVE GAPCLOSERS

Once you start showing your worth with Karma, you will be public enemy #1. You will be the main focus, and if your front line can't protect and peel for you, you'll be forced to waste your spells on yourself.


Guide Top

MATCH-UPS

How this works
On the left you'll find what abilities/characteristics/items give Karma problems in lane, for example, Ahri's taunt. In the middle you'll find a summary of why the champion has been placed it their respective match-up level of difficulty (strong against, mediocre against and poor against). Finally, on the right you'll find a few suggestions on how to counter or aide Karma against the particular champion. Enjoy.
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Karma is strong against:
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Ahri
During early levels, you can clear waves easier while harassing much better than ahri can return fire. My recommendations for this matchup is you always stand behind creeps and max shield ld to harass from as far away as possible. Once she hits 6, be aware of her mobility and always call your mia's.
sight ward
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Twisted Fate
Karma can completely control twisted fate in lane. His lack of mobility and cs will keep him from doing much in this lane. Harass with ranged shields. Once TF gets AP and 5 ranks in his wild cards, he can farm the wave from afar and look for ultimate ganks, soks, so be wary. Make sure to always keep the lane shoved to his tower to discourage him from ganking. If he ganks another lane and you can't help, shove as many waves as possible and put damage on his tower.
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Fizz
You can abuse him from levels 1-3. Also, if he jumps you, mantra shielding yourself will negate all of his burst. Once you advance in the laning phase, you can resort to one shotting the wave with mantra shield + wave, forcing him to stay mid with you. Fizz will look to roam once he gets his ultimate.
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Ryze
You completely outrange ryze by mantra-shield creep harassing. If he purchases a tear of the goddess before catalyst, you should look to be aggressive as the laning phase continues. If he picks up catalyst 1st, it can be problematic for you to deal with his sustain, his tankiness, and his sustained damage.
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Karthus
He has no way to deal with your shield harass. Once he realizes your game, he may start farming from max range to avoid your harass. In that case stand inside creeps and try to zone him while dodging his lay wastes.
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Swain
You outrange and outtrade him until he hits level 6. If you can bully him and forge an early advantage, you can steamroll this lane (until he finishes his catalyst...swain is not very item dependent).
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Zilean
Fantastic matchup. Not only do you counter him in lane, you counter him heavily in teamfights. Fast reactions will allow you to save the target zilean is attempting to burst with a shield. Once zilean's double bomb combo is down in a teamfight, he's a lame duck.
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Karma is mediocre against:
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Akali
Karma's aoe can nuke akali while she's in her shroud, forcing her to stay clear of the creeps and farm with her q. Unfortunately Akali will overtake you in power once she hits level 6, so be cautious at that point.
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Ziggs, Xerath & Lux
They outrange you, but they can't outtrade you if you if you get in range. If you can learn the matchup very well, you can win this matchup.
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Annie
You can harass her and burst her, but she can cc you for her jungler to come and force your flash. If she gets ahead, she can potentially burst you before you can even shield yourself.
catalyst the protector
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Diana
This is like akali, but she can fight back with the insane damage on her crescent moon attack. She also becomes a threat at level 6. Winnable, but it is also easy to lose this lane.
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Gragas
You can harass him heavily at early levels, but as the lane progresses, he becomes tougher and tougher. He outranges you and outtrades you once he hits level 6.
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Brand & Cass
Brand and Cass have a slightly lower range than you do, and you should abuse this. Begin harassing as early as possible, as you can easily kill these people if you hit level 4 before they do. Against cass, walk into range, and then mantra shield yourself followed by non-mantra'd wave for maximum harass starting at level 4.
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Katarina
This matchup can go either way. The best way to deal with katarina is to force her to use her bouncing blades on creeps by staying out of her range and denying her the easy harass she's looking for.
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Kennen
He can potentially lame you out with q's until he hits level 6. Since he can farm n farm and harass from a mile away, you can lose this lane.
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Orianna
Orianna outranges you hard. A skilled Orianna will tear you apart, but an unskilled Orianna can easily be beaten.
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Veigar
This is a tricky maty matchup. If you play too agressive, you might invite their jungler to camp your lane. With the extremely long range on veigar stun, he can potentially lock you down and make your life miserable. This is extremely winnable if you're against a passive jungler like warwick. I recommend rushing an abyssal or chalice.
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Karma fairs poorly against:

Please don't pick karma into these champions. If you happen to run against these matchups, you should consider playing passively in your your lane. If you are lucky, your jungler will either perform great ganks or your opponent will make a few mistakes. Don't be afraid to capitalize on a mistake, but don't get baited.
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Zyra
Zyra will lock you down and rip you apart. You outrange and outtrade her, but her exceptional cc on her snare will make you easy gold for zyra and her jungler. Winnable, but EXTREMELY DIFFICULT.
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Morgana
There is no point in picking Karma into Morgana. There is no way you can punch through her 3 potions, Black Shield, and spell vamp. You will slowly and assuredly fall further and further behind in lane. You have no mobility with which to escape morgana ult. This is probably the worst matchup for karma.
sight ward
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Cho'Gath
Cho'gath can ignore you in lane until he's ready to kill you. You will be hard-pressed to outdamage the incredible sustain on his passive. I would not pick karma into cho'gath.


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CONCLUSION

First of all, thank you for reading my guide. I'm going to be expanding this guide detailing some more advanced, in-depth tips that should improve your play (If you guys want me to, of course). Karma reworks are coming very soon, I recommend you play Karma as soon as possible! Once she gets reworked, I'll rework the guide. With a skilled hand, Karma can completely shut down an enemy team by keeping your team alive and safe in teamfights. If you play some Karma and you find her damage and kit lacking, you're not alone. She's one of the last played champions in league of legends. She's probably tied for least played next to trundle. However, she's completely viable, and can even be competitive.

Please leave a vote and a comment! If you disagree with anything I've said above or any other general comments, please let me know and I'll either correct the guide, or provide better justification. Last but not least, if you have any suggestions about guides you'd like written, just send me a PM, or comment. Happy Karma'ing!

Sincerely,
Throatslasher & jhoijhoi
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JhoiJhoi's Other Guides









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REPLAYS

puu.sh/1i7fH This is a replay of me playing karma. Please watch it, it's one of the best karma games i've ever played. Watch this game, you must have lolreplay (if you don't have it, get it)

If you're lazy, i've linked some vids below.

Froggen playing karma:


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changelog

guide released whenever

10/16/12-changed morello's to dfg (i like da burzt)
10/23/12-added a replay