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Karma Build Guide by Drlazerbeam

platinum

[9.9] The Woke One

By Drlazerbeam | Updated on May 4, 2019
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Runes:

Sorcery
Summon Aery
Manaflow Band
Celerity
Scorch

Domination
Eyeball Collection
Ingenious Hunter
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+10 Adaptive (6 AD or 10 AP)
+5 Armor

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #24 in
Support Role
Win 50%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Introduction



Hi everyone, i'm Drlazerbeam. I'm a support main and secondary ADC, who peaked at Diamond. I've been playing league of legends since season 3, and really got into Karma during 6. During season 7, I played Karma for a total of 161 ranked games, with a win rate of 55%. If I feel like carrying hard from support, i'll take her at the first chance I get.






If you enjoyed my guide please check out my Youtube,Twitch,or follow me on Twitter



Anyway onto Karma ! Karma is a very aggressive support, who brings a lot of damage in the early game. She has one of the best level 1 starts in the entire game and snowballs very hard. In the late game she loses out on damage, but brings a ton of utility and mobility to her team.
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Pros and Cons

Pros

+ Amazing early game
+ Strong level 1
+ Lots of utility
+ Great poke
+ Very mobile

Cons

- Must establish a lead to be effective
- Consistent power, but no major spike besides early
- Terrible if behind
- No hard CC
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Runes



Summon Aery
A solid and flexible rune keystone for Karma. Even with recent nerfs, the extra damage from Aery gives Karma not only a increased damage advantage, but doubles as a buff for her Inspire.



Manaflow Band
With the old rune Ultimate Hat being removed, your next best option is going to be this rune. It gives you a nice bit of mana and mana regen for being aggressive, so it suits Karma's kit nicely!


Celerity
A solid roaming rune to increase Karma's roaming potential and her own AP. By using Inspire on herself, she increases her damage output and allows her to zone/roam more effectively.



Scorch
Another amazing rune for Karma. Scorch makes any abilities you land on enemy champions burn them, thus improving your poke. Since Karma is a aggresive, poke orianted support, this makes this rune choice a easy one.


Zombie Ward
Karma is all about dominating her opponents as support in the bot lane. A part of being dominant is having better vision than the other team or as I personally call it " winning the ward wars ". Part of this is completing your quest on Eye of Frost as soon as possible to establish vision and deny vision with Sweeping Lens. This rune replaces your dying wards with friendly zombie wards, makes any enemy wards you kill into friendly zombie wards, and overall just massively increases your odds of winning the ward wars. It will give your team all the advantages that come with a strong vision game: tracking the enemy jungler, denying info to the enemy team, and keeps your team safe from fog of war ganks.


Ingenious Hunter
This acts as the butter to the bread known as Zombie Ward. Obtaining take downs helps CDR for your trinkets. If you are doing well in lane and are able to get stacks on this item, this means you can get Sweeping Lens much earlier, and with this rune make it more effective as an item. Doing some quick math:

10% starting tricket CDR
30% max stacks CDR ( 6% per tackdown * 5 stacks )
10%+30% = 40% Tricket CDR at max

LVL.18 CDR for Sweeping Lens = 60 seconds
24 is 40% of 60
60-24 = 36 seconds for final cooldown.

Combine this with Zombie Ward, and you are looking at have some mad vision game. This would also be effective for invisible champions such as Evelynn or ones with tons of traps such as Teemo.


Alternative Primary Runes

These are runes in the sorcery tree, that while I would not suggest, can be argued for.


Absolute Focus
When above 70% hp, this grants bonus adaptive damage, or in this case AP for Karma. It is less flexible than Transcendence, since you have to be fairly high HP to make this work. In my opinion it is also a lot less effective than Transcendence, since by the late game, the AP you will always have from the excess CDR from most Karma builds, for the most part outnumber the ones granted by Absolute Focus, even at max rank. I would only take this run into a enemy support who can not poke back, such as Tahm Kench, Alistar, and Leona. Even then I would still suggest taking Transcendence 95% of the time.


Arcane Comet
This does more damage than Aery, which makes Karma even more deadly in the early game, but is countered with movement speed ( building Boots of Speed is a good counter ). You force yourself to lose out on the defense and flexibility of Summon Aery, for the sake of more damage. This forces you to play more aggressively, but rewards those who do well more. I overall suggest you take Summon Aery in almost every case, but if one were to use it, it would be best versus tanky, immobile supports such as Alistar, Tahm Kench, and Braum.

Alternative Secondary Runes

While I would recommend sorcery as your primary tree every game, your secondary rune tree is a bit more flexible. Here are the runes I think you could substitute out if you wish.


Revitalize
This rune increases your shields and heals! This will make Inspire a bit more effective, and noticably more effective if combined with Mantra. While Karma has no natrual healing, besides her Mantra + Focused Resolve; she can heal others with Athene's Unholy Grail, which makes taking this rune and build Athene's Unholy Grail a rather good combo.


Font of Life
This rune makes any enemy champion you slow or impair marked. When marked, any damage done by ally champions to the marked champion will heal them for 5+ 1% of your max health over 2 seconds. This is a modest rune on Karma, and is really only taken if one wishes to get Revitalize as their secondary rune as well. It is made more effective with Revitalize and since you should be taking these two runes if you go secondary into the resolve tree, it is a nice combo. You can further enhance the use of this rune by getting heal increasing items such as Redemption or building health with Ruby Sightstone!


Magical Footwear
This gives you free boots at 10 minutes! For each take down ( kills or assists ) you obtain, the boots are given to 30 seconds sooner. If you do well in lane and go 0/0/4, then you will get the boots at 8 minutes! This will allow you to delay getting upgraded boots for a bit, in order to save gold for other items such as Athene's Unholy Grail or Redemption. The only problem I have with this rune is that it could give one incentive to delay getting Sorcerer's Shoes, which is a great way to really punish a behind enemy team, since they will have little to no magic resist. It does however increase the movement speed of whatever boots you purchases later, so that is another pro in this rune's favor. Overall not a bad rune at all, but I prefer other runes more.


Cosmic Insight
This rune gives you a bunch of small bonus stats. It grants 5% CD, increases your CD cap to 45%, as well as reduces the cool down of both active items and summoner spells by 5%. This rune is particular great at increasing the rate of Karma's Mantra spam and has nice synergy with Transcendence.Overall it is a solid rune that can be taken into just about any match up. Safe, but does not have a huge impact.


Biscuit Delivery
Karma lacks any in lane healing besides her Transcendence + Focused Resolve combo. This is where Biscuit delivery comes in. Every 3 minutes, for 4 times, a Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will is put in your inventory. It restores 15% of your missing health and mana, and increases your maximum mana by 40. This is a great rune if you are facing a poke heavy bot lane and feel that you need something extra to keep you in lane. This acts more as a safety net than anything else, so treat it as a worst case scenario rune.


Future's Market
This rune allows you to go into debt to buy items! You can borrow up to 150 gold, increasing the by 5 gold per minute. This rune is great for getting core items faster and getting stronger faster, but there is one major drawback. If you fail to create a lead or worse get behind with this rune you essentially become a support living check to check on welfare. Also when the late game comes around, you essentially have no more use for this rune, since everyone will be finishing up their builds. If you decide to take this rune, do not hold back your aggression, and let fortune favor the bold.
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Karma's Set


Gathering Fire
Every time Karma damages a enemy with a ability or basic attack, the cool down on Mantra is reduced, with a slightly decreased cool down on her abilities compared to her basic attacks. This ability enables Karma to be super aggressive in lane and rewards her for doing so. The reason why Gathering Fire is so amazing, is completely tied to the power of Mantra, so to understand why this passive is so great, please check the Mantra explanation on this guide.





Inner Flame
Karma shoots out some voodoo magic which applies a light 25% slow and deals magic damage. It also applies a splash upon impact. This is Karma's primary form of poke. It's relatively low cool down and mana cost make it a excellent way to poke down enemies and push the wave. It's major drawback is it's rather short range, which can put a Karma player at risk of a bad position. However, one of its biggest strengths is its splash. This make landing this ability against a clumped group of enemy champions much more effective, but also makes it so you do not necessarily have to land your ability directly onto a champion to poke them down. One of the more sneaky ways of doing this is to land your poke onto a enemy wave that is near a enemy champion and let the splash deal some indirect damage.




Focused Resolve
This is Karma's best form of CC and a nice baiting tool. Focused Resolve is best used to punish enemies who must misposition in order to get some type of gain. For example it can be used to root assassins who seek to harm you such as a diving Zed or Kayn or punish a tanky support who is trying to kill a minion for their Relic Shield, such as Alistar or Braum.





Inspire
This is Karma's best defensive ability, as well as her form of engage and disengage. The shield itself is decent, it will withstand most basic poke that you will have to deal with in lane, but is not quite as strong as Lulu's Help, Pix! or Janna's Eye Of The Storm. This ability is best used to assist carries to self kite or give your front line some protection.






Mantra
This is the most important part of Karma's kit. Literally every single part of her kit is dependent on the cool down, use, and efficiency. Mantra must be used in combination with another ability to be used at all, so lets go down the list:

+
Mantra + Inner Flame

The difference from a regular Inner Flame and a Mantra empowered Inner Flame, is that the empowered version deals more damage, has a bigger slow, and becomes an AOE ability. This is the most powerful combo Karma has to offer in terms of damage and is critical in giving her an advantage in the early game. This ability is best used to heavily poke the enemy bot lane, zone, and to push the wave. Make sure when you use this combo, that it lands. If you fail to hit anything this will leave you wide open for a beating.




+
Mantra + Focused Resolve

The difference from a normal Focused Resolve and a Mantra empowered one, is that upon usage of this ability, it heals Karma, whereas the normal one does not. If the tether is not broken, it heals Karma again; and roots them for a longer duration than a normal Focused Resolve. This combo is best used in small to medium sized encounters or in isolated areas in a team fight, in which peel is required. It also works great as a baiting tool when in combination with Inspire!




+
Mantra + Inspire

Oh mama, after the boring stuff prepare to feast your eyes Karma Mains. The difference from a normal Inspire and a Mantra empower Inspire is that the shield on the original target is increased, a percentage of the shields strength is granted to nearby allies, and everyone revives increased movement speed. Now that already sounds amazing, but wait, there's more! It also triggers the effects of both Ardent Censer and Athene's Unholy Grail, which means not also are you shielding your teammates and giving them more movement speed, but you are also healing them and giving them additional damage! This ability is Jamaican me crazy! This ability has many uses and can be used almost anywhere for any reason. Its great for engaging, disengaging, assist kiting, protecting, chasing, or even just moving the team across the map faster! It's by far Karma's most important Mantra combination after the early game and proper usage of this combo is critical to Karma's success!


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Item Explanation

These items are gonna be the first things you need to check off your item list.


Spellthief's Edge
The best starting item for Karma. This item is for aggressive, poke oriented, supports who wish to gain an advantage in the early game. Karma checks off on all of these. Spellthief's rewards those who aggressive by poking down their lane opponents with basic attacks of abilities. When Karma takes this item, she is not only upgrading her offensive capabilities, but she is also increasing her own self reward. The natural synergy of Gathering Fire and Spellthief's and the rewards for aggressive behavior from this deadly combination, is invaluable to Karma's success.


Ancient Coin
Sometimes you Pick Karma into a unfavorable match up such as Zyra or Nami and decide to play more passively and just focus on being on the defense. This is not recommended by me. It is my strong belief that if you are not winning as Karma, you are losing. However, if you feel that you can not win the lane and just want to bite the bullet, this item would be the one for that scenario.



Sorcerer's Shoes
This item is very important in getting a slightly fed Karma into a overwhelming snowball. Sorcerer's shoes is great in breaking through early game magic resistance on non-tanky champions or even tanks who can not afford magic resistance items yet. In short, all you need to really know is that it makes you deal more damage and gives Karma a bigger lead.


Boots Of Mobility
This item is a great for Karma in two scenarios: 1) She was not able to establish a massive lead early game or 2) Winning the ward wars is more important than Karma's damage output. Scenario one is fairly straight forward. The lane went bad, even, or only slightly in your favor, so you can't really justify buying Sorcerer's Shoes, since you will not really have the damage to make the most effective use out if it. The second scenario is when you feel vision is more important than your own snowball potential. Having good movement speed is key to warding high traffic areas with safety and time efficiency. It also helps in reaching other lanes faster!


Boots of Swiftness
An alternative to Boots of Mobility. I like to take these when I feel that in combat movement speed is important and I at least have one Air Dragon to make up for the speed reduction.




After you get some boots, you should immediately seek to build your core items.


Athene's Unholy Grail
A solid item that mixes well with both Karma's kit and usual item set. This makes Karma deal more damage, gives her cool down, and gives her a heal! Its everything that Karma needs to carry a game; both with utility and raw damage! The more mana regen items you can get, the more gold effective this item will be, so items such as Redemption, Mikael's Crucible and Ardent Censer are a really great combination.


Redemption
Throughout this guide I have hammered the idea in that Karma's win condition, is for her to carry from support. While this is true, this applies to the early game only. If a Karma player reaches around 4 items, her window to carry has been mostly used up and now it is time to focus more on utility. This is where Redemption comes in. At this point you should have a have both support items, with at least on of them being upgraded, boots, and Athene's Unholy Grail. Building Redemption will give you a AOE heal, and increase your AP with the dissonance passive from Athene's Unholy Grail. It will also make you a little tanker, allow you to spam abilities more, and better team fighting capabilities. It will also pave the way into giving Karma as much utility as possible.




After all that is done you are now free to build the following items.


Ardent Censer
A aggressive item for a aggressive champion. This item buffs Karma's own stats with increased AP, cool down, and movement speed, but also grants her teammates on hit damage, as well as increased attack speed. This item is ideal for when you have a AD heavy team or a ADC who wants as much attack speed as possible, such as Jinx, Varus, or Kog'Maw. Due to the passive of the item being triggered by shields or heals ; this item is especially effective on Karma, since you should be building Redemption anyway and your Mantra + Inspire combo can easily trigger your passive, allowing pretty much your whole team to reap the benefits of this item.


Mikael's Crucible
If Ardent Censer attac, Mikeal's prottec. Mikeal's seeks to increase the defensive stats of Karma, increasing her shield/heal strength, and gives her a free Cleanse for her ADC. It also works well with her core item Redemption and Athene's Unholy Grail, since it increases the heals of both ( as well as granting more AP with the passive of Athene's Unholy Grail ), as well as increasing the shielding power of Inspire.


Locket of the Iron Solari
Sometimes the shielding power of Mantra + Inspire is not enough to keep your team alive in a team fight, this is where Locket comes in. This item gives you magic resist and armor, as well as a passive that grants a shield based of the casters health. This item is great even if the user is not a tank, but does have amazing synergy with health items.


Liandry's Torment
A devastating item that is amazing for a fed Karma. This item grants Karma AP, health, and magic penetration. It also has a passive that deals bonus magic damage based on the target's current heal, in over time damage. This passive is doubled if the target is movement impaired in some way, which means building this with Frost Queen's Claim or simply rooting a enemy with your Focused Resolve is a easily trigger for this passive requirement. This would be a ideal pickup when Karma is the only source of AP damage on her team or when she is against a non tanky team.

SIDENOTE: This item is still good vs tanky teams, just wanted to state that not so tanky teams have less magic resist, which makes magic penetration more valuable.


Zeke's Convergence
This is item grants Karma mana, magic resist, armor, and cool down. It also gives her a unique passive that for each time she casts her ultimate and frost storm is created around her that slows nearby enemies for 20% and makes your bonded ally deal 50% magic damage over time. This item is ideal vs tanky heavy, diving team comps. If you think that enemies such as Pantheon, Malphite, or a Sion are seeking to dive as much as possible. The only problem with building this item, is that while it is good, other items are just better overall.


Morellonomicon
This item is a core item for many AP carry champions and if one looks at the stats it gives, it is easy to see why. The huge amount of AP, 20% CDR, and increased mana is already amazing enough, but the passive is the huge cherry on top. The passive restores 20% of the users max mana when a take down is achieved and applies grievous wounds to targets under 35% of their maximum health, when they are attacked by you. This is ideal for when Karma is the sole AP carry on her team or when she is against a heal oriented champion such as Soraka or Nami.
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Spells


Flash
About 95% of champions REALLY need flash in League of Legends. Karma is a part of that 95%. The reason for this is because she lacks escape. Flash gives her escape, therefore should be taken every game. For aggressive reasons, it can be used to secure kills with Inner Flame, or in a more outplayed style with the " NA flash LUL " combo, involving Focused Resolve, which ill explain in the game play section.


Ignite
Ignite provides a ton of kill pressure in the early game, which is exactly what Karma seeks to do. I would recommenced this spell into most match-ups although going Exhaust is just as valid. It is also very effective vs heal champions such as Soraka or Nami!


Exhaust
Exhaust is a very common support spell, that can be taken into any match up. It is in particular good against diving assassins, who like to get up close to their prey, such as Zed, Talon, and Kayn.
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Gameplay

COMBOS


" Search and Destroy "
+ + +
This is your aggressive chasing combo. It all starts with speeding yourself up with Inspire, followed by targeting a enemy champion with Focused Resolve. If you keep close to the bonded enemy, Focused Resolve will root them, allowing yourself to damage them with your Mantra + Inner Flame combo; as well as enabling your teammates to deal some damage themselves. This is best used in small fights in which you are the more aggressive team.




" Gang Gang Gang "
+ + +
This is similar to the " Search and Destroy " combo, but is used in a different scenario. This is for full on 5 vs 5 team fights and used for both defensive and aggressive purposes. When doing the Mantra + Inspire combo, this could be used defensively to protect your team from a engagement from the enemy team, or can be used aggressively to enable your team to engage. Focused Resolve will be most likely be most useful to peel in this situation, but could also be used to help hunt a enemy champion, if you feel there is little risk in leading the charge yourself. Finally Inner Flame will be used to simply deal damage and apply light CC. It will also help reset Mantra when you trigger Gathering Fire.

SIDENOTE: This does not have to be used in only 5 vs 5 team fights, just saying it has the most use in that scenario.


" Justice "
+ +
This is your typical punishment combo. When a enemy champion gets in a open position, send out a Mantra empowered Inner Flame. You will want to aim for a direct impact, but hitting them with just the AOE is fine as well. In any case, after you land that empowered ability, you will want to attempt to root the enemy with Focused Resolve, so that your team can deal damage as well.




" NA Flash LUL "
+ + + +
This is your flashy, kill secure combo. You start with Inspire to speed you up, followed by using a Mantra empowered Focused Resolve on your targeted enemy. Keep on the tethered enemy and prepare to use Flash when you believe they are about to use flash themselves. Most people try to use flash or a leap to get away from Karma when they realize they can't just simply outrun her. This means they will try to flash away right before you root them, so you should flash just before your Focused Resolve roots them.


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Teamplay

Early Game

This is the most critical part of the game for Karma in my opinion. As I said earlier in the guide, Karma is a very aggressive, win lane oriented support. In a way, you almost want to act like a secondary mage carry in the early game, assuming your mid is a mage as well. You will want to poke down the enemy bot lane by using Inner Flame in combination with Mantra.

If you can't find a opening to poke, you should also use Inner Flame and your basic attacks to push in the enemy wave, UNLESS the enemy jungler is bot side. You should be using your Focused Resolve to either chase down enemy champions or help disengage if engaged on. You will also want to use Inspire to help sway trades in your favor, as well as to chase down enemy champions.Also you will want to try to establish a strong ward wars game as soon as possible, so be sure to swap out your Warding Totem for some Sweeping Lens.

Mid Game
How you play out mid game all depends on how well or not so well your early game went.

If Behind...
You had one job in the early game and you dun goofed. It was probably your ADC's fault anyway, BG. In any case this is where you have to shift your play-style from aggressive to utility focused. Boots of Mobility, Redemption and whatever support item you went with will be your best friends, as they will give you the heals, vision game, and speed you need to win without actually fighting the enemy team.

You will want to focus on peeling with Focused Resolve and protecting your team with a Mantra empowered Inspire. You will also want to forgo Athene's Unholy Grail Overall your job will be switched as if you were in the late game already, as opposed to the early game powerhouse you should have been.

If Ahead...
You did your job! Good job! Now is your time to shine. You should have tons of damage since you should have Athene's Unholy Grail by now and if you build items such as Ardent Censer or Redemption like you should, you will only further increase you power. You should strike fear into your enemies by using Mantra and Inner Flame to keep them low on health.

While flat damage is still a big priority, you should be slowly transitioning into a more utility oriented play-style. If you took my suggested runes of Zombie Ward and Ingenious Hunter, then you should seek to dominate the ward wars. Use your Sweeping Lens to deny enemy vision and establish your own.

If Even...
You went even. Probably a farm simulator bot lane, it happens. Your playstyle should be similar to that when you are ahead, but with a stronger emphasis on utility. Consider the possibly of building Locket of the Iron Solari in place of Ardent Censer, if you feel that your team does not require more aggressive stats or that you simply need additional shield son your team. Warding, like any other condition thus far, is still gonna be one of your biggest goals mid game, so be sure to do that at key areas such as Dragon,Baron, and the river in general. You will also want to avoid using Mantra with Inner Flame, since your peak damage has already passed; and instead save it for Inspire for small skirmishes and possibly full on team fights.

Late Game
It's the late game now. This means everyone is near full build and what ever happened in the early game is no longer relevant. What wins the game from here on out is pure skill and game sense. As Karma your job is now to shield and empower your teammates, while also maintaining a strong vision game. You can achieve the first part by simply using Mantra and Inspire together, at the start of a team-fight or right before it begins. Your CDR should allow your abilities to be pretty much spammed, so trigger Gathering Fire as much as possible with Inner Flame, Focused Resolve, and some good ol' basic attacks. This should allow you to spam multiple Mantra empowered Inspire in a single team-fight and will save your team a ton of health, as well as granting them with empowerment such as increased speed and more damage if you built Ardent Censer.

The second part is the same as the mid game, in terms of the ward wars. If you have Zombie Ward and Ingenious Hunter, you will find that these runes are especially helpful at this point at the game, since it basically allows you to control the ward wars. Also, be sure to never go alone when warding. Going as a pair with your jungle is often a good idea as you two can both gain vision and deny vision assuming you both have Sweeping Lens. Be sure to spam ping a ally if a they are clearing wards at important, high traffic areas. As long as you hit the enemy ward in question once, Zombie Ward will activate.
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General tips

- When using Zombie Ward, try to wait for soon to be dead wards to die and become a Zombie ward, before placing a new one down. Zombie wards do not count towards your ward limit, so it is possible to have up to 7 wards ( including a Control Ward) on the map at the same time!

- Mantra, when used to its up-most potential, pretty much allows you to spam your ult late game. Use basic attacks, Inner Flame, and Focused Resolve to achieve this!
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Conclusion

Thanks for reading my guide! I hope I have helped a few people become better Karma players and maybe even better league players as well! If you have any questions, comments, criticism, or where to find the dead body please comment down below and let me know! You can find additional content at my social media sites (found back at the introduction) and can always add me in game (Drlazerbeam or DrlazerSmurf ).

Insert good song here




If you found this guide to be helpful, make sure to upvote this guide! Also make sure to check out my other guides!

League of Legends Build Guide Author Drlazerbeam
Drlazerbeam Karma Guide
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[9.9] The Woke One