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Not Updated For Current Season
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Karma is by far the most underated champion in the game. When she came out, and I think alot of people feel the same, all we saw were noobs spamming the line to help us get into lane. They almost never gave us the nice AOE heal, they rarely used their incredibly powerful shield effectively, and I never saw one try to co-ordinate themselves with the team. This guide will hopefully get more people to try Karma again, and actually use her properly.
This build will get your cooldown to hit the 40 mark, give you a pretty decent amount of AP, and it hopefully make a few better Karmas.
The runes are simply to help maximize cooldown and AP, and they work extremely well for me. I suppose if you need it, you could swap out my archangels staff and replace it with a CD or AP item, based on what runes you take out to swap in some mana regen, but I have found this to be the most effective set for my playing style as of yet.
Honestly, the only reason I took the Presence of the master mastery is because of clarity. Clarity is a huge bonus to karma early and mid game, and if you get yourself a champion that works well with her such as Cho'gath, it helps them out a ton as well. It doesn't do too much for exhaust, or the alternate I'll bring up later, but with a lack of much else to fill in with this build I deemed it worthy. The 3 points on resistance are just for a tiny bit of help against nukers, the rest of them should be self explanatory after you've played her for a while and understand what she does and does not need.
Items are fairly simple, though with my group, I rarely get anything beyond the Will of the Ancients. First you need to get your CD up to 40% to better use your shield, as well as keep your mantra up. The Will is just a buff for your allies. The spell vamp works well with a mantra'd shield as well, but Karma dies so quickly it's usually of little use, though it's saved me once or twice.
The archangels is for if you get into one of the longer games, where you find your mana quickly running dry keeping your allies alive during that rammus's taunt, or stuns in succession, and just staying out longer in general. Rabadon's and the Void Staff are always a huge help to an AP build, and even furthering the power of your mantra'd shield, they should be mostly self-explanatory.
Being the happy sit in the back behind a wall of tanks team player I am, I always rush up my shield. The heavenly wave fell in next due to the huge lack of ability to use spirit bond effectively, even in a vent chatting team, it's incredibly difficult to use. It puts the person trying to set it up in danger and the enemy team learns to avoid it very quickly. It can be devestating once used effectively though, so if your team co-ordinates well enough feel free to get some bonds before some of the Hwaves.
Clarity is simple; if you're an aggressive CD Karma like me, you need it. To better it, try to lane with another mana-hungry competitor, regardless, you just need this skill. What I find helpful, is to let the enemies think you're a useless and mana dry Karma, as soon as they go for you use your clarity, then bond, mantra-shield, and Hwave them (Mantra the wave if you need life badly enough). This can quite often get you a kill, or an early tower.
Exhaust; even if listed on one guide I found as useless because of bond, can actually be used to supplement your bond. It helps you get away from extremely dangerous characters and can help you get a kill as well. I most often use exhaust with Karma, and after playing a few games with her, you'll pick up when you can get a kill normally, and when you need to exhaust your foe to grab one.
Clairvoyance; This spell is incredibly hard to use effectively. It has a low cooldown which is great, but if you don't know what you're doing, it's just ****. I'm not going to go over how to use it effectively in this guide because the best way to learn it is experience or general knowledge, and it's very hard to type out and try to explain. All I will say is it has saved me from quite a number of ganks and it gave me quite a few tower kills as well. It's extremely helpful intel and after trying a few games with exhaust, if you'd rather Clairovance and know how to use it well, feel more than free to swap it out.
This'll be short. Karma is insane at farming mid to late game. With this build, a Mantra'd shield and a Hwave is all you need to clear everything in the area of effect. To hit everything you could also spirit bond and take a stroll around them. That's all their is to farming with her.
This is the most essential piece of information to Karma, her being a huge support character. Her spells don't have all that much range, and her shield might as well be melee if used on herself, so an ally is required to use her as effectively as you can. I'll probably add to this section as I go but here's a few incredibly effective ways to use her abilities. I have to add, she is by far most effective with an aggressive melee champion.
Mantra Shield; I use this alot, lets say someone like akali, they jump in and the moment their attack hits the enemy, you mantra shield them. There's a good deal of damage already, and now you're in range for a bond, which you can then use to get close enough to Hwave. I often finish up with another Mantra shield to take a kill.
Shield; Even without Mantra, us this to save your allies from Lux's all too powerful lazer, or Ashe's devestating Ice Arrow. I can get someone all the way back to base from the other end of the lane by combining this with Mantra'd Hwave and my Spirit bond, trust me, if you work well together, you can manage just about anything.
Mantra Heavenly Wave; I primarily use this to heal my entire team at once, overall giving a bit over 1k in total healing, not too shabby at all. I also use it to heal an ally or two infront of me while damaging the enemy team. Never use it for single targets unless you have to, it's an AOE for a reason.
I'm going to add more later, I find it hard to think back on these as most of them are purely situation.
Like I said at the beginning, I think Karma is by far one of the most underestimated, and underplayed characters in the game, if the the most. She's extremely powerful and deserves to be recognized, and hopefully this build will help some people get better with Karma, or realize what she really is. Thank you for reading, good luck and have fun in all of your future games.