Build Guide by Purplefruitloop
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Karma is a great support that can also put out a pretty decent amount of damage, while also maintaining a pretty high health pool. I like to think of her as a sort of combination of Janna and Taric in terms of support ability and survivability, and then add some damage on top of that. Think somewhere along the lines of Lux damage wise.
-Good health pool (though NOT a tank or initiator)
-Great support abilities
-Great damage for a support
-Can save teammates from certain death while putting a lot of hurt on the person chasing them
-Her passive allows her to go a little bit longer without buying an AP item, and makes a big difference mid-late game when it gets into the 100+ AP range.
- Pretty good laning and even soloing. Heal and shield are your friends
-Good farmer with Q and Mantra E
- She suffers from support-itis: If you're team doesn't know how she works or in general is not the best, you will have a hard time.
-Doesn't put out as much damage as a pure AP Caster/Carry, but makes up for it with support abilities.
When I use this build, I usually end up with around 3k health, and about 400 AP average, not including her passive. Good resistances also.
So my runes, I went with CDR blue, Mana Regen per lvl Yellow, Magic pen Red, and Health on quints.
CDR is very powerful on Karma, and the added Magic pen and mana regen give her the ability to spam a little and put out some more damage earlier. The health is just for the staying power in the lane early game.
I like to run 9-0-21. Pretty standard. Mana regen and CDR in Utility and magic pen in offense. you could also put some points into the defense for a little more hp regen and early durability, but with your heal and shield, I don't ever really find myself needing it.
There are a few ways that you can skill Karma, same with the way you build her, but we'll get into that later. I usually take my first point in either Q or E. If you're planning on some early fights (like before the minion wave), I would take E first. You do this because it allows you to sheild whoever is taking the damage, and gets some great early game aoe. If you're feeling daring, you can always wait for just a little bit before using Mantra+ E for extra damage through her passive, tho I wouldn't recommend it until you've had some practice and you see who you're up against.
IMPORTANT: If you're laning with someone like Garen who thrives on that Spin to win and movement speed, and you can take W (kinda like in the Spotlight). You have to coordinate tho. Xin is another good example. You can speed him up while "clotheslining" the enemy. Laning with a friend is also recommended for this. In most cases, I would say just take E first, or Q even.
I usually max E and Q equally, maybe favoring E a little as I get more into the late game. The chart above is just how I usualy do it, but i've also seen people max E and W and save Q for last, but i've never had much success with that. But who knows... If you're duo queing, then maybe that's the way you want to go. More often then not, you probably won't save many people with W unless you already have a small lead on the enemy and lots of room to run. I find the shield to be more useful if my ally is getting focused and I need to save him.
You can also put alot of different summoner spells on Karma (she just can be used so many ways!) but I put flash ghost on her just because it's a good escape for her. You're pretty much always in the back, so it's more of a last resort. Clarity also works, though with the mana regen you wont need it too much if you are somewhat conservative. Idk, someone will probably find a better skill combination with her, but I really like being able to get out of a sticky situation with flash + ghost + W + E.
Lots of way to build Karma (I think i've said that at the begging of every section....)
I like CDR/HP/AP build however. My 4 main items are CDR boots, Soul Shroud, Deathcap, and BV.
Her passive lets her go a little longer without an ap item than most casters, especially once you give her some health, so I usually go lvl 1 boots straight into Soul Shroud, Then I finish Boots and start on Deathcap.
Soul Shroud gives you HP, CDR, and Mana regen. And even gives an aura. Pretty much everything you need to play this champ.
BV is a great buy for just about any champ.
Deathcap is a must. Most casters should get it, but Karma NEEDS it. Deathcap passive + Karma passive = win. There's not alot to explain here. You can almost go no other AP item on Karma and she will still have a rediculous amount of AP. That's why there are so many builds for her. You can go more support or tanky with items like Aegis if you need to, but as long as you have deathcap, your damage with be fine.
As for the last few items, I put hour glass and abysal just because it gives AP while giving you some durability. The active on Zhoyna's is also nice if you're getting focused (which will happen) and the passive on Abysal is great also for more damage. If you wanna get Aegis instead, that works fine. You can also go Rylai's, but i usually choose not to just because her damage is all AOE, so the slow isnt' at full potency. I find much more use with other items, but if you find your team needing more CC then go for it. Frozen heart isn't a bad choice either if you find your self facing a very physically heavy team.
Also, if you're facing a heavy tank team, you can always go Sorc Boots and get DFG to cap the cooldown. Just an added thought.
I tried going for Spirit Visage, and it works alright on her, but I liked Soul Shroud more for Mana Regen, aura, and more health. Her heal isn't super, so the Visage isn't ideal, but it works. The magic Resist is always nice.
Lanning and You
I just harras mostly, shield where needed. With you mana regen and Magic Pen, you should be doing some nice damage. And with the recent changes, it's much easier to poke because of the lack of health pots. Dont' forget to use your mantra to heal whenever you think it's safe, but always try to have 1 just in case. If it comes down to it, I would recommend you use your mantra on E and not Q because the heal isn't enough to really save someone, while the shield is, and you can put more damage out.
One of the things I love most about Karma is when you Mantra + shield a friendly minion that is about to get last time by an emeny. Not only does it not give them the gold, it damages them =P You can also use it on just any friendly minion that your enemy is standing next to tho. Also fun =]
Should have Deathcap by now and starting to come alive as a support/ damage dealer. Pretty much the same thing as early game, only now you need to watch for team fights. You can shield whoever is in the most trouble, but I like the use W on the tank when they initiate, and then use Mantra + E for super damage and shield. Spam Q for extra damage, but save Mantra for E.
Shen is probably one of the best to use in combination with Karma. He can dash across the enemies, which is great for damage from W. And once he's in there soaking damage from the taunts, you can Mantra E him for alot of damage while saving him some health.
Esentially the same as Mid game. Shield whoever needs help.Speed up people being chased. Heal after teams fights if needed. Rape Face.
I will be updating and polishing the build as I go along, but I really wanted to get some of the info out there. Karma is a great champ and I figure I could give some guidance to the players on how I play her sucessfully.
If you have any questions let me know, and i'll try to answer them.
CONSTRUCTIVE critisism is always welcome. It may not be the best way to play her, but for the early stages of her existence, I think it's alright. So far i've had a good time playing her with this build.
Also feel free to point out spelling mistakes and whatnot. I'll go back and fix it when I add and polish.