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Karma Build Guide by CCBeara

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League of Legends Build Guide Author CCBeara

Karma, The Enlightened AP Carry

CCBeara Last updated on June 14, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hello, I am RoopdeeRoo and I'm here to present my way of playing Karma, the Enlightened One. I've been playing for about 6 months and have been playing Karma a good amount since she's come out. I've tried out many different ways to play her, and this is my favorite (and my most effective) way to play her.

The build focuses on straight damage output to make for a very scary mage. Once you start melting unsuspecting players in, they'll realize the true power of Karma, the Enlightened One!

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Change Log

-Added pictures and whatnot
-Fixed some problems with text

-Guide added on MobaFire

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Masteries + Runes

For Karma, I use a mix of offense and defense to keep her alive through the early game, but still give her an edge.


I go with a standard 9/0/21 mastery setup, focusing on magic penetration, mana regen, and cooldown reduction. I make sure to grab improved Ghost as well. I also get Greed to try to rush my items as quick as possible.

3x Greater Quintessence of Potency

I get Potency quintessences for a bit of early game AP (I don't get magic penetration as I have magic penetration marks and having just a bit more AP early game can make your spells do things better, especially Karma's Soul Shield

9x Greater Mark of Insight

Magic Penetration really helps your spells hit hard, especially early game. While the AP Quintessence helps with early defense, the penetration helps a lot for early offense.

9x Greater Seal of Replenishment

Mana regen. The reasons are obvious on why you'd want these. More spells = more damage and defense. Rarely will she ever be out of mana early game because she'll be able to regen most of it with her Doran's Ring and this regen.

5x Greater Glyph of Potency
4x Greater Glyph of Force

AP is great to have. Early game, this AP will be very helpful for her damage and getaway potential. Granted, she'll have lower HP, but she'll have more effective HP with her heal and shield.

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Summoner Spells

Best Choices

I go with Ignite and Ghost. Ignite allows for easier early game kills and also a good counter to innate healers. Ghost is for good mobility. Due to the short range of her spells, she needs to be sort-of in their face about attacking them. (Also, Ghost + Mantra Charged Spirit Bond + Any other Speed buff = SUPA SPEEEEEE)

-Note: These are for AP Carry Karma. A support Karma should rarely take these as they aren't the best supportive summoner spells.

Other Possible Choices

Heal is okay for AP Carry Karma, but she has a heal. Also, if you play her well, you shouldn't be dying anyways. Heal is better suited for Support Karma.

Exhaust is better suited for someone who is going to shut someone down, rather than obliterate them. While it can help you get some kills and chase a bit better, it's not optimal in my opinion.

Same reasoning as Heal. Clarity just fills a spot that could be utilized better for AP Carry Karma.

Teleport is probably the second most "viable" option for Karma. Even though she can't chase and escape as well without Ghost, Teleport allows for easier laning and for surprise pushes. She rivals Nasus and Sivir in minion obliteration.

Poor Choices


Clairvoyance is an incredible spell that has so much utility and is an incredible spell.... for supports.

To be perfectly honest, if you are getting CC'd to the point of needing Cleanse, you'll probably be dead before you can make use of it.

It's an iffy spell in general and does not work with Karma that well.

Flash won't really do you much good. If you are chasing, use Spirit Bond. If you are escaping, use Soul Shield with Spirit Bond. It's a good spell, just not that good for Karma.

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With AP Carry Karma, I like to use 3 Core Items.

Start off with a Doran's Ring for the AP, Mana Regen, and the nice HP. Afterwards, build into these:

Core Build Example

This allows for some pretty incredible damage output.

Sorcerer's Shoes
Good boots. Magic penetration REALLY helps with her burst and allows her to do a lot more damage to stronger enemies.

-If you have prefer them, Ionian Boots of Lucidity may be the wiser investment.

Rabadon's Deathcap
When you get this, it should be pretty easy to rack up kills and assists pretty quickly, allowing for easy carrying. The AP bonus will also make your passive stupid annoying to enemies. Even if your low, your shield can save you in many situations.

Void Staff
Always a good item for any caster. Makes your spells hit a lot harder to those pesky Galio-types.

If You Get Fed...

Lich Bane
This item is hilarious. Spammy abilities and an auto-attack that makes people scream. I have been in situations where I was low and a burst assassin lost to me because I Mantra Charged my Soul Shield and killed them with the Lich Bane proc.

Situational Items

Deathfire Grasp
I get this usually for the peskier high HP champs like Cho'Gath or Mundo. It has good stats and a good active. I would like to note that getting Kage's Lucky Pick first is important. The quicker money plus Karma's excellent farming abilities allow her to get way ahead of the pack very fast.

-Since this is generally better later on in the game, you should get Kage's Lucky Pick before one of the other items if you are a bit low on minion kills early on.
-You don't always need this. If the enemy team is relatively squishy, you won't need this too much.
-You can use 1-6 on your keyboard to use this item easier. I will usually put this in my #1 slot to have an easy combo of:

Deathfire Grasp > Mantra+Soul Shield > Heavenly Wave

Mejai's Soulstealer
Mejai's is a good item, but should only be bought if you start off relatively well. The earlier you get an assist or kill, you will already be ahead of the pack. Play it carefully and rack up stacks. Suddenly, you are a nuking beast. (The CDR with full stacks is also handy.)

-GET THIS EARLY ON. If you get it mid-late when you are only a bit fed, it's not very useful. Get it midway through laning phase if you're getting pretty fed.
-If you start feeling confident with playing Karma, get it even if you start off bad. You can still make a stupidly good comeback.
-If you are doing bad, or there isn't a whole lot of killing going on, drop Mejai's for another AP item.
-Another note for emphasis: DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SELL THIS. Don't keep it for a "what-if" situation. If you start doing bad, throw it out, forget it.

Archangel's Staff
If you really need some more mana, get this for some quick AP.

-I'd suggest getting this earlier than later, as it isn't the best choice for AP late game.

Vs. High Magic Resist Teams

Haunting Guise
It's a nice magic penetration item for early game that also gives a bit of HP that could help you early on.

-Late game, this won't be that much of a help, sell it to make room for a better item if needed

Vs. High DPS

Zhonya's Hourglass
This item is an icing-on-the-cake item. Gives a lot of AP for a decent amount of survivability. Also, that sexy stasis active.

This is only in extreme cases (e.g. Yi or Tryn fed to oblivion). It can make your life a lot easier.

Vs. High Burst

Abyssal Scepter
An incredible item that also reduces nearby enemy MR. Can be used for both offense and defense.

-All of Karma's spells are AoE. This item can be a really good ending situational item.

Banshee's Veil
Look at that sexy orb of doom for any enemy burst. CAN'T GET ME NOW, CAN YOU AP JERK SION.

General Build Result

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Skill Build

For Karma, I like to focus on her Heavenly Wave and Soul Shield to maximize damage output and level up Spirit Bond last as it is the hardest skill to make effective, and it better used for utility.

-Note: In a duo lane, leveling Spirit Bond may be a better idea.

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Pros / Cons

+Great in team fights
+Secret tankiness with her heal and shield
+Pretty hefty damage
+Can be an incredible support at the same time
+Incredible farming ability
+Easy to learn, hard to master
+Great Laner

-Pretty bad first few levels, late game is iffy.
-Still pretty squishy
-Cannot carry as well as some of other champions
-Average base damage on her skills
-Easy to learn, hard to master
-Crowd Control just tears her apart

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Working in a Team

Karma can lane in whatever lane she is most needed. She can easily go solo top, solo mid, or duo bot.
-Note: Soloing as Karma is much harder than duoing with another teammate, but can be even more rewarding

Solo Mid

Here's generally where you want to be. What Karma lacks in crazy damage and range, she more than makes up for in lane presence and lane sustainability.

The focus of Karma in mid lane is to out farm and zone the enemy champion. This can be incredibly easy, or incredibly hard. You'll probably lane versus either a snow bally mage, or a ranged dps that needs the farm. Both can be easy, or hard. Just play smart, and harass when you can.

Use predictability and champion knowledge to your advantage. For example, laning versus Annie would be relatively easy. Harass when you can before level six, then just bait her harassment hard so you can get your passive high and her mana low. Run at her, force her to target you, use your shield, trololo all the way home.

Solo Top

Generally, you'll be in a 1v1 situation top, if so, follow the above instructions.

If you end up 1v2, then get ready for a fun lane.~
Surprisingly, Karma can do this extremely well, better than a lot of champions.

You'll want to play it very safe. Very, very safe.
Harass when you can, but try to stay near your tower most of the time. After a while, you'll probably have taken a bit of a beating, and so have they. If they get agitated, they make a move to tower dive you.

Laugh now.

Mantra Soul Shield and Heavenly Wave them and watch them go "wat." They'll be EXTREMELY low and Ignite should finish them off.

Just play like you would a solo mid lane, but divided in two.

-Getting a Kage's Lucky Pick can help if you're getting zoned hard.

Good Duo Lane Partners
Basically, you want to lane with any support or tank with a competent amount of CC.

Kennen is probably one of my favorite ally champions to lane with because he can stun often and is a very strong laner.
Alistar is another CC monster that can control the lane well. He also has a spammable heal which can be a life saver.

-A fun thing to do with Alistar is let him tower dive after level 6, ensuring an easy kill.
Maokai is good because he has a lot of good harassment and an excellent snare.
Rammus has a great slow and a taunt. Karma and Rambam in a lane together is not fun for the enemy laners. Not fun at all.
Having Blitzcrank with you is good for similar reasons to the above 4 as well. CC and some protective elements. 'Dat grab will ruin people's lives.

Generally, you'll want to play careful, but get off as much harass as possible. Zone them out hard, bait their harass (and heal/shield accordingly) and force them to lose control of the lane. Karma is very good at this. It's pretty self explanatory what to do with Karma in a duo lane.

How to Play as AP Carry Karma

Like a lot of carries, early game is where you should want to be careful and just harass with Heavenly Wave whenever you get a chance.

When you get around to level 6, you can properly do a good bursty combo of:

Mantra+Soul Shield > Heavenly Wave > Spirit Bond

The hardest part of Karma is positioning. If there aren't any viable allies or minions nearby, you have to nuke by shielding yourself. This can get you into HORRIBLE situations. Just know your enemies and react accordingly.

In teamfights, nuke-shield your tank once he initiates, doing a pretty sizable amount of AoE damage. If used with someone like Galio or Malphite, the shield alone can be devastating. Throughout the battle, spam your Heavenly Wave as much as you can, and just nuke whenever possible.

Do NOT forget your Spirit Bond! If you can manage to bond with the straggler in the back, you can move around the battle doing damage to all between you two. Remember that it only has 1 tick, so don't keep running around trying to hit everyone like crazy.

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Karma is a great champion who can dish out a surprising amount of damage. She's a fun burst carry that can catch enemies off guard with her defensive burst.

Thank you for reading my guide, and please leave a comment with feedback~