Karma Build Guide

Bring Old Karma Back

Uploader whiteknight
Updated 4 years ago
24,584
100%
Runes
  • 9
    Greater Mark of Magic Penetration (+0.87 magic penetration)
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration (+0.41 mana regen / 5 sec.)
  • 9
    Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration (+0.06 mana regen / 5 sec. per level (+1.2 at champion level 18))
  • 3
    Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed (+1.5% movement speed)
Skill Order
Q W E R
1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8
9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10
11 11 11 11
12 12 12 12
13 13 13 13
14 14 14 14
15 15 15 15
16 16 16 16
17 17 17 17
18 18 18 18

To be honest, [highlight]I am writing this guide in an attempt to bring old Karma back[/highlight]. If that does not interest you, I do cover new Karma, but a good amount is devoted to explaining why new Karma is less optimal than old Karma. New Karma is a champ with good damage, strong kiting ability, and a unique Mantra ultimate system. If you want a mobile champ that also brings some team utility while dishing out damage, Karma might be for you. As I explain abilities, I will be comparing them to old Karma. I will organize it so you can skip the information if you so please.

Karma is a kiting machine, but her range makes it difficult to do so against a number of champs. Extra movement speed quints help dish out damage and help your teammates while staying safe. Ability power quints also work for extra oomph to your abilities. Usually people take magic resist glyphs. They would help you lane better, but ideally as Karma you can avoid most harass and have a strong defense by having a strong offense- Karma is a lane bully in most cases, and mana regen glyphs help. I had flat mana regen glyphs before, but I realized by level 6, scaling glyphs give you about the same mana regen. With flat mana regen seals, you eliminate pre-6 mana problems while gaining the ability to harass often with your abilities post-6 fairly effectively. You can take magic pen marks for extra damage (all those times you went "NOOO one more autoattack would have killed him!") or you can take attack damage marks if you have trouble last hitting (although personally I don't like such "softening" as I consider last-hitting as a skill to practice, not something to be made easier by wasting runes).

[title][img=skills/karma/p.png] Passive: Gathering Fire[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] You will not be able to use multiple Mantras in a team fight. Mantras are essentially what make new Karma a lane bully. _____________________ New Karma's passive is dumb. Old Karma's ult needed a buff, if anything, and they nerfed it to have a long cooldown for minor effects. And to make up for this nerf, they get rid of her old passive to bring in a new one that compensates the nerf. Essentially, Karma lost a very good ability (her old passive) in order to gain an ability that is only there to make her weakened new ult stronger. Also, it means you have to use non-mantra abilities to get the cooldown back. Anyone see a problem there? [title][img=skills/karma/q.png] Q: Inner Flame[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] A very quick moving skillshot that is hard to dodge, but also trickier to land than it might seem. It has a decent range, but the hitbox is deceptively thin, and minions block the shot (although there is a small splash area, if the enemy champion is close enough to the point of impact). With Mantra, it does extra damage and leaves a slowing circle on the ground that deals delayed damage. Enemy champs can literally just walk out of this circle before it does damage, so only use Mantra for Q if you need the extra, immediate damage, or if you need to zone an area. This is your main source of damage and harass. Max second. [title][img=skills/karma/w.png] W: Focused Resolve[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] In lane, you want to save this ability to stop the enemy jungler from ganking you. It is your safety card before you have to blow flash. Otherwise you can use it to help your own jungler gank your lane. With Mantra, the heal is nice in theory, but in practice it's much trickier because it makes your movement predictable, therefore making you somewhat vulnerable. Remember, it is as much a chain to yourself as it is the the enemy champ you are using it on. Generally max this last, as it is only there for the utility of the snare. If in some case you find you don't extra levels in shield and you need the extra snare duration for her W, you can max this after her ultimate and Q. _______________ Her old W was her only straight-up bad skill. In lane, you couldn't use it for damage (the enemy mid would have to be in front of a minion, and you would have to tag the minion- how often does that happen?) and the slow wasn't particularly detrimental without a mantra buff. But mantra with her Q and E were generally so much better that you didn't find yourself wanting to use a charge just for extra slow. In team fights, the only way you would snag the enemy team with it is if a team member was on the other side of the enemy team and you both could cross the enemy champs with the line. But that kind of positioning almost never happens. [title][img=skills/karma/e.png] E: Inspire[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] A nice little haste and shield. I like that Karma still has her old shield nuke, but I believe the range of the shield's damage has been nerfed, and the shield itself also feels weaker (probably because of the speed it now gives). With Mantra, it's a free kind of Locket + Shurelya's active. However, this requires your team to be a bit grouped up, which may not always be optimal (if the enemy team has a Morgana or Galio for example). You can shield minions with Mantra on to harass your lane opponent. Generally, max this third. [title][img=skills/karma/r.png] R: Mantra[/title] [title]Explanation:[/title] Hey, let's nerf her ult, and then get rid of her passive to compensate for how bad her ult is! The new effects are pretty decent. But the fact that her Q mantra circle thing can be walked out of, her heal isn't always the best use of a now non-spammable ult, and that her shield mantra can be covered by other active items, her new ult just doesn't feel particularly original or effective in a way that makes it deserve the title of an "ultimate." But it's still her ultimate- max this first.

Karma is a lane bully. With your mana regen runes, you don't have to worry about running out of mana too quickly. Harass your opponents, deny them CS. If you are in an unfavorable match up, play safe, ask your jungler for ganks, and farm as best you can.

You should have some decent damage under your belt now. You can provide good ganks for other lanes with your ally haste and enemy snare and slow. You can help grab Dragon and zone alerted enemies with your mantra Q or escape a bad decision with a mantra E.

Team fights everywhere. You need to decide how to use your ult. Do they have an engage-heavy team? Maybe use your Q to zone members of their team. Do they have a poke-heavy team? Maybe use your E to help your team initiate. Did you get caught out? Since your heal is based on missing health, try to gauge the best time to use your mantra W to heal yourself back up. Other than that, shield your key allies (carry or about-to-die friend), spam your Q, and if possible, snare their APC or ADC, or even their tank/tops/jungler/whatever so he can't disrupt your teammates. [highlight]Be sure to keep moving[/highlight]- Karma's range does not afford her much safety like Lux. You need to be aware and provide utility to your team while disorienting the enemy team.

1. Win lane. Karma is a lane bully. 2. Keep up farm while denying opponent mid farm. Gank lanes if possible. 3. Damage enemies, protect allies. 4. BRING OLD KARMA BACK. The only reason why new Karma is viable is because Riot gave her a big damage increase and good mana costs. Otherwise, her current kit is not only rather inferior, but very unoriginal. First off, her old passive was what made Karma who she was. She had "inner strength" when her health bar runs low, and she was infamous for making people think twice about tower diving her. Now, her new passive is just a stupid buff to compensate for her nerfed ult. Thus, [highlight]she effectively lost an entire ability.[/highlight] Second, her old Q was half of her team utility. Group, percentage heals! There was some issue regarding using her Q for damage (as an APC needs to dish out) or using her Q to heal allies, but it was still a great ability. Her new Q is just a run-of-the-mill lined damage shot, and the Mantra just buffs the damage- the circle is basically nonexistent since enemy champs can just waltz out before the delayed damage occurs. It just offers some meager zoning potential. Third, her old W was not my favorite skill. For it to be effective it team fights, you would have to have an ally on the other side of the enemy team. It offered a lot of damage and utility, but only by rare and dangerous positioning opportunities. In lane, you'd have to snag a minion behind the enemy champ to get any damage off. This makes the effective range deceptively short since you have to reach for a far-back minion, and thus its damage opportunities were scarce. Her W needed a change, but I'm not sure that turning it into a targetable LeBlanc chain was the answer. [highlight]Unoriginal. [/highlight] Fourth, her new shield is somewhat decent. However, the nerfed damage range makes it difficult to really doe AoE damage in team fights. Also, the mantra effects, while decent, feel totally unoriginal. I don't use the shield nuke as nearly as I used to- the haste and longer ult cooldown make it less sensible to do so. They kept the shield nuke, but it's no longer really designed to be used that way. Also, how often do junglers build Locket, and supports Shurelya's? Pretty often. Her ability still helps but it no longer feels original. The shield itself is also weak compared to before, in exchange for a minor haste. Fifth, her new ultimate is just bad. Before, it was debatable on whether or not she needed a 3rd charge- with only 2 charges, it wasn't quite game-breaking enough to be considered an ultimate, but 3 charges bordered on OP. However, now it's a 45 second cooldown for such minor effects. It makes her a lane bully, but that's really it. The charges were half the fun; now she only has one. Sixth, they even changed her walk. HER WALK. This is the biggest thing that tells me Riot was not in touch with Karma players when they redid her. It's just a generic jog now. Her old walk was the $w@G walk. It fit her mysterious personality. They say they wanted Karma to represent her strong Ionian background, but honestly, it's just a generic jog now. That's all. Overall, Karma became a marginally stronger laner, but she lost a ton of team utility, and more importantly, she lost a ton of her originality that made her so fun to play. The new Karma just feels like an awkward, unwanted, mix of generic, existing abilities and effects. I appreciate the attempt on the rework, and the ensuing patches to help keep her relevant. But let's be honest- Riot didn't rework Karma. They made a new champ, and gave her enough damage that people would pay attention to her. Please listen to the people who actually played Karma, and bring the old Karma back.

Comments coming soon!
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