Karma Build Guide

Karma - How to Carry a Carry

Uploader Pragz
Updated 6 years ago
317,873
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Runes
  • 9
    Greater Mark of Magic Penetration (+0.87 magic penetration)
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration (+0.065 mana regen / 5 sec. per level (+1.17 at champion level 18))
  • 9
    Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction (-0.83% cooldowns)
  • 3
    Greater Quintessence of Ability Power (+4.95 ability power)
Skill Order
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Hello and welcome to the second installment of my "How to Carry a Carry" series of guides, focusing on how to effectively play support champions! Today we'll be taking a look at Karma, one of the most underplayed champions in the League, and wrongly so! Karma is a decent champion in my opinion, with her abilities giving an incredible counterplay that no other support has. All of her abilities support and attack, giving an interesting and unique gameplay. While she isn't as strong a support as Janna or Zilean, she does bring a potent power to any team. So without further ado, I present to you my way of playing Karma!

[center][imgext=http://i51.tinypic.com/2093dxx.jpg][/center] [highlight]Runes are very flexible with Karma[/highlight], who really doesn't rely on any specific stat and can be built in multiple ways. The rune page above is the set I run, but these are all perfectly viable: [title]Marks[/title][.][highlight]Magic Penetration[/highlight] - Very good for anyone that deals magic damage. [.][highlight]Ability Power per level[/highlight] - They are secondary, but free AP is always good. [title]Seals[/title][.][highlight]Mana Regen per 5 per level[/highlight] - These are the only yellows I will suggest. Karma is mana-intensive, and you need these. [title]Glyphs[/title][.][highlight]Cooldown Reduction[/highlight] - Flat or per level is fine; both work well. I cap out CDR with just the flat ones, so use those if you plan to go Boots of Lucidity and Morello's. [.][highlight]Mana Regen per 5 per level[/highlight] - Again, Karma is VERY mana-intensive. These are very very useful. [.][highlight]Ability Power per level[/highlight] - 30 AP is really good, regardless. [.][highlight]Magic Resist per level[/highlight] - I love these runes just because of all the magic damage running around these days; always useful. [title]Quintessences[/title][.][highlight]Flat Health[/highlight] - Great for the early-game laning-phase part. [.][highlight]Gold per 5[/highlight] - Useful if you build support and get early Philo Stones. [.][highlight]Flat AP[/highlight] - Karma is strongest early on, and these complement that phase.

[center][number]______________________________[/number][/center] [center][title][img=skills/karma/p.png] [number]Passive: Inner Flame[/number][/title][/center][center][number]______________________________[/number][/center] [number]Karma gains increased Ability Power corresponding to her % of missing Health. Cooldown Xseconds Cost No Cost Range 200[/number] [.][title]Explanation:[/title] [.]One of my favorite passives in the game! No matter how safe you play, you are bound to take damage. This baby here congratulates you for it and rewards you with even more powerful spells. At level 18 [highlight]you can gain up to 140 ability power[/highlight]. WOW. [center][number]______________________________[/number][/center] [center][title][img=skills/karma/q.png] Q: Heavenly Wave[/title][/center][center][number]______________________________[/number][/center] [number]Karma sends forth hidden blades from her fans, dealing 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+60% Ability Power) magic damage to units in a cone in front of her. Mantra Bonus: In addition to dealing damage to enemies, Heavenly Wave will also heal allies in the cone for 35 / 55 / 75 / 95 / 115 / 135 plus 5% (+%) of their missing Health. Cooldown Xseconds Cost 65 / 75 / 85 / 95 / 105Mana Range 800[/number] [.][title]Explanation:[/title] [.]A decent AoE damage and a decent AoE heal. This spell is very useful, simultaneously providing a decent chunk of damage and a decent heal. The heal scales up as your allies get more HP, so your tanks don't suffer as much as with flat heals. [highlight]Proper positioning can result in a battle-changing spell[/highlight] cast. Fun fact: Heals minions! [center][number]______________________________[/number][/center] [center][title][img=skills/karma/w.png] W: Spirit Bond[/title][/center][center][number]______________________________[/number][/center] [number]Karma creates a beam between an ally or enemy for up to 5 seconds. Allied anchors move 10% / 12% / 14% / 16% / 18% faster and enemy anchors are slowed by 10% / 12% / 14 %/ 16% / 18%. The beam deals 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+70% Ability Power) magic damage to enemies and applies the same movement speed adjustment anchors receive to any champion it passes through. The beam breaks if the bonded target is stealthed. Mantra Bonus: Karma strengthens the bond to double the effect of the movement speed modifier. Cooldown 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 / 10 seconds Cost 65 / 75 / 85 / 95 / 105 Mana Range 800[/number] [.][title]Explanation:[/title] [.]I have always had particular animosity towards this spell, just because of an oversight I think Riot made while designing it. The speed modifiers are wonderful, and makes this spell a chase or an escape depending on how you want to use it. My problem is with the damage, though. The damage itself is a great number, and contributes to a pretty powerful burst capability. The only thing is is the person you target is immune to the damage; I always hated not having it damage the one you hit instantly, but I suppose beggars cant be choosers. Just realize you need to hit something behind your target or do a lot of running to actually damage your enemy. [center][number]______________________________[/number][/center] [center][title][img=skills/karma/e.png] E: Soul Shield[/title][/center][center][number]______________________________[/number][/center] [number]Karma summons a protective shield that absorbs 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+80% Ability Power) damage for 5 seconds. Mantra Bonus: In addition to casting the shield, energy radiates out from the shield dealing 70 / 110 / 150 / 190 / 230 (+80% Ability Power) magic damage to enemy units around her target. Cooldown Xseconds Cost 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110mana Range 650[/number] [.][title]Explanation:[/title] [.]A POWERFUL spell, to say the least. The shield amount is up there with Eye of the Storm, but it is also a very strong AoE nuke. [highlight]The spell can be used offensively and defensively at the same time[/highlight], which is a fantastic design. This is one of my favorite spells in the game because of that aspect. This can also be used on minions, adding to her strong laning phase and pushing ability. [center][number]______________________________[/number][/center] [center][title][img=skills/karma/r.png] R: Mantra[/title][/center][center][number]______________________________[/number][/center] [number]Karma empowers her next ability with an additional effect. Karma gains a charge every 25 seconds up to 2 charges. The refresh rate is reduced by Cooldown Reduction. Cooldown 25 seconds Cost No Cost[/number] [.][title]Explanation:[/title] [.]Not much to say about this. Karma doesn't actually have an ultimate, per say. This thing is like a passive, which activates and then gives a bonus to your next spell cast. It's a very unique way of designing a champion, and something I actually really like. Makes Karma special, and not in the likes-to-eat-glue kind of way.

[center][img=skills/karma/q.png] [highlight]>[/highlight] [img=skills/karma/e.png] [highlight]>[/highlight] [img=skills/karma/w.png][/center] You [highlight]start out with Soul Shield, because it is the most effective way to help your jungler[/highlight]. Throw a Mantra Soul Shield on him, you'll draw aggro, and he'll have some extra HP for the fight. [highlight]Then you want to start maxing out Heavenly Wave[/highlight]. Soul Shield does do more damage, but it requires a Mantra Charge to damage. By prioritizing Heavenly Wave you won't have to worry about running out of Charges in lane, which you really need to save for sticky situations. [highlight]After Heavenly Wave you max Soul Shield[/highlight], because it rocks. It's a very strong shield and does heavy damage in a deceptively large area. It becomes great for pushing because it can be cast on minions, letting them tank an incredible amount of turret shots. [highlight]Then you get you Spirit Bond maxed out[/highlight]. Spirit Bond is a pretty good haste/slow, especially if you Mantra it. My only problem is that it can be hard to damage your target, since you have to drag them through the tether. That's the only reason I max it last.

Karma has very flexible build paths, but in the end I have found AP to be the strongest. You ultimately arrive at having stronger shields and heals, and also much higher damage. Building support items like Soul Shroud and Aegis of the Legion are not out of the question, and I will be discussing items like those later on. So let's get into the build: [center][number]__________________________________[/number][/center] [center][title][number]PURE AP[/number][/title][/center][center][number]__________________________________[/number][/center] With this build we're looking at 300+ heals, 600+ shields, and incredible nuking capabilities. With the addition of Morello's Evil Tome and its eventual buff, all support off-nukes like Karma got a sneaky buff. To start with: [.] [imgsmall=items/ionian-boots-of-lucidity.png] [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] [imgsmall=items/morellos-evil-tome.png] [imgsmall=items/void-staff.png] [imgsmall=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] [imgsmall=items/banshees-veil.png] This is the build you should ultimately arrive at. You have maxed out CDR, over 500 AP, and great survivability. Some people don't understand why I get Boots of Lucidity instead of Sorcerer's Shoes since I play her an off-nuke, and the answer is simple: flat Magic Penetration gets weaker as the game drags on and enemies get high MR. Since I get Void Staff and take the mastery, 55% MPen is more than enough to nuke that poor Rammus if the situation calls. 15% CDR is much better because it allows you to cast more spells, which means more heals and more shields. Always good! Now then, to get these items you have to start somewhere. These two sets of items are generally the only ones I would suggest: [.] [imgsmall=items/dorans-ring.png] [.] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png] [imgsmall=items/health-potion3.png] Doran's items were nerfed to where you can't start with pots now, but Karma has a heal. Doran's Ring is still a great item and I keep it all the way up until I absolutely have to sell it. I start with it about 80% of the time. But if I know the lane I'm going to will be tough (heavy harassers like MF, Karthus, etc., which you hardly see in side-lanes anyways) I will take pots. On your first back, try to get: [.] [imgsmall=items/catalyst-the-protector.png] [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png] Obviously only the Catalyst if you started with boots, haha. Catalyst is a great laning item, giving you great sustainability. Plus since Karma is so mana-intensive, the large chunk of mana is great to have. Now that you have that, you can really start having fun: [.] [imgsmall=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] [imgsmall=items/morellos-evil-tome.png] [highlight]- AP + CDR = Yay![/highlight] These are your core items, the things that make you a goddess. Deathcap supplies a very powerful chunk of AP, and Morello's supplies a very powerful chunk of CDR. These two things alone are really all you need; everything else is just additive. :P [.] [imgsmall=items/void-staff.png] [highlight]- OMFGWTFBBQ MPEN FTW.[/highlight] Very good item for anyone that deals solely Magic Damage. 40% MPen is incredibly strong, especially combined with the 15% you get from Arcane Mastery. The fact that it doesn't give as much AP as other items is completely counterbalanced by the fact that it makes all your other AP hit that much harder. [.] [imgsmall=items/zhonyas-hourglass.png] [highlight]- Immunity![/highlight] A good item that I don't usually get. I tend to finish my Banshee's Veil before this, but it really depends on the enemy team. It's a very large amount of AP and a good chunk of Armor, but everyone get's this for the active. Invulnerability for 2 seconds means the enemy can NOT focus you, no matter how much they want to. It's also great for killing 2 seconds worth of cooldowns if your Soul Shield is about to come up. [.] [imgsmall=items/banshees-veil.png] [highlight]- Immunity![/highlight] And then we have Banshee's. It got a small nerf as of patch 1.0.0.113, but it's still great. Invulnerability to one spell can be great, and it offers some good health, mana, and magic resist. Still an awesome item! If you don't like the thought of some of these items, there are many alternatives. Karma is flexible, so changing around a few items won't really hurt you too much. Some good options are: [.] [imgsmall=items/abyssal-scepter.png] - Against MR-heavy teams, or just for the Magic Resist. [.] [imgsmall=items/archangels-staff.png] - Karma is VERY mana-intensive; this item helps loads. [.] [imgsmall=items/mejais-soulstealer.png] - I don't like snowball items, but if you do by all means get it. [.] [imgsmall=items/rylais-crystal-scepter.png] - Lots of HP and the compounding slow is great with Spirit Bond. [center][number]__________________________________[/number][/center] [center][title][number]SUPPORT ITEMS[/number][/title][/center][center][number]__________________________________[/number][/center] There are some good choices out there for support items, and a few of them should always be on a team. It's often the support's role to carry at least one of them, but Karma does kinda' break this convention. I've played with all of these items on her and will discuss the results of each one, so you can get your own ideas as to what works on her and what doesn't, because I would suggest you just stick to the pure AP build. :) [.] [imgsmall=items/aegis-of-the-legion.png] [highlight]- Aegis of the Legion[/highlight] This item provides an excellent aura, and any team is at a serious loss without it. While I find it is usually better for the tank to carry this (just because of the nature of the non-aura bonuses), sometimes the support does. It's a great item and definitely not something you should regret getting. [.] [imgsmall=items/shurelyas-reverie.png] [highlight]- Shurelya's Reverie[/highlight] A decent item, but nothing more. It gives you some health and mana regen, some CDR, and an okay active effect. The best thing you can do with this is take Avarice Quintessences, put a point in Greed, and start with some quick Philosopher's Stones. It will give you some amazing gold generation, which lets your lane partner last-hit more without costing you too much. [.] [imgsmall=items/soul-shroud.png] [highlight]- Soul Shroud[/highlight] Great item, even after the nerfs. It gives CDR and mana regen to all your allies, which everyone loves. It gives you health, which you love. Overall this is still a great item and something I often carry on Karma, if I have the desire to. Definitely something worth buying if it suits the team comp. [.] [imgsmall=items/starks-fervor.png] [highlight]- Stark's Fervor[/highlight] Generally speaking, I hate getting this item on any support. Yes the aura is fantastic, but it's useless on you. I know it's selfish, but in all honesty you're better off letting someone who can use the non-aura bonuses get it. If the team is all right-click and stuff, and no one else wants to buy it, then go ahead and get it. Don't be happy about it, but it will help your team. And that's what it's all about. :) [.] [imgsmall=items/will-of-the-ancients.png] [highlight]- Will of the Ancients[/highlight] Lovely item. Lots of AP for you and some AP and Spell Vamp for your friends. It's pretty good on the right team, so use your own judgment.

[center][number]__________________________________[/number][/center] [center][title][number]LANING PHASE[/number][/title][/center][center][number]__________________________________[/number][/center] Karma has a very strong duo-lane. Due to the nature of her spells, she is able to play offensively and defensively at the same time. You can zone melee champions with incredible ease: Soul Shield can be used on minions, so you can deny them last hits AND damage them at the same time! It's wonderful, truly. :) Your constant heals and shields let you and your partner last-hit freely, with much room for error. Your heals get stronger as your health gets lower, so you can recover faster from lower HP. The only problem is with mana: you can quickly run out of it. Same goes with Mantra charges. You ALWAYS want to have at least one Mantra charge up, so you can use Spirit Bond to escape ganks. When Karma was first released junglers quickly realized to kill Karma they just had to wait for her to use her last Mantra charge. Make sure you don't make this mistake! [center][number]__________________________________[/number][/center] [center][title][number]MID GAME[/number][/title][/center][center][number]__________________________________[/number][/center] This is where things kick off. Hopefully you have Boots of Lucidity, Fiendish Codex, and at least the Needlessly Large Rod component of Rabadon's Deathcap. If so, you're good. If you have Rabadon's, then you're great! If you have Morello's as well, you're fed. :D By now team-fights should be breaking out, and you want to always be there. Position yourself at the back like any good support. Most Karma's make the mistake of running into the fray like Soul Shield makes them immune to damage. Here's what you should do: Use Spirit Bond on the one in front. The line it gives should hit allies and give them the speed boost, but don't worry about that too much. It will also hit enemies that try to jump in for your carries. If they do this, IMMEDIATELY hit your carry with a Mantra'd Soul Shield. This will cause significant damage and give them a powerful shield. Once you notice at least 2 or three people are below full, or someone needs a clutch heal, throw a Mantra'd Heavenly Wave. Basically your job is to shield the ones getting focused, especially important carries, heal when a lot of people need it or one person REALLY needs it, and provide a speed boost for allies when you need to chase or escape. [center][number]__________________________________[/number][/center] [center][title][number]LATE GAME[/number][/title][/center][center][number]__________________________________[/number][/center] Your job hasn't changed much, but you now deal a lot more damage. You should have your Void Staff by this point, and hopefully working towards finishing Banshee's Veil. You'll want to be saving Mantra for team fights, and follow the same routine you have been: Soul Shield important carries, heal your team when they need it, and use Spirit Bond to provide speed boosts or slow down targets. You should realize that while you do deal a lot more damage, so do your enemies. Don't get ballsy and try to tank; stay in the back, play it safe, and save your allies. Continue buying wards for Baron, stick with the team, etc. Do NOT go off alone; remember that while you are carrying your carry, they are also carrying you. It's a give and take relationship: you protect them, and they protect you.

In the end, Karma is not as good a support as Janna or Zilean, and likely never will be. However, she is a very useful champion that I think is wrongly underplayed. She is fun, unique, and can be an asset to any team when properly played. If you're looking for someone easy to play, easy to learn, and incredibly powerful as a support, there are wonderful Janna guides out there. If you're looking for someone with a unique style, interesting meta, and that requires time and skill to learn, then Karma is your girl! :)

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