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Karma/Strategy

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Champion Background Strategy Skins & Trivia


Skill usage

  • In order to play Karma effectively, you must know when to use a  Mantra charge.
    •  Mantra on  Inner Flame creates   Soulflare,  Karma's most powerful and dangerous ability, as it one of the most powerful nukes in game (has both spectacular base damage and AP ratio) and should be used in teamfights. It's also the most important part of  Karma's combo into a single target.
    •  Mantra on  Focused Resolve creates  Renewal which can strongly heal yourself in combat and cripple a fleeing enemy.
      • However, the heal is not very good unless your health is under 50%, but you can use it and follow up with  Inspire to protect  Karma while she heals.
      • It also deals a lot of damage compared to any other DoT in the game.
    • Using  Mantra on  Inspire creates  Defiance, a potent AoE shield and haste which is useful to help an ally surrounded by enemies, as the shield strength and haste are huge. It can be used for AoE damage but mainly to provide durability and haste to your team. It can also be used to absorb a large portion of an AoE ability that you see incoming, as the shield itself is AoE.
  • Of her skills,  Inner Flame and  Soulflare have the lowest mana cost and cooldown, making it easy to reduce  Mantra's cooldown faster.
  • Remember that  Soulflare,  Defiance,  Renewal effects are independent to their normal counterpart ranks, for example, a support  Karma can still deal a lot of damage using  Soulflare while  Inner Flame is at rank one, while a maxed  Inspire will offer mediocre damage as  Defiance compared to  Soulflare.
    • Even so, take into account that a higher ranked ability will of course feel more powerful than a lower ranked one when empowered.
  •  Karma's rework was centered around allowing her to be a mage, which was successful.  Karma's main combo is:
    • Land  Inner Flame; if you miss it, think twice before following up.
    • Wait until  Inner Flame CD has dropped to 2 seconds (Really easy with 40% CDR).
    • Use  Focused Resolve and land the snare. This is critical, as missing the snare can ruin the combo.
    •  Mantra-->  Soulflare;  Soulflare is thrown right into your snared victim, shutting down any possible escape from the secondary zone
      • Use  Inspire any time you see a counter-attack heading your way, to either dodge it with the bonus movement speed, or to shield yourself from damage.
  •  Karma's kit is quite versatile, and you should think carefully about which ability to max, depending on the situation.
    • As her main source of damage, harassment and burst,  Inner Flame should be maxed out if you are taking a solo lane or decide to become a severe poking support.
    • Despite her rework,  Karma is still a support and  Inspire is a beefy, low cooldown and mana-affordable shield with a potent haste. If you decide to run  Karma as a support, it would be wise to be maxing this ability first.
      • However, it should be maxed last if playing as a mage, as it provides an impressive 40% movement speed boost at rank one, making it a one point wonder. This gives  Karma both increased mobility and saving power.
    • Providing a good amount of damage and useful CC,  Focused Resolve is not to be ignored. However, its short range can make it troublesome to use properly, and maxing this ability can waste a lot of damage. If you are facing a melee opponent like  Riven or  Jax, who needs to be up your face to deal damage to you, the root can be an excellent disengage. Also, in most scenarios you'll easily be able to trigger the snare.
  • If having trouble sticking to a target long enough to trigger the root of  Focused Resolve, slow your opponents with  Inner Flame and/or speed yourself up with  Inspire.
  •  Gathering Fire is very useful during laning phase, but becomes especially powerful in teamfights.
    • In teamfights, where you most likely have a high amount CDR,  Mantra's cooldown is drastically lowered by  Gathering Fire, as  Soulflare can trigger multiple times, and can be spammed more often due to the CDR.
  •  Karma can allow incredibly powerful escapes for her allies as well as herself:
    • Using  Focused Resolve and  Inner Flame on a chasing opponent will cripple them down.
    • Using the massive haste, as well as shield from  Defiance,  Karma can swiftly get an ally out of danger.
  •  Karma's early game power is surprisingly high due to her high base damages, and the fact that she can use Mantra at level 1 to empower her abilities. A  Focused Resolve into  Soulflare combo can easily do up to 50% of your opponent's health early on.
  • The cooldown of  Mantra starts when activated, not when the enhanced spell is cast. Activating  Mantra in advance of an imminent fight can theoretically save you up to 8 seconds of cooldown on the ability.
  • In top lane  Karma functions well by kiting and zoning AD tank champions with auto attacks and abilities.  Inner Flame taken at level 1 allows her to zone effectively and taking  Focused Resolve at level 2 both allows her full damage combo and excellent disengage.  Karma can burst easily at low levels, but tends to win top lane through forcing her laner to back due to harass and kiting. This also benefits karma due to the ability to get more use out of her passive.
  •  Karma is a support jungler, utilizing her kit to gank early with high burst and CC, and later allowing her team to engage and disengage well in teamfights as well as laying down considerable burst damage while CC'ing targets. Taking  Inner Flame first and  Inspire second allows karma to farm decently. At level 3 your whole kit will allow you to gank effectively.
    •  Karma's skill order in ganking is casting  Inner Flame into her target and  Inspire on herself or her laner to gap close, tethering her target with  Focused Resolve, and then using  Mantra to cast  Soulflare to burst and slow the target for a kill by the laner.
    • Keep in mind while ganking, holding lane, or being caught in an early duel that auto attacking your target will greatly reduce the cooldown of  Mantra, and that  Renewal will make you deceptively tanky for an early fight and in some cases allow you to engage and gain health during the fight.

Build usage

  •  Karma's abilities can make her deceptively tanky. However since this tankiness comes from active abilities she is especially vulnerable while stunned or silenced, making Mercury's Treads and Banshee's Veil good options when the other team has a lot of CC.
  • As explained above;  Karma's has quite a powerful burst, usually enough to blow up any ADC (which is usually the job of a mage) but can't bring tanky fighters under 30-45% of their health.
    • The Deathfire Grasp with the initial nuke and increased damage can help with this problem, and the CDR is extremely useful for her.
  • Tear of the Goddess can be build early to solve any mana problems and quickly rushed to Archangel's Staff to charge it faster. Couple with items as Rod of Ages it can give over 130 ability power, not to mention that  Karma's's mana pool is quite large.
  •  Karma's benefits greatly from cooldown reduction, which paired with  Gathering Fire can burn the cooldown of  Mantra in a couple of seconds in a teamfight and can allows the use of your ultimate up to 3 times if you are really aggressive.
    •  Karma's is quite mana-hungry because of the spammish nature of  Inner Flame, due to this the Morellonomicon allows her to sustain her damage and improve it's spammy nature, as well as providing a good deal of AP
      • Another option is Athene's Unholy Grail, however, keep in mind that when you buy yourself a Grail a large deal of gold is poured on the defensive stat. This is quite more expensive than the Morellonomicon and does not provide as much as AP as the Book. The mana regeneration offered by this item is also a bit too high for the likes of  Karma's
      • Any of these items combined with sorcery and  Ionian Boots of Lucidity will allow her to achieve 40% CDR, which is quite critical on her.
  •  Inner Flame is her main source of damage all game long, and it happens to apply a slow, which instantly procs the improved burn of  Liandry's Torment, not to mention that it gives the magic penetration that she is likely to sacrifice by getting  Ionian Boots of Lucidity instead of Sorcerer's Shoes , and the bonus health is quite high, considering she has to get really close to deal damage
  • Building Zhonya's Hourglass and Abyssal Scepter will not only provide more durability for  Karma, but additional AP as well.
  • Consider buying a Zeke's Herald if you're playing support. This aura is powerful for teamfights.
  • Having excellent ratios on her abilities (especially when  Mantra is on them) Rabadon's Deathcap is a must if playing as mage, and even as support it can be useful if your team lacks burst.
  • Top lane will generally require  Karma to rush an early Chalice of Harmony and then a Seeker's Armguard to allow for constant mana and then to counter AD damage and grant some AP.
    • Either Athene's Unholy Grail or Morellonomicon is recommended due to the fact that having mana and all your abilities off cooldown will vastly improve  Karma's zoning and kyting potential, as well as making her much harder to gank.
  • Due to the changes to Spirit Stone Karma is much more viable in jungle now. In jungle  Karma benefits most from early mana regen items with CDR, such as Athene's Unholy Grail or Morellonomicon. The CDR is necessary for clear time and to improve early dueling potential. AP is also recommended to allow her damage to keep up in mid game.

Recommended builds

Summoner's Rift
recommended items
Starting Sight Ward item Scrying Orb item Health Potion item2 Spellthief's Edge item
Essential Frostfang item Sightstone item Sorcerer's Shoes item
Offensive Athene's Unholy Grail item Morellonomicon item Liandry's Torment item
Defensive Aegis of the Legion item Talisman of Ascension item Locket of the Iron Solari item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item Sight Ward item Vision Ward item
The Howling Abyss
recommended items
Starting Boots of Speed item Chalice of Harmony item Health Potion item4
Essential Athene's Unholy Grail item Frostfang item Sorcerer's Shoes item
Offensive Rabadon's Deathcap item Morellonomicon item Frost Queen's Claim item
Defensive Zhonya's Hourglass item Abyssal Scepter item Banner of Command item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item
The Crystal Scar
recommended items
Starting Boots of Speed item Health Potion item2 Prospector's Ring item
Essential Sorcerer's Shoes item Wooglet's Witchcap item Chalice of Harmony item
Offensive Void Staff item Athene's Unholy Grail item Blackfire Torch item
Defensive Abyssal Scepter item Will of the Ancients item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item
The Twisted Treeline
recommended items
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran's Ring item
Essential Sorcerer's Shoes item Wooglet's Witchcap item Chalice of Harmony item
Offensive Void Staff item Athene's Unholy Grail item Blackfire Torch item
Defensive Abyssal Scepter item Will of the Ancients item
Consumables Health Potion item Mana Potion item

Countering

  •  Gathering Fire lowers her  Mantra cooldown when she hits enemy champions with basic attacks and abilities. Deny her from getting free hits on you.
  •  Karma's is a difficult champion to finish if pushed to a corner. Don't turret dive her or overcommit unless you can finish her with one or at the best 2 moves.
  •  Soulflare erupts for bonus damage in the area in which it's been placed. React quickly and escape the circle to avoid taking heavy damage.
    • This ability is usually combined with  Focused Resolve to prevent an escape, so play accordingly.
  •  Focused Resolve is a strong disengage tool. Create distance to avoid being rooted and seek to engage afterwards.
    • Champions you depend heavily on staying on melee range are not recommended against   Karma's as she can use  Focused Resolve to cut short any engage and heavily punish it with  Soulflare or  Renewal
    •  Focused Resolve has a very sharp mana cost compared to her other abilities. Try baiting it if you are champion with dashes or blinks. This tactic will drain her mana and leave her without her main CC tool
  • Carefully watch for the dragons on her back, if they are rotating   Mantra is off cooldown.
  •  Karma's is painfully hard to kill by another lone champion. She will play around her  Focused Resolve and escape with  Inspire, on the other hand she can be quickly killed by an ambush with several champions.
  •  Karma's arms and eyes will be shining brightly whenever she activates  Mantra. Her next ability within 8 seconds will be enhanced.
  •  Karma's is especially dangerous at level 3, since she has her whole kit available at this point.
    • She can actually get her full damaging combo by level 2, be very conservative until you hit a higher level, keep your distance to prevent  Focused Resolve and keep minions between you and her to prevent  the massive early nuke from  Soulflare if she combos it.

Champion spotlight

Karma Champion Spotlight(06:23)
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