|Champion||Background||Strategy||Skins & Trivia|
Karma is a woman of indomitable will and unbound spiritual power. She is the soul of Ionia made manifest and an inspiring presence on the battlefield, shielding her allies and turning back her foes. A strong leader torn between tradition and revolution, Karma seeks to protect the peace of Ionia – by force if necessary.
Karma once lived a tranquil life in a small Ionian village. Led by elder monks, the villagers practiced a tradition of benevolent magic and pacifism. Known for her powerful connection to the spiritual realm and beloved as a just mediator amongst her people, Karma embraced these traditions as an essential aspect of the enlightenment sought by all Ionians.
Her inner peace was tested when the armies of Noxus invaded Ionia. While the village's elder monks insisted their peaceful ways would spare them from violence, Karma had heard enough tales of Noxian cruelty to openly question the elders' wisdom. Stern and unmoving, they told her to trust in tradition. When the invaders marched on the village, the elder monks rode out to negotiate a bloodless end to the battle. The Noxian general was offended by their show of weakness and slaughtered the monks himself as he ordered his soldiers to strike the village.
As the Noxians advanced, the villagers prepared to accept death, bound to their peaceful vows. But Karma would not accept death and instead saw another way: sacrificing a single life to spare many others. To save her people, she drew upon the power within and summoned the full force of her will. A burst of spirit fire emerged from her body and spiraled towards the Noxian general. The flame took the form of twin dragons, the symbol of Ionia itself. It was the first time Karma had ever used her powers to harm instead of protect, and neither she nor the villagers had ever seen anything like it. When the magic subsided, the general had fallen before her and his soldiers had scattered. The opposing forces surrendered to Karma's strength leaving her people, and their traditions, untouched.
While the war raged on, Karma became a formidable leader of the Ionian resistance, but the conflict did not end when Noxus's armies fled the Ionian shores. Ionia became divided between the resistance fighters who craved vengeance and the monks who demanded a return to spiritual tradition. Karma saw a third path, one that combined the strength Ionia found in war with the peaceful traditions the nation still held dear. She now seeks to return her ravaged land to an enduring peace.
"Your spirit is something no one can take from you. Use it wisely."―Karma
Even in her youth, Karma exhibited almost superhuman composure. While her peers explored the torrent of emotions that came with adolescence, Karma meditated in the Lotus Gardens. She was convinced that the true path to enlightenment was a journey inward, to a place within the self, overlooked by most. She exuded such inner contentment that she quickly became a go-to mediator and confidante in her village. Her instructors used to say: That girl can not only weather a storm, but calm it. Karma did not live extravagantly; her parents owned a local business selling antiques in the Navori province and they often struggled to provide for themselves, though they did so with cheery optimism. Her most prized possessions were two exquisite fans taken from her family's shop.
When Noxian troops invaded southern Ionia, her village was one of the first to fall. The villages who survived the assault were captured by Noxian forces. It was then that Karma found her calling. By exploiting the insecurities of the Noxian commander, she negotiated the safe release of the villages to the northern lands. She was present at the Placidium, where the Elders had considered surrender until Irelia's impassioned last stand renewed the Ionians' hope. Karma used this hope to solidify the Elders' commitment to remain defiant against the Noxian onslaught. For her devotion and charisma, Karma was made the figurehead of the Ionian resistance. She never compromised, and she shared every hardship with her people, even when it came to combat. By tapping into her inner resilience, she discovered that she could bring great force to bear against her foes on the battlefield. She modified her fans into lethal implements, and was tutored by Janna to enhance their effects. The Noxians called her, The Enlightened One, a nickname she embraced, and one which they would come to dread. She joined the League to represent Ionia in the ultimate political arena.
Her fan technique is a deadly art of grace and poise, but her truest strength lies in the hearts of those willing to die alongside her.―Irelia
- Upon selection
- "Always trust your spirit."
- "None will question our resolve."
- "To conquer one's self is to conquer all."
- "Now we prove our courage."
- "There is wisdom in war."
- "Never become a monster to defeat one."
- "Ionia speaks through me."
- "Indecision is failure."
- "By force of will."
- "Act with conviction."
- "Peace, no matter the cost."
- "We must all make our choices."
- "Never again will I sit idle."
- "I have seen two paths and made another between."
- "My spirit is an unquenchable fire."
- "Heart and mind as one."
- "As Ionia changes, so must I."
- "Challenge what you know."
- "Never fear change."
- "The answer lies within."
- "We have learned as much as we have suffered."
- "I know your spirit, but I must stop your heart."
- "If you desire peace, you must prepare for war!"
- "An ideal is nothing... until you fight for it."
- "You know what they say... Karma always catches up to you."
- Karma laughs.
- Karma laughs.
- Karma laughs.
- Karma laughs.
- Upon casting Inspire
- "Never falter."
- Upon casting Mantra
- "Lath Rian Oune Vi." (A dialect of ancient Ionian)
- "Gaen Na Kyri Vi." (A dialect of ancient Ionian)
- "Sae Eleisa Tera Vi." (A dialect of ancient Ionian)
- "Negotiations have ended."
- "They will not crush our spirit."
- "No compromise."
- "None will question our resolve."
- "Where the battle goes, so go I."
- "One by one, they will fall."
- "How noble."
- "Ionia shall prevail."
- "Focus your wit and will."
- "Victory is assured."
- "Peace begins within."
- "To conquer oneself, is to conquer all."
- "Hope is the greatest ally."
- "Together, we shall triumph."
- "Onward, always."
- "You should feel honored to face me."
- "I interrupted my meditation, for this?"
- "This dress may have been impractical."
- "Guess what's about to hit the fan."
- Karma laughs.
- Karma laughs.
- Karma laughs.
- Karma laughs.
- Karma was designed by Coronach.
Champion Sneak Peek
Announcement made in the sneak peak by ZenonTheStoic:Summoners!
If you're a fan of Ionian champions, or just a fan of fans in general, you're really going to take to this next champion. It is my pleasure to introduce, Karma, the Enlightened One, to the League of Legends. Along with a pair of particularly deadly looking fans, Karma brings an elegant look and a particularly level headed disposition to the League of Legends. Keep an open mind. After all… we can all use a little enlightenment.
So, about that Karma leak...
Announcement made by Morello, Grumpy Monkey, RiotRunaan, Scarizard:
Looks like our cover's been blown…
Yep, this is new Karma. Yep, this is a big change. We believe Karma needed a reimagining, and we are going to talk to you about why we feel that's the case. But before we dig into it, there's something you should probably know first – anyone who owns Karma before her relaunch will get this Traditional Karma skin for free:
This is important, because we know there are lots of fans (heh) of Karma's existing look, and we don't want to take that for granted.
We actually have been working on a dev diary that talks about our thought process behind Karma's relaunch, but since the cat's out of the bag...we'll share the story and art sections of the dev diary right here, right now. We'll release the full dev diary, including details on her new kit, when she's ready for PBE (which is pretty soon). Without further ado, here's her new splash:
Grumpy Monkey will talk a little about her new visual design, and then Runaan will give you some insight into Karma's reimagined backstory.
Why did you change Karma's look and costume?
Karma's original look had a few shortcomings that we'd like to address for her relaunch. For starters, her aesthetic was hard to read and didn't really convey much about her character. Her fans, dress and posture didn't reflect her playstyle or storyline. There was a lot we could change about Karma to bring a more cohesive vision to the character.
First, we made sure that Karma's new look showed off her status as a paragon of Ionia while appearing unique on the battlefield. Her floating fans weren't cutting it as magical conduits, so we replaced them with a powerful manifestation of her Ionian will. Now, Karma carries the draconic symbol of Ionia with her at all times. We also decked her out in Ionian garb to emphasize her allegiance. We also crafted a new set of animations that emphasized her status as a champion of Ionia rather than a matronly diplomat.
This new approach to Karma transforms her into a badass conduit of inner strength that brings Ionia's strength to every battlefield.
In the past, we've created engaging characters that epitomize the ideals of their homeland. Garen as the Might of Demacia or Darius as the Hand of Noxus are good examples. With Karma, we wanted to capture Ionia, a place of wisdom and great spiritual power.
We also wanted to hold onto much of Karma's characterization. She's a strong leader and a mystic who stands apart from other champions.
What were we looking to improve with Karma?
The connection between Karma's motif and playstyle was never as clear as it could have been. She didn't have a distinct theme that tied everything together and brought out the badass spiritual leader she is in her lore.
Ionia is a land that has suffered greatly. The ongoing struggle has taken its toll on Karma's calm, composed demeanor. We wanted to evolve Karma's personality to suit her place in a nation filled with internal strife and awakened ferocity.
What have we done to address these issues?
Karma can now manifest her inner spirit and willpower as powerful magical energy. With her inner flame she can inspire and protect her allies, damage foes and manipulate the spiritual bonds between those around her. We've also taken her Ionian ties a step further: her magic springs from the crest of twin dragons in her mantle, literally and figuratively transforming her into a symbol of her homeland.
The changes we've made have given new life to Karma's title, "The Enlightened One." In the past, her title conveyed her serenity and calm. Now, it represents the enlightened path she's found for Ionia: a new path, merging the spiritual traditions of Ionia with the nation's newfound strength.
Finally, we've given Karma new VO that conveys her internal struggle and intensity. Karma's attempting to unite a wounded and divided nation, which is no easy task! We want you to believe she's got the inner strength—and inner flame—that it takes to persevere.
Karma's now the powerful Ionian leader she was always meant to be. Through her determination and indomitable spirit, she's set to rebuild Ionia and inspire her people to greatness.
Old Karma had issues. What were they?
Karma's kit was in a weird place, but her ultimate was especially problematic. Her base abilities didn't feel impactful and only felt effective when supercharged by Mantra. On top of that, when Karma had two charges of Mantra, we had to make both of them weaker to compensate for players double casting empowered spells.
The changes we made to Karma's kit focused on making each decision fun and meaningful while giving her abilities the focus they needed to perform her intended role. We kept the "empowering"-type gameplay of Mantra, but instead of waiting around for it to recharge, Karma's basic attacks and abilities now lower Mantra's cooldown. This rewards aggressive play so you can "buyback" her ultimate. Also, we gave Mantra a single charge to pump extra power into each cast. We also made sure Mantra empowers Karma's abilities in drastically different ways, leading to more impactful decision-making and a better feeling of accomplishment when you pull off the right move at the right time.
Why was she hard to place in team comps?
Karma had the offensive tools to support her team in small skirmishes but not the powerful defensive abilities she needed to protect a team. Also, her all-purpose abilities are so broad they never felt like the right choice in any situation. All in all, Karma lacked direction.
Why isn't Karma fun?
The effectiveness of Karma's abilities relied too heavily on your teammates knowing all their nuances. No matter how hard you were carrying with Karma, your teammates had to be just as good with her for you to be super effective. When an ally's confused about whether or not he should run from or pass through your Spirit Bond, we probably made a mistake.
What did we like about Karma?
Despite all the Mantra hate we've got going on, we actually think the concept is pretty kickass. It's unique and character-defining to old Karma, and augmenting her abilities with an immense surge of Ionian will is visually and thematically fun. We also liked how Karma could turn the tables on her opponents with abilities that provided defensive bonuses and had hidden offensive power. Finally, Spirit Bond's "clothesline" gameplay is really cool, but it'd work better on a tank champion that has an easier time jumping into the fray.
Karma's new role
Originally envisioned as a support, Karma's fringe successes actually came from players using her in the top or mid lanes as an AP burst mage with support abilities, much like Zilean or Morgana. We like this direction and want to encourage you to boost both her offensive and support abilities by building AP. We also want to make sure she can hold her own as a solo or with a lane partner.
Finally, we've updated her skills so allies are reliant on Karma, but Karma's not reliant on them. She's got enough power at her fingertips to feel strong as a mage or as a support without teammates having to work in perfect concert for you to be effective.
So without further ado… here's Karma's new kit:
- Passive: Gathering Fire – Hitting enemy champions with Karma's spells and basic attacks lower Mantra's cooldown.
- R: Mantra – Empowers Karma's abilities, adding an extra effect to the next ability cast.
- Q: Inner Flame – Skillshot that deals magic damage and slows enemies in an area.
- Empowered by Mantra: Soulflare – Increases damage and leaves behind a zone that slows and, after a brief delay, explodes for AoE damage.
- W: Focused Resolve – Enemy-targeted tether that deals damage over time. If the tether is unbroken after a short duration, the tethered target is rooted in place.
- Empowered by Mantra: Renewal – Deals bonus damage and heals Karma for the duration of the tether.
- E: Inspire – Shields an ally and grants them a short speed boost.
- Empowered by Mantra: Defiance – Enemies near the shielded ally are damaged while nearby allies are shielded and granted a short speed boost.
Announcement made by Morello:
We've talked a lot about giving Karma a complete overhaul, and we're ready to discuss her changes. Karma's relaunch is the real deal, covering her art, abilities and lore for a total renovation. We know she's been the source of a lot of contention since her launch, but we also know that she's got a cult following of Karma diehards. Here's an overview of why we think she needs a rework.
Karma's aesthetics are confusing. While she looks cool, it's difficult to read her role at face value. Grumpy Monkey has provided more info for you on Karma's look. We've also seen players eschew her support role for bursty mage gameplay, so we seized this opportunity to give Karma more options in lane. Scarizard has talked more on Karma's evolving mechanics. We also think that Karma needs a new story that suits her updated abilities and aesthetics. RiotRunaan has taken you through Karma's transformation into an unstoppable Ionian leader.
For Karma diehards, we have a special treat – we'll be giving those of you who've unlocked Karma a skin based on her traditional look.
Karma's getting an extended PBE stay so we can thoroughly test her new gameplay and incorporate your feedback.