How To Play Karma In League Of Legends
Last Updated: April 3, 2022
Karma is a very versatile champion that can be flex picked into three different roles. Her unique blend of support and damaging abilities combine for a very interesting yet simple playstyle. Here’s everything you need to know to get you started playing the Enlightened One.
Supports, particularly Enchanters, are very powerful in the game right now. They can keep their ADCs, and sometimes even their entire team, alive. In fact, you can argue that Karma is somewhat a carry for the team but as the protector of everyone. Karma is so powerful that she can play multiple roles: Support, Top Lane, and Mid Lane. For this guide, however, we’ll focus more on her being a Support champion since that is where she shines best. As a Support, she brings in a ton of damage and utility into the table. She can keep her ADC alive thanks to her massive shields and movement speed buffs. She can harass the enemy Bot Lane thanks to her pretty good burst and long ranged abilities. And best of all, she is pretty easy to pick up and learn. If you’re new to being a Support and would love to learn the fundamentals of the role, Karma is a good champion to start with.
Karma’s kit is all about utility. She has everything you want from an enchanter. She has shields, crowd control, buffs, and pretty strong damage.
Passive – Gathering Fire
Mantra’s cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds every time Karma damages an enemy Champion with one of her abilities.
Gathering Fire is a fairly simple and easy to understand passive. Mantra is Karma’s ultimate and is a core part of her kit that lets her be more effective. The more you damage enemies, the faster and sooner you’ll be able to use Mantra to enhance your abilities again.
Q – Inner Flame
Karma fires a blast of energy that explodes upon enemy contact, dealing magic damage and slowing all enemies in the area by 35%.
Mantra Bonus – Soulflare: Deals additional magic damage and leaves a circle of flame at the impact area (or upon reaching maximum range), slowing all enemies inside the circle by 50%. After a brief delay the circle erupts, dealing heavy magic damage to all enemies in the area.
This is Karma’s primary damaging ability. Inner Flame has good range and deals great damage. It scales with ability power so the more AP you have, the more damage this ability deals. When enhanced, it gets even stronger by leaving an area that erupts with more damage and slows targets inside it.
W – Focused Resolve
Links Karma to an enemy champion or monster, granting True Sight and dealing magic damage. If the link is unbroken for 2 seconds, the target is rooted and takes additional magic damage.
Mantra Bonus – Renewal: Karma is healed for [20% (+1%)% her missing]. If the link is not broken or the target dies, the root duration is increased and Karma is healed again.
Focused Resolve is one of Karma’s primary crowd control abilities. In a way, it functions as a sort of single target lockdown cc. Usually in team fights, you can go for whoever on the enemy team tries to dive your carries. If you have someone else peeling for your carries, then you can go ahead and use this ability on the more vulnerable targets on the enemy team.
E – Inspire
Target ally gains a shield, granting 40% Movement Speed and absorbing damage for 1.5 seconds.
Mantra Bonus – Defiance: The shield overflows with energy, absorbing additional damage. Nearby allied champions gain shields that absorb 30% as much as the initial target’s shield and gain 12% Movement Speed for 2.5 seconds.
Inspire is the biggest reason why Karma is so strong as an enchanter. Shields are very powerful in the state of the game and champions that can give out shields to everyone on their team are very overpowered. It instantly increases everyone’s survivability and with all the buffs that support items can give out, it can truly make a difference in the game.
R – Mantra
Karma empowers her next ability cast within the next 8 seconds, adding an additional effect. Empowered abilities use the same cooldown as their basic form. Karma begins with one rank in Mantra and can increase it at levels 6, 11, and 16.
Instead of having a traditional ultimate, Karma’s ult is an ability that empowers all her other abilities and enhances them with bonus effects. Knowing and understanding which ability to use Mantra on is something that you must learn to do in order to make the most out of Karma.
Runes and Item Builds
For your items, you build Karma like a traditional enchanter. You buy items that increase her ability power and give out bonus effects for allies that she enchants.
For your starting items, the best start is always Spellthief’s Edge. This really gives you everything you need as a support. It also rewards you for harassing the enemy Bot Lane and once you’ve completed the Quest, you get an active item with ward charges that you can place anywhere on the map. If you fancy playing a bit more aggressive or you’re not playing support, go with Doran’s Ring instead.
For your Mythic item, you have two choices. The superior choice is Shurelya’s Battlesong. This item gives Karma a ton of utility. It has an active that gives you and those around you a movement speed boost that you can use to engage, chase, or flee enemy targets. The other option is Moonstone Renewer. This item significantly increases the effectiveness of shields and heal you give out. It’s a solid choice but Shurelya’s is still better.
After purchasing your Mythic, it’s time to buy your tier 2 boots. In Karma’s case, it would be Ionian Boots of Lucidity. This increases your ability haste allowing you to spam your abilities better. Next, take Ardent Censer. This item increases your heal and shield power by 10% and buffs the attack speed while also imbuing basic attacks with on hit magic effects of the allies you enchant with your abilities. Next, go with Chemtech Purifier which will give both you and your enchanted ally grievous wounds on your next damage. Staff of Flowing Water is up next since it increases your and your enchanted ally’s ability power and ability haste. Finish off your build with Redemption for the resistances and the active AoE heal.
Other Viable Items
There are plenty of other viable items on a champion like Karma. We strongly urge you to familiarize yourself and check out the items we’ve pictured above so that you’ll know when to use them and swap them for some of the core items in Karma’s full build. Part of the fun in League of Legends is building items and figuring out build paths to counter your opponents.
For your runes, go with the Sorcery tree and take Summon Aery as your keystone. This will increase the strength of both your poke and shields. Next, take Manaflow Band for the mana sustain early on, Celerity for the bonus movement speed boost, and Scorch for the bonus burn effect it adds to your abilities. For secondaries, go with Bone Plating and Revitalize from the Resolve tree. Bone Plating increases her survivability and Revitalize increases the strength of her shield. For rune shards, take double Adaptive Force and Armor.
- Karma’s passive, Gathering Fire, rewards players for being aggressive. Don’t hesitate to poke the enemy Bot Lane in the early game to try and get your lane partner ahead to secure a lead.
- Karma’s biggest counters are Senna, Xerath, Zyra, Zilean, and Lux. If you get matched up with these champions, be careful with your actions and try to coordinate more with your team to prevent them from putting you at a disadvantage.
- For summoner spells, always take Flash and Exhaust. This will give you the optimum amount of utility in your kit that’ll help you elevate your game.
So there you have it! That’s all you need to know about playing Karma in League of Legends. Be sure to check back with us again for more awesome guides on your favorite games. Have fun and we’ll see you on the Rift!