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Karma Build Guide by Ryecheria

Support 【13.17】 Karma Support Guide | Dominate your games | Video Going Through Entire Guide In Depth Included

Support 【13.17】 Karma Support Guide | Dominate your games | Video Going Through Entire Guide In Depth Included

Updated on September 1, 2023
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Ryecheria Build Guide By Ryecheria 32 2 65,465 Views 3 Comments
32 2 65,465 Views 3 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Ryecheria Karma Build Guide By Ryecheria Updated on September 1, 2023
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Runes: VS Enchanter/ Standard

1 2
Sorcery
Arcane Comet
Nimbus Cloak
Celerity
Scorch

Domination
Zombie Ward
Relentless Hunter
Bonus:

+8 Ability Haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2
Default
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

【13.17】 Karma Support Guide | Dominate your games | Video Going Through Entire Guide In Depth Included

By Ryecheria

IN DEPTH VIDEO EXPLAINING THIS ENTIRE GUIDE


About me


Hello, I'm Ryecheria and I specialize in the support role. I began my journey in season 8 and achieved Diamond in my second season of playing, with Karma playing a pivotal role in my climb in season 11. I consistently maintain Masters+ every season and now I play Collegiate League of Legends.

Connect with me on other platforms as well!
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/ryecheria/about
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryecheria
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryecheria/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@ryecheria

DM me on Discord or Twitter @Ryecheria for coaching sessions.

Why I play Karma


Originally I was a Vel'koz one trick that dabbled in the enchanter pool. However, after witnessing my friends dominate the laning phase with Karma and experiencing her dual nature as both enchanter and mage, I was enticed to pick her up. Karma's playstyle and the ability to influence the pace of the lane and consequently the game is incredibly satisfying. As Karma, I can take charge and carry my team through various situations.

Additional Resources:


More Karma gameplay on my Twitch

You would enjoy Karma if one of these apply to you:


You relish dominating the lane
You like poking or have experience with mages
You enjoy making impactful plays
You desire control of the lane and the overall game
You appreciate the versatility of playing different styles (enchanter, poke, mage, utility)

Pros and Cons


PROS

Has Mantra at level 1
High damage poke
Is capable of winning the lane at lv 1
High early game priority
Ability to shield the whole team
Ability to speed up movement of the whole team
High utility

CONS

low crowd control
Requires early game success
May become less impactful if enemies get ahead
Demands high game and team fight awareness to utilize Mantra effectively

Let’s Get Started!


Overall, Karma is a versatile and powerful support champion that can be incredibly rewarding when mastered. In this guide, I will delve into the intricacies of playing Karma to her fullest potential and how to navigate various matchups and situations on the Rift. Let's embrace the enlightened path together!

Coming Soon!


Spreadsheet with all Karma lanes and how to play them. Includes ADC pairing VS another botlane. ~1000 Matchups.

The runes you take should match your playstyle or vice versa. See ABILITIES

section for details on rune and playstyle synergy.

SORCERY PRIMARY RUNE CHOICES


Arcane Comet synergizes well with Inner Flame as the ability slows enemies to guarantee the comet damage (unless if they dash).

Take Summon Aery if you can harass enemies with auto attacks constantly for free as Summon Aery has a shorter cooldown than Arcane Comet.

With my playstyle, I personally always take Arcane Comet to dominate the lane and not be pressured for forced harass with auto attacks because I find that in almost every game, Arcane Comet does more damage than Summon Aery would in dealing and shielding damage.


Take Nullifying Orb if enemy team has lots of AP or AP burst that will one-shot you and or both enemy botlaners are mages.

You should never need to take Manaflow Band if you manage your mana properly as Karma's abilities only cost 50 mana.

Nimbus Cloak allows you to escape ganks and guarantee your root from Focused Resolve and helps you guarantee a kill.


If you feel like you can't win lane and or it will be a long game, take Transcendence.

Celerity complements Nimbus Cloak and gives Karma ability to play a fast tempo game.

Absolute Focus only gives you 3 AP at lv1, and since her AP ratios are low, the value of taking other runes are higher.


Since Karma's abilities have low AP ratios, Scorch provides more value.

If you feel like you can't win lane and or it will be a long game, take Gathering Storm.

Karma could be a strong roamer (although she should play for lane) and having Celerity synergizes with Waterwalking to help her get around the map faster, which could be pivotal in river fights.


Choices & Explanation of Secondary Runes


DOMINATION TAKE VS ENCHANTER

My preferred secondary runes

Zombie Ward allows you to provide vision pressure around the map.

Relentless Hunter allows you to get around the map faster to keep up tempo.

If you want to play for Mantra countdown early to mid game, take Ultimate Hunter. Karma's ability haste and passive, Gathering Fire, should be satisfactory without the need for this rune late game.


INSPIRATION TAKE VS ENGAGE

Typical runes that most people take

If you pair Magical Footwear and Cosmic Insight, your boots will come sooner as the rune affects cooldown of items.

Biscuit Delivery allows for aggressive trades in lane without the fear of running out of mana.

Cosmic Insight lowers the cooldown of summoner spells and items which may be crucial to making aggressive plays, escaping dangerous situations, or securing kills with ignite.


RESOLVE SECONDARY

Don't take these secondaries, but if you insist

Font of Life synergizes well with her kit. When you hit and enemy champion with your abilities, you mark them, and allies who attack the marked enemy will be healed. This provides additional sustain for your team during trades and teamfights.

Take Bone Plating if you are vs an all-in botlane. It reduces incoming damage from champions, which can mitigate birst damage and help you survive engages. However, if you take Bone Plating into a lane that will easily proc it, (ex. Soraka or Morgana, just report yourself post game. Thanks.

Always take Revitalize as ut synergizes well with karma's kit mid to late game.

The reason why I don't go the Resolve tree is that the purpose of Karma is to dominate the lane and give your carry an early advantage to roll over the game and the other runes do that better.

Resolve slows down the pacing of thee game and doesn't let you eploit Karma's strengths.



Since Karma’s AP ratios are low, take the CDR shard.

If enemy botlaners are both AP, take +Magic Resist.

At the end of the day, do what suits your playstyle and the situation of the game.

ALWAYS
Flash pairs well with Nimbus Cloak and is good for offensive or defensive purposes.

DEFAULT
Since your job as Karma is to win the early game, Ignite allows you to have early game kill pressure and using it early in a fight nullifies the effectiveness of Heal (if Ignite is used before Heal.

vs BURST
If the enemy botlane or team comp has heavy engage and or burst, take Exhaust.
ex. Pantheon and Tristana.

I will not be going through the descriptions of abilities in this guide. For details, see the Karma Wiki. I will moreso talk about uses and common mistakes of abilities.

PASSIVE ✦ GATHERING FIRE

Karma reduces Mantra's current cooldown by 5 seconds for every enemy champion she damages with an ability.
Karma's passive was changed on patch 11.16 and auto attacks no longer grant cooldown reduction on her Mantra.
Hitting multiple enemies with Inner Flame will grant more cooldown. For example, if you hit 2 enemies, you will reduce the remaining Mantra cooldown by 10 seconds (2 champions hit x 5 seconds refund per champion = 10 seconds).

Q ✦ INNER FLAME

I will refer to Mantra Inner Flame as Soulflare
Many people forget that this ability does splash damage when hit onto a target or in an area with the empowered Inner Flame. Inner Flame's effect radius is centered around the location of the missile as it collides.
Inner Flame will always travel to the farthest destination if it doesn't collide with anything along the way.
Typically you want to put 3 points into it early for lane domination. If you are uber ahead, put more points into Inner Flame as you deem fit.
In the early game, try to use your Mantra Inner Flame a lot and off cooldown if possible on enemy champions and if necessary, on the wave.
Inner Flame has a cast time of 0.25 seconds and will always cast from the location at the end of the cast animation so you can cast Inner Flame then Flash to make a path, extend the range, or shorten time that enemies can react (by buffering the ability) so that the ability hits.
Point your mouse on the target or in the direction of the target you want to hit
Press q Inner Flame
Immediately move mouse in the direction or to the place you want to throw the ability from and press Flash.
Concept does not work with Hextech Rocketbelt as the active is a dash, although, you can still buffer q Inner Flame and change direction of the Hextech Rocketbelt missiles.
See video below for a demonstration.

W ✦ FOCUSED RESOLVE

I will refer to Mantra Focused Resolve as Renewal
I believe the usage of this skill differentiates a meh Karma from a great Karma and a Godlike Karma.
Is not a projectile. It is point and click.
You can cast Renewal on all monster camps including dragon and baron to heal off them.
As long as the tether remains active, enemies are revealed or given true sight of, meaning, it reveals units through fog of war, brush, and stealth, but not nearsighted effects.
You can buffer Focused Resolve. This means that you can tether enemies while they are still out of range and the instant you become in range, the tether will initiate.
It is good to Focused Resolve before flashing onto enemies.
If you are out of range, you can press w ( Focused Resolve on a target and then Mantra to still initiate Renewal, although Focused Resolve does not go on cooldown until the ability initiates.
It is possible buffer Soulflare Focused Resolve Flash or Inner Flame Renewal as a combo (the latter being harder). See video for reference.

E ✦ INSPIRE

I will refer to Mantra Inspire as Defiance
The ability grants movespeed to target(s).
Use Inspire on yourself to get around the map faster.
You can use Defiance on allies even in early game to help everyone get to lane faster.
Use your Mantra in the mid to late game primarily on Defiance
Try to use Defiance on a target that will give you the most value. For example, a member in the middle of the team so that the shield and move speed applies to everyone.
You can save someone that is out of range of Inspire by putting Defiance on an ally near them so that the AOE reaches them.

R ✦ MANTRA

Karma empowers her next basic ability within 8 seconds for an additional effect. The cooldown of Mantra starts on the initial cast. Foe example, if you have Mantra available and all other skills are not, you can use your Mantra and wait for your skills to start the cooldown of Mantra so it comes back faster.
Mantra can be used while affected by cast-inhibiting crowd control.
In tight situations being able to cast Mantra while inhibited allows you to spam another skill to get you out of tight situations.
Always put a point into Mantra when you can.
Take at least 3 points into Inner Flame (more when you are winning the lane), then fully max Inspire before going back to max Inner Flame (if not already maxed).
There exists situations where it is necessary to max Inner Flame. These are situations in which if you can Soulflare an enemy carry and get them so low they are unable to heal up or enter the fight so that your team can win a fight. Situations like these are rare.
If you are losing, consider maxing Inspire earlier instead of putting more points into Inner Flame.
As Karma is a really strong early game champion that should primarily focus on winning lane, I will mostly talk about Karma's support matchups. I won't go too in-depth about how opposing carries will affect the lane as the support typically should be the one to decide how the lane plays. This section is primarily based on my experience and synergies and counters are subjective to the player, but the tables below provide guidance. Please see the THREATS AND SYNERGIES for what you are supposed to do vs specific champions.

IN GENERAL, Karma SHOULD BE WINNING ALL RANGEd MATCHUPS



KARMA WINS EARLY

OPPRESSION

In these matchups, it is important to get wave prio and poke enemies, it shouldn't be too hard to push your advantage. Punish mistakes and extend your lead. Make sure you do not give enemies an inch of breathing room. Enemies should feel opressed by Karma's presence in lane.
ENCHANTERS*

These champions can decide to not engage with you whatsoever in the lane and will outscale you. Ask for help to gank or dive them. If they do engage with you, they will be able to heal up all the poke you do to them anyways. Build Chemtech Putrifier first against Soraka and possibly Sona.


KARMA WINS LANE IF PLAYED WELL


Be respectful of their flash combos. Stay out of lethal range, and if they miss their key abilities, punish them hard.


KARMA HAS A TOUGH TIME

MAGES

Typically mage supports have more range and better poke, but you could shield damages from abilities. Make sure to dodge crowd control abilities. If they miss abilities (especially crowd control abilities), look to punish or all-in.


GOOD LUCK HAVE FUN

ALL-IN/ ENGAGE

In these matchups, look to poke if you can, but prioritize not dying and staying out of lethal range and ranges for critical abilities. If you can cheese them and poke them so that they are unable to engage then the match up is playable and possibly free. Karma outscales Pantheon and in the Pyke, Rakan, Rell matchup, play to enable the team as disengage, or avoid their engage by running away faster than they can run at you.
HEAVY OUTSCALES YOU

These champions can decide to not engage with you whatsoever in the lane and will outscale you. Ask for help to gank or dive them. If they do engage with you, they will be able to heal up all the poke you do to them anyways. Build Chemtech Putrifier first against Soraka and possibly Sona.


DODGE


Yuumi can play however she wants and not be punished whatsoever. When using Focused Resolve, you must use it on the enemy carry and not on Yuumi as you are not able to root her. Build Chemtech Putrifier first item.
SUPPORT ITEM, BOOTS & OTHER ITEMS

ALWAYS BUILD Spellthief's Edge. Karma is an early game champ that has great poke.
Ionian Boots of Lucidity Build this early in the game (first item if possible) as it allows you to rotate around the map fast and gives you ability haste to allow you to ast more spells. If enemies are targeting you and you are getting one shot, build Plated Steelcaps or Mercury's Treads.
Buy Health Potions or a Refillable Potion on first back especially when you are running Time Warp Tonic


MYTHIC

BEST

SHURELYA'S BATTLESONG

This item was made for Karma because of her Defiance skill
Use the active as engage and disengage.
Great to have in every elo.
Build this when vs assassins. You can activate it and run away before they have a chance to one shot someone.




VS KARTHUS OR ZIGGS

LOCKET OF THE IRON SOLARI

Go this item if the enemy team has predictable burst damage or team composition where there will be fights in a small radius.
You may follow up this build with Redemption

SITUATIONALLY

MOONSTONE RENEWER ✦ ECHOES OF HELIA

These itemas are not as snowbally as Shurelya's Battlesong
Build this if fights are going to be very extended and you haven't succeeded in getting an advantage/ going even. Moonstone Renewer if primarily shielding & Echoes of Helia if damaging opponents.
Not bad to build in lower elos when fights are longer and more often.

LEGENDARY

Chemtech Putrifier Great synergy with Defiance. If you are playing vs a team comp that heals a lot (ex. Soraka, Yuumi, sylas, etc.), it is worth considering building this item before your mythic, but definitely build it second at the latest. Make it aware to your team that you are building heal reduction, but if multiple people build heal cut before you can finish yours, just skip it.
If your Carry doesn't need that many resourcees to be useful, consider having them build healing cut instead ex:( Ashe, Sivir, utility carries.
Staff of Flowing Water Great synergy with Defiance. This item gives you and the target of your shield AP and Ability Haste which is huge for AP champions and champions who cast a lot of spells.
Ardent Censer Great synergy with Defiance. Build this item if your team has at least 3 auto attacking champions. This item isn't in a good spot right now.
Build this item if your team does not need Mikael's Blessing or Ardent Censer.
Situational Item. Mikael's Blessing Build this item if your carry will not be building a Quicksilver Sash or has no way to cleanse themselves against critical crowd control ability. Cleansing them at the right time will enable them to win the fight. This item gives magic resist and it is often forgotten that this item also heals when activated. It is perfectly ok to build this item first or second.
You typically look to build this if vs Leona and Lux. Even if your Carry has Cleanse, consider if the enemy team has follow up crowd control .
Vigilant Wardstone When it is later in the game and you foresee that the game will end soon but you don't and will not get enough gold for another full item, instead of buying half an item, build Vigilant Wardstone. This item counts as a legendary and gives lots of stats for a low price as well as letting you place an extra Stealth Ward and Control Ward.
Build this if you are looking to go a full damage build. This guide will not delve into this.



WHAT TO BUY WHEN YOU BASE

BEFORE THE START OF GAME

Take a look at your team composition and enemy team composition and ask:
Do I need to build Chemtech Putrifier or Staff of Flowing Water as my first item?
Will Moonstone Renewer be a better item than Shurelya's Battlesong this game?
Do I need to rush tier 2 boots?

START OF GAME


1ST BASE IN ORDER OF COST/ IMPORTANCE


Notes:
If you are planning to build Chemtech Putrifier first, go:
Refillable Potion > Boots > Control Ward > Amplifying Tome > Oblivion Orb.
If you can afford Oblivion Orb off the bat, buy it instead of following the order.
If you are planning to build Staff of Flowing Water or Ardent Censer first go:
Refillable Potion > Boots > Control Ward > Amplifying Tome > Forbidden Idol.
If you can afford Forbidden Idol off the bat, buy it instead of following the order.

1ST COMPLETED ITEM IN ORDER OF COST/ IMPORTANCE


Prioritize building Kindlegem over Bandleglass Mirror because Kindlegem gives you better value per gold. Purchase tier 2 boots as soon as you can

2nd COMPLETED ITEM

There is no necessarily correct answer for the best second item, Karma is versatile. Build items for her that best enables her team. DO NOT LOSE TO THE SHOPKEEPER :)
Karma Is an insane early game champion that has the potential of winning the entire laning phase at level 1. She needs to find an early advantage or stay even at the minimum to be useful.

LOADING SCREEN

The game starts BEFORE you load into game. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Do you have to leash?
Will enemy bot laners cheese in bushes at lv 1?
How do you want to play level 1?
How do you want to play the lane?
What is your job in the early, mid, late game, and team fights?
What items do you have to buy and in what order to best enable your team?

LEVEL 1

There are a bunch of different things you could do at lv 1 to secure and advantage. I will list some examples in order of how frequently I do them and what I recommend. In no way is this the bible of how to play lane as Karma.

In champ select or the moment game starts, ask your jungler (if you don't know the champion's pref clear and start, ask) if it is OK for bot not to leash.
This gives them a heads up and will reduce the likelihood of them refusing to play the game before minions meet in the lane because they don't get what they expected.
If enemy bot laners aren't ones to cheese a bush lv 1, Look for early cheese poke if possible. If you are on the red side, you can enter the dragon pit and cheese Inner Flame into the tri-bush and or the bush nearest the pit by the red buff.

IF YOU, AS A SUPPORT, ARE NOT REQUIRED TO LEASH (carry can still leash if jg requires)


Run to the bush in the lane that is nearest to enemy tower and sit there. Look for a Soulflare on both enemy bot laners to get the most value.

IF YOU ARE REQUIRED TO LEASH


Better safe than sorry to leash your jungler when you have a gut feeling that they refuse to play the game if you don't leash.
If you are playing in a lane where it is good to deny enemy laners bush and vision control (vs enchanter + mage lanes, occasional engage) or you feel that enemy laners will cheese in a bust lv 1,
Run to the bushes and ideally drop a Stealth Ward in the middle or bush closest to enemy tower at 0:52.
You can recall and drop the ward while channeling recall and purchase Oracle Lens.

EARLY GAME

If you are not against a jungler that ganks early at lv 2 or 3, you want to be pushing the wave. You ideally want to hit Inner Flame on the wave and enemy champions.
Auto attack the wave to secure lv 2 advantage. Depending on the situation, you can level Focused Resolve for an all-in to kill or Inspire if there is no kill angle.
It is easy to hit Inner Flame off minions so the splash also hits enemies.


It is easy to poke when enemies are under tower. If you are playing on red side, you have a huge poke advantage.



MID GAME AND GENERAL SUPPORT THINGS

Warding and roaming as Karma in general is no different than any other support. See the guides below if you need a refresher as I will not be talking in depth about general support concepts.
bobsalad has an amazing guide that describes places to ward and different ways to play the game as Karma.
Core JJ has a fantastic series on how to support. Watch the entire series, I'll post the first video below.


TEAM FIGHTING

Stay in the backline and use Defiance and Shurelya's Battlesong wisely to engage or disengage.
Set up vision with your team in advance (ballpark of 1 min in advance) do you aren't solo dying and your team won't die from flanks or facechecking.
Walk through wide areas like river if you don't have vision control.
You are useless when you are dead so prioritize staying alive, but there are situations in which you dying will be of more benefit.
I hope you enjoyed this guide and found it helpful. It would be huge if you left a like so I can continue to grow and make content. Just a reminder that this is a guide and by no means the absolute way to play Karma. This is a compilation of how I have played the champion and my experiences. Play how you're comfortable and have fun!

Drop a follow on my Twitch and stop by my stream to say hi sometime!

Find me on my other platforms !
Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/ryecheria/about
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ryecheria
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ryecheria/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@ryecheria

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【13.17】 Karma Support Guide | Dominate your games | Video Going Through Entire Guide In Depth Included

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