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Karma Build Guide by ColdStuff

Support [Season 14] Masala Chai's In-Depth Guide to Karma

Support [Season 14] Masala Chai's In-Depth Guide to Karma

Updated on February 9, 2024
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League of Legends Build Guide Author ColdStuff Build Guide By ColdStuff 36 4 124,930 Views 2 Comments
36 4 124,930 Views 2 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author ColdStuff Karma Build Guide By ColdStuff Updated on February 9, 2024
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Karma
    Solo Lane Karma
  • LoL Champion: Karma
    Support Karma

Runes: Caster Mage

1 2
Sorcery
Arcane Comet
Manaflow Band
Transcendence
Gathering Storm

Domination
Cheap Shot
Ultimate Hunter
Bonus:

+8 Ability Haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+65 Base Health

Spells:

1 2 3
For Kill Pressure
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

[Season 14] Masala Chai's In-Depth Guide to Karma

By ColdStuff

No mortal exemplifies the spiritual traditions of Ionia more than Karma. She is the living embodiment of an ancient soul reincarnated countless times, carrying all her accumulated memories into each new life, and blessed with power that few can comprehend. She has done her best to guide her people in recent times of crisis, though she knows that peace and harmony may come only at a considerable costβ€”both to her, and to the land she holds most dear.



Hello, my name is Masala Chai, I'm a Karma OTP in Diamond (all-time peak, D1 100 LP, April 2022). I've played her for over 6 years and have nearly 1.6 million points on her. I play her in every single role (bar jungle) and love the utility that she brings to the table wherever she goes.

In this guide, you'll learn the fundamental skills of Karma and teamwork within League of Legends, the dynamics of her abilities, and how best to support your team to enable and empower them through shields, and send the enemy team back to base with RQs.

"I have seen two paths, and made another between."


Neither as focused on damage as Brand, nor as focused on peeling like Janna, Karma occupies the space between fierce battle mage and enlightened enchantress.

Karma excels in heavy bruisery fights where she can dish out damage, shield her teammates and empower them to tip the scales in your team's favour. With her low cooldowns come mid-game, she can masterfully punish her enemies and protect her allies.


A well-piloted Karma will be able to cruise through the early game and set-up her team for success with her incredible utility. A poorly played Karma will miss out on the duality aspect of her kit.


Karma's Strengths

β†’ Strong early game damage, with decent late game scaling.
β†’ Fantastic AoE Utility
β†’ Can push waves easily and quickly
β†’ Fantastic poke
β†’ Decent roaming potential
β†’ Jack of all trades
Karma has a great number of strengths in the early game with her ability to establish lane dominance or "priority" and her good duelling prowess. Her late game utility generates a lot of "time", something that is very valuable in higher brackets of play, especially pro. She excels at doing a lot of things, and her kit is highly versatile.
Unfortuantely, Karma suffers from being weaker at protecting her carries compared to Lulu, Janna, and Sona, and having lower damage output compared to Seraphine, Brand, and Zyra. She has many of the classic weakness and strength profiles of many other enchanters in League.


Karma's Weaknesses

β†’ A bit squishy
β†’ Immobile
β†’ Burst stopped by frontline
β†’ No instant hard CC
β†’ Master of none

SUMMONER SPELLS
-
FLASH: Flash is nearly mandatory on all champions.
IGNITE:Ignite greatly enhances your ability to generate kill pressure in both a duo and solo lane. Karma doesn't have a lot of kill pressure to begin with, so this is a pretty nice summoner spell in lower elo MMR bloodbaths.
TELEPORT: Teleport is such a great summoner as it allows you to not lose out too much if you die in lane, AND gives you global map pressure if you have a turret and/or ward or minion (post 14 minutes) nearby to teleport to. I don't recommend this for most brackets lower than high Platinum, unless you are taking her top.
EXHAUST: Exhaust is excellent vs assassin and divery champs like Zed, Talon, Irelia, and Samira. If your ADC elects to take Exhaust, run Heal.
PASSIVE ABILITY
Gathering Fire
✦ Karma reduces Mantra's current cooldown by 5 seconds for every enemy champion she damages with an ability.

✦ Karma excels at harassing lane opponents, and her passive makes her quite potent with a bit of Ability Haste. With more Ability Haste, your abilities are up faster which allows you to refresh Mantra more often, which also has a lower cooldown because of Ability Haste. It is for this reason that Hextech Dragon is quite powerful with Karma.
Q
Inner Flame
✦ Karma fires a blast of energy that explodes on enemy contact, dealing 70 / 120 / 170 / 220 / 270 (+70% of ability power) magic damage to enemies in the area and slowing them by 35% for 1.25 seconds.

✦ Mantra Bonus - Soulflare: Inner Flame deals 40 / 100 / 160 / 220 (+30% of ability power) extra magic damage and leaves a circle of flame at the impact area or upon reaching maximum range, slowing enemies for 50%. After 1.5 seconds, the circle erupts, dealing 40 / 130 / 220 / 310 (+50% of ability power) magic damage to enemies in the area.

✦ This is Karma's bread and butter damage ability. It provides wave clear, poke, pressure and is likely going to the Mantra that you select in early landing phase before your shield scales up. This is also your highest potential way to refresh your Mantra via Inner Flame as it triggers on each champion hit. For example, if you hit 2 people with both hits of Soulflare, you will have reduced your ultimate's cooldown by 20 seconds.

W
Focused Resolve
✦ Karma forms a tether to target enemy champion, revealing and damaging the target for 40 / 65 / 90 / 115 / 140 (+45% of ability power) magic damage over 2 seconds which goes up to a total of 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+90% of ability power) magic damage in total (one tick at the start of the cast and one at the end). Gathering Fire is applied every time this ability damages. If the tether is not broken after the 2 seconds, the target is revealed and rooted for 1.4 / 1.55 / 1.7 / 1.85 / 2 seconds.

✦ Mantra Bonus - Renewal: Focused Resolve increases the duration of the reveal and root by 0.5 / 0.75 / 1 / 1.25 seconds and heals Karma for 20% (+1% per 100 ability power) of her missing health immediately plus another 20% (+1% per 100 ability power) of her missing health if the tether remains unbroken.

✦ Her primary CC ability is maxed last in favour of Inspire and Inner Flame, but Focused Resolve is great for setting up ganks when your jungler comes, revealing champions that have in-combat stealth such as Kha'Zix and Akali, and getting guaranteed refreshes by triggering Gathering Fire. Her empowered W, Renewal, greatly enhances her duelling potential and can be used to bait enemies in a dive, get some sustain when you are low, and become deceptively tanky.

E
Inspire
✦ Karma shields target ally, which absorbs 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+60% of ability power) damage for 2.5 seconds and grants the target 40% bonus movement speed for 1.5 seconds.

✦ Mantra Bonus - Defiance: Inspire's shield overflows with energy, increasing the target's shield amount by 25 / 80 / 135 / 190 (+50% of ability power). Allied champions gain 30% of that amount as a shield, and are also hasted by 12%.

✦ In most games, max her shield second. It enables you to absorb poke from enemy laners, disengage and engage, and trade effectively. Early game, this shield makes it difficult to duel Karma in solo lanes (especially when you consider it in conjunction with the other tools she has for duelling, especially Renewal. In the later stages of the game, this ability is key for protecting her carries.

R
Mantra
✦ Karma empowers her next ability cast within the next 8 seconds, adding an additional effect. Empowered abilities share the same cooldown as their basic form.

✦ Karma begins with one rank in Mantra and can increase it at levels 6, 11, and 16. Ranks in Mantra improve the additional effects of empowered abilities.

✦ Karma's most iconic ability. Use Mantra in key moments to greatly enhance your utility, damage, and duelling.

The General Philosophy of Items


Early priority of ability haste
Karma scales incredibly hard with ability haste, and typically in older iterations of Karma you usually attempted to cap your CDR as soon as possible. With the item shake-up in Season 14, you want to either get a Lost Chapter or Fiendish Codex ASAP if you intend on going Sorcerer's Shoes, or rushing Ionian Boots of Lucidity. If you're worried about the lack of Faerie Charms on the first back. Karma doesn't tend to have early game mana problems (unless you're really spamming abilities off cool-down).
Building Items for Win Conditions
Assuming absolute item balance, the majority of your item purchases should be focused around giving your team the best champ to accomplish its win condition. Staff of Flowing Water might synergize well with Karma's kit, but Ardent Censer might be a more prudent third item as it enhances Kog'Maw's fast attacks by allowing him to get even greater use out of Bio-Arcane Barrage. However, if your Hecarim is the one who is 1v9ing perhaps the movement from Staff of Flowing Water is more appreciated.
Ability Power vs Shield/Heal Power
If you intend on pursuing a mage build (especially prevalent in solo lane contexts) and thus using Mantra to empower Inner Flame for the most part, ability power will be your best scaling stat.

Conversely, if you intend on playing a more supportive build, Shield/Heal Power will give your team incredible survivability for less.

In season 14, I would ultimately and generally recommend going for a mage-like build due to the power of Malignance with Karma's kit.


EXAMPLE SUPPORT EARLY CORE

ZazZak's Realmspike
Zaz'Zak's Realmspike

Malignance

Ionian Boots of Lucidity
In support games, this will likely be a very good item set-up. This item set-up will allow you to chunk backliners in late game scenarios, while also give you enough ability haste to function supporting your ADC. Supplement this build with supportive items like Imperial Mandate or Staff of Flowing Water and capping off your build with AP items like Rabadon's Deathcap.

Malignance

Cosmic Drive

Sorceror's Shoes
A damage-oriented Karma build. Malignance and Sorcerer's Shoes give a lot of flat magic pen to burst down backlines, while Cosmic Drive helps make up for the relative lack of ability haste in this build. Supplement this build with AP legendary items that offer a bit of ability haste, such as Horizon Focus or Cryptbloom or greatly enhance your offensive power such as Rabadon's Deathcap or Morellonomicon.
This is pretty much regurgitating what most guides on YouTube will cover in terms of how to play the early, mid, and late game as a support or mage. I highly recommend Phroxzon's YouTube series on League fundamentals.

EARLY GAME


Support


Karma for the most part as a mage like Zyra or Brand in the early game. You can cheese the enemy lane level 1 by firing RQ Soulflare at them as they enter lane from leashing.

When paired with a poker like Caitlyn or Ashe, Karma becomes especially potent. You want to ideally push the lane quickly so that you can get level 2 spike and harass them off wave. Ideally, you want to position yourself so that you can hit both your lane opponent and the wave with your Qs. By pushing the wave early, you can generate leads that favour you during trades. Look for opportunities to punish with your empowered Q Soulflare when they root themselves for a bit to last hit. Ideally, at least 90% of your Mantras in lane should be empowering Inner Flame.

Try to stay relatively parallel with your lane partner, as if one of you is further up than the other, it becomes harder for the other to follow up in trades.

Solo Lane


The rules of gameplay are fairly standard for most control mages, and Karma falls under this category. There are a bunch of guides on how to conduct wave management on YouTube.

In most lanes, you want to push the wave early with your auto attacks and Inner Flame. Ideally, you want to position yourself so that you can hit both your lane opponent and the wave with your Qs. By pushing the wave early, you can generate leads that favour you during trades. Look for opportunities to punish with your empowered Q Soulflare when they last hit.

You can actually roam quite early, provided that you aren't giving up a lot of EXP or resources to do so. If you keep your lane opponent shoved in, you will have the priority to be able to help your jungler at river fights to secure Scuttles or assist during invades.

MID GAME


Support


As you transition to a more of a supportive role, the name of the game is vision control. Focus on protecting your ADC in fights and from picks, and look for deep vision within their jungle and around objectives to help your own team generate picks and favourable fights.

Solo Lane


In most games, you'll likely be relegated to a side lane to farm after your ADC comes to siege mid turret after either they or the enemy botlane collects first turret. From here, prep for fights at Dragon or Rift Herald , and continue helping your team within skirmishes that may break out.

LATE GAME


Support


You have the most important job in the game at this point. You need to establish vision control around high priority objects such as Baron Nashor 's pit, and prepare for Elder Dragon fights. Don't get picked, focus on protecting your carries in fights, and if all goes well, you should have priority over an objective when fights break out.

Solo Lane


If you built Karma as a mage, you have three options:
1. Poke out the enemy team from objectives with Inner Flame and Soulflare.
2. Attempt to deal as much damage as possible in a concentrated team fight using all of your abilities.
3. Transition to a playstyle akin to support Karma.

The first option is to zone them off with Malignance-empowered RQs. Landing these, while not getting engaged on yourself is a sure way to win teamfights before they have even started.

If you are fed and the enemy team has grouped up around an objective before you, it's your responsibility to zone and burst out squishies in a teamfight so that way the rest of your team can do whatever they need to do. You got a Trundle or Fiora split pushing? Stall the objective as long as possible. In an absolute pinch, you CAN engage with RQ Soulflare if you have literally no other engage, but be sure your team is on the same page with you. In general, you'll want them to engage on to you so you can peel them off.

The third option, is generally better if your toplaner, jungler, or ADC is POPPING. But you spent all this gold for damage right?

If you built Karma with supportive items or you are not the star of the show, your job is much more straightforward. You need to protect your carries from enemy threats. Use Defiance in fights to enhance their combat capabilities, while refreshing Mantra with Inner Flame and Focused Resolve.
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[Season 14] Masala Chai's In-Depth Guide to Karma

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