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When was the last time you saw a Karma

Within the last week 14 36.84%
A couple weeks ago 6 15.79%
A couple months ago 7 18.42%
Never 11 28.95%
Voters 38 .

My guide on how to play Karma (wait... who?)

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Senior Member


This may just blow your mind, but Karma doesn't suck.
That's right. I said it.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let me educate you on the viability of Karma. The reason that I'm making this post is because even though Karma is one of my best characters and I usually do really well, people still rage incredibly hard as soon as I even mention picking her. It's really unnecessary. I'm aware that hardly anyone plays her, but it's really because she has such a high skill cap. Hopefully this post will help you to better understand her strengths and weaknesses and what she can bring to a team. Even if you don't play Karma and never plan to, you should still read this post to understand what to do when A WILD KARMA APPEARS, whether you're against her or on her team. Having well-informed allies make her MUCH more useful. I realize that this post is a ridiculous wall of text, but you will learn many great things from it.


  • Sustainability
  • Good CC
  • Late-game burst
  • One of the best farmers

  • Weak early game
  • Dependent on items
  • Not enough burst to go against another AP carry

Who she's strong against:
  • AD Bruisers (eg. Riven, Irelia) "Her fan technique is a deadly art of grace and poise" --Irelia
  • Tanky AP Carries (eg. Ryze, Rumble)

Who she's weak against:
  • AP Carries with huge burst (eg. Veigar, Annie)
  • Tanks (eg. Shen, Sion)

Reading the above, you can see that the lane you place her in is very situational (like most other characters). In my opinion, she should go top against just about any ad bruiser and only go mid against other ap carries that don't have huge burst or a stun. Karma can be used as a support, but it's certainly her hardest of the 3 viable positions. Since she has a weak early game, it takes extremely good positioning and timing to overcome that. In bot lane, you shouldn't be taking cs as a support and that really hurts karma because she's rather item-dependent. Support can still work, but only if you are really in sync with your ad carry and you get a kill/assist early game.

Whether laning top or mid, the play style is generally the same, but before I describe HOW to win your lane, let me give you an idea of
what to build:

If you are going against anything AD, start with cloth armor, 4 health pots, and a mana pot.
Anything else? Start with boots and 3 health pots.
No matter which of these options you choose, your mid-game goal is to get as much gold as possible.
First, build Philosopher's Stone, then build Heart of Gold, then build Kage's pick.
Finish off your boots into Ninja Tabi (if against ad) or Mercury's Treads (against ap) at any point after philo stone.
When you have your boots and 3 gp5s, you need to go one of two routes:
1.~Build Rylai's Crystal Scepter
~Finish Shurelya's Reverie
~Finish Randuin's Omen or Locket of the Iron Solari (depending on enemy team)
~Finish Deathfire Grasp
~Build Guinsoo's Rageblade
2. Do the same as #1, substituting a Rabadon's for the Rylai's, a Soul Shroud for the DFG, and a Hextech Gunblade for the Guinsoo's Rageblade (optional)

With these builds, you minimize her weaknesses by getting health, armor, and gp5 and maximize her strengths by getting items that help positioning. Both builds make you tanky (one more than the other) and almost ryze-like, which can of benefit to your team in the long run.

Also, I forgot to talk about Summoner Spells:
  • Flash - ALWAYS get this. Period. Karma's positioning is #1 priority.
  • Ignite - Get this if you have a lane opponent with medium to low health
  • Exhaust - Get this if you are laning against a really tanky character so that you can kite them easier. Also get this if you are supporting.
  • Everything else - Don't even think about it.

Now that you know what to build, here's what your abilities do and what you should level first/last:
Q - Small cone of damage. Get first point at level 2 and max it second.
W - Beam that slows an opponent that you tether to or speeds an ally that you tether to. Anything caught in the middle of the beam is given their respective effect (as well as damage if it's an enemy). Get a first point at level 4 and max it last. Although it has the most damage of any ability up until mid game, you should only use it as utility.
E - Shields yourself, or an ally, or a minion. Get first point at level 1 and max this first.
R - Makes your other abilities more awesome (Q also heals all allied characters/minions in the cone, W increases slow/speed, E does AOE damage around whatever is shielded. You get this ability for free at level 1 and can can hold up to 2 uses of this at a time (like 3 teemo shrooms).

Here's what to do in a solo lane:
Your job in a solo lane is to farm. Period. You need to farm your ass off until mid-game when you start to get more offensive items (like Rylais or Rabadons). Having 3 gp5s will help this considerably, but you need to last hit and get every last creep to get your gp5 as soon as possible to maximize it's usage.
When being aggressive or when your teammate is ganking, this is when to use your mantra. When chasing someone in an aggressive manner, mantra (R) her slow (W) on the enemy champ. Get in range to get a couple auto attacks in, but moving ever-closer in between attacks. When you get close enough, use mantra (R) on her shield (E) on yourself to shield yourself from them attacking you and do some crazy burst on them. Hit them with a Q and an Ignite and you will either get a kill or at a very minimum, force them to recall.
If you're being chased, put your slow (W) on the furthest champion chasing you that you can reach. Everyone closer will also be slowed. This will be especially awesome if you can ult it. This is very situational though as her slow beam will break if it goes out of range. If you leash someone who is too far away from you, the will be slowed out of range and the closer champ will catch you instead. Knowing who to slow takes some practice.

If you're brave and practiced enough, here's what to do as a support:
since karma is very farm dependent in other lanes, you may have to steal a couple CS before your first recall just to get some early gp5. From there, it won't be too terrible, but you may not have time to get to all 3 gp5s unless you get extra gold from a kill/assist or early Dragon. If you don't have time, cut out the kage's pick. The AP is important, but can be supplemented later.
Your abilities should be leveled slightly differently as a support. Your E and Q should be leveled evenly and first, while still getting W at level 4 and maxing it last. This gives you a slightly better heal early to mid-game for your ADC so you can actually SUPPORT them rather than just help them be aggressive.

Finally, I'll throw in a bit on how to look like a super-troll:
Once you've played a handful of games with Karma and you understand all of her abilities fairly well, here comes her uber-troll side.
This tactic also comes in handy if you want someone to dodge a queue because they're not cooperating with the rest of the team and already raging.
Go AD Jungler.
Get Smite and Flash.
Grab Cloth Armor and 5 Health Pots.
Get Blue Golem. Jungle as normal (she actually has one of the fastest jungle clears of any jungler).
Seeing as NONE of her abilities scale on AD, she is extremely item-dependent (similar to AD Kennen). Very weak early-game, but if you get a kill early on or just farm your way to late game, you will be EXTREMELY OP.
Build a Wriggles Lantern to get a bit of life steal so you don't have to mantra your Q to get through jungle.
Get Berzerker's Greaves. Her starting AS sucks. Bad.
Build a Wit's End. This will give you some GREATLY needed MR as well as some offense.
After that, build a Trinity Force, starting with Phage, then Sheen, then Zeal.
Next, get more attack speed items like Guinsoo's Rageblade or Black Cleaver.
Finally, build a bit more AD with a Hextech Gunblade or a Bloodthirster

I felt that I had to include this section to specify WHEN a Karma is trolling. The simple act of picking Karma is not a troll. Jungling her is the troll.

I hope you have liked this (extremely) lengthy guide on Karma. Maybe some time in the future you can use this information to carry yourself with Karma or know what to do when you see on on the enemy team. I often encounter people who say that they haven't seen a Karma for a couple months. I'd like to reverse this trend and de-bunk many of the myths, mysteries, and troll-status.
Any feedback or questions on this post will be responded to.


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Senior Member


I only play Singed top.

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Junior Member


Karma has a couple more cons than that, like her auto attack range is stupidly low and shes mana hungry as ****, and CD dependent.

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Junior Member


If you ever see an akali just play karma and rush athenes. Tons of damage

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Senior Member


Any Red thoughts on the status of Karma and her viability?
Is she really getting a rework? If so, what?
Am I on the right track with this post?