To introduce myself I am Apples, I play league semi-professionaly and have hit master+ every season since s6. I'm sorry for some mistakes in my english from the start as it's my 3rd language.
- Tank karma: You go this build when you're into bruisers like jax, riven, camille (I suggest banning irelia since it's the hardest of the matchups in my experience, but you can definitely win it or ban riven if that's harder for you). You start corrupting pot if it doesn't get nerfed any harder, if it does go dorans ring always. After the first back try to already have a feel for your opponent. If he has an idea on how to fight you go for glacial shroud, otherwise go for sheen and finish iceborn on the next back. you almost never go magic pen boots in bruiser matchups since you want either tabi's for them or mercs because of their team mates. After iceborn you have a big choice to make, you either go into off-tank support or AP karma which are going to be explained a bit down in the post. If the team is literally full AD, you continiue with armor items of your choice, but you can almost always fit a morello in there or athenes to help your team. Just try to max your cooldown reduction as much as possible if you go full tank. Spirit visage is nice just to be more tanky/annoying and it gives some nice CDR even when the enemy team is full AD.
- Off-tank karma VERSUS AD: you start with iceborn again and transition into athenes/ardent (always choose one first and go into the other straight after, I mostly do it depending on my suppor/if the enemy jungler is AP) then top it off with a rabadon and you're going to be fine most of the time. You can go magic pen boots if you do not need tabis.
- VERSUS AP: you can tart with dorans ring but I still recommend corrupting into athenes and then transition into ludens (the dorans/corrupting is a matter of your own experience and prefference)-> rabadon or again into ardent ludens rabadon. exception is if the enemy has 3+ ap champs you can go into spirit visage after athenes and be unkillable. Here is where you will need some experience since you can literally run into 4 people and walk out 5 seconds later at probably more than 50% hp and your team mates already engaged on the enemy team that was focusing you.
- AP karma top: Here is the problem with toplane karma. You want klepto 99% of the time and playing against mages you're mostly not allowed to use klepto a whole lot. This is where you go comet or aery (if they have more tanks than squishies) ,dorans ring and go into the luden, m. pen boots, oblivion orb (morello depending on healing) rabadon voidstaff build. The enemy being ap top most likely indicates the champs is a squishy champion, followed by either the suppor/jng/mid and adc for sure. That means a good mantra Q can get 3-4 enemies to 30-40% hp with just the first hit and winning you the fight/objective instantly while also having mantra (R) up before your Q even comes off coldown and is ready to be thrown straight into the enemy team again.
- AP karma mid: same as ap karma top.
- Supportive solo lane karma (calculated to be the most efficient one) :Athenes > Redemption > Mikaels/Ardent > Ardent/Mikaels. It abuses the passive on Athenes which makes Redemption give another 30 AP and also increases the healing of Redemption by 120% after finishing those core 4 items (which is easy as they are cheap). At level 15 with tabis you reach exactly 100 armor and 100 mr witch is the most goldefficient way of stacking resistances.
- Runes: Klepto except if you're into champs like cassiopeia, xerath, orianna, syndra etc. you get the idea. Followed by magical footwear, biscuits and the 5%CDR rune. Do not get baited into time warp tonic, you're a champ that pokes from a distance or takes long fights. You do not need it instantly. It might even scare off enemies that you might want to not stop chasing you. Secondary rune page I strongly recommend you go resolve (buy hey what do I know with my 2000 games on it). You will cap the CDR without transendence and no build requires the mana from manaflow. You will see how hard manaflow is to stack when you play against a mage on top and you go comet/aery or on midlane. Into bruisers you already go iceborn first and into ap champs you go athenes into mana regen stacking so it's obsolete. In resolve you go for boneplating/second wind depending if its a poke champ or an all-in bruiser. If you're going full AP I recommend going comet, manaflow, transendence (overcapping CDR is absolutely amazing with it as it can give you even up to 80 extra AP), and scorch (if you feel it's going to be a long one go gathering). Against comps that have an insane amount of crowd control you can feel free to go tenacity followed by last stand or coup de grace.
- For the stat runes you do not require attack speed. I tested it a lot and in my opinion it's not needed but you can definitely try it for yourself. If the enemy jungler and top is AD, you take 2x armor. if the enemies are ap top and jungle you go double magic resist. If you don't think that's efficient as you're often going straight into an item with resists and no health you can often go for the scaling health and even double AP. But as I often say it's your choice and everything works. It's karma.
- Early game on toplane: Decide if you want to push or not. I recommend top karma only after you get a decent understanding of how the jungler paths and how to track him as early game almost any gank will kill you even if you have RW up. You are just not tanky at all. If you want to push activate your mantra 3-4 seconds before your and the enemy minions come together, walk to the side of the lane and throw the Q right in between the melee and caster minions. Try to weave in an auto attack on each of the caster and throw the Q against, that will clear the caster minions before the enemy toplaner even comes to lane and if he is already on lane he needs to contest the push but he will fail anyways. If you want the enemy to push you can also start E and go for the klepto early. Feel free to use your mantra as a reset for klepto.
- early game on midlane: Same as for toplane. On midlane you go AP almost always, except into champions like camille, zed, irelia and potentially sylas. I mostly recommend getting the push with starting your mantra before the wave arrives and repeating the same process as explained for toplane. Get a ward on the side your jungler will be and hug that side so that you're safe even when you're pushed. When the enemy's minion wave is arriving and they're pushed under turret you can easily hit a Q on the first or 2nd melee minion and it will splash on them, which will generate your manaflow procs and some decent poke. If you don't feel like you need biscuits then getting dematerializer is amazin since you struggle clearing the cannon minion but that is really not problematic. Your Q will start to 2 shot the backline at lvl 5 (Q level 3).
- Midgame on toplane: start shoving in the wave on cooldown and getting the plates/get the herald or dragon done since your mantra Q and E are amazing in teamfights. Also start roaming for roams or TP plays but I would still recommend being an annoyance on a sidelane since almost no champion in the game can 1v1 you or stop you pushing, making the game a 4v4 for your team mates with you having the faster rotation as you have a movement speed boost and amazing wave clear. If you're into bruisers or assassins this does going the off tank path and you're looking to bait an engage and sustain with your RW. Always activate your R a few seconds before you know that you will use it as the cooldown goes down and you have a whole 8 seconds to use an ability. Same reason as to why we use it lvl 1 before the wave comes. If you panic and let's say you activate R when your Q is not on cooldown and W has for example 3 more seconds left on cooldown, DO NOT USE Q OR E. Wait for the W. You will almost never die in that time period and getting the double heal from your W is way more important than panicking and getting a bit more damage off just to die because you had no self control and used RQ when you needed RW. this is repeated at the end of "Midgame on midlane"
- Midgame on midlane: You should have luden and magic pen boots completed which means you can look for an all-in on the enemy midlaner or jungler if he's not a tank. You always start with either hitting the Q on max range or shielding yourself to get into range. When the Q hits you go in for the chain, weave in auto attacks and wait for the chain to complete. If you think the enemy has flash up and that he will try to flash out of your W you can flash in advance, and throw the RQ ring into them as they're snared. With luden and boots it is a guaranteed kill into almost any mage. If you're into bruisers or assassins this does not apply since you're going the off tank path and you're looking to bait an engage and sustain with your RW. Always activate your R a few seconds before you know that you will use it as the cooldown goes down and you have a whole 8 seconds to use an ability. Same reason as to why we use it lvl 1 before the wave comes. If you panic and let's say you activate R when your Q is not on cooldown and W has for example 3 more seconds left on cooldown, DO NOT USE Q OR E. Wait for the W. You will almost never die in that time period and getting the double heal from your W is way more important than panicking and getting a bit more damage off just to die because you had no self control and used RQ when you needed RW.
- Late game: You will either have enough ability power to oneshot any squishy or force them to recall, be tanky enough to survive and bait you might want to try, or be supportive enough to allow your adc to int at least 3 times in a few seconds, repeatedly. Play her a lot and you will learn when and who to use your mantra on. There is no real guide for it except for the tips I gave. You need experience. Go watch your replays and ask yourself if using mantra differently would have changed the outcomes of trades, skirmishes or teamfights.
- And for the love of god if you're doing dragon/baron do not use your mantra E or Q randomly to try and get baron done faster as if it's going to change anything. You waste your mantra and you're useless without your team realizing it. You can activate it a few seconds in advance when you see the enemies about to engage or prepare to throw the RQ into the team advancing towards you in the river so it comes off coldown when the fights starts and you chunked at least 1 or 2 of the enemies.
Some general hard matchup tips for new karma players:
- If you blind pick her top and you get countered there's no problem in asking your support and/or midlaner if they want to pick her as she's one of if not the best champ in their role at the moment. You don't have to blind her into everything just to learn her. Same applies for mid and support.
- against champs like cassiopeia that can run you down just go into full ap and clear the wave while you try to poke them as well. Do not step into their effective range and just avoid early game as much as you can. As me being a cassiopeia main myself now I recommend going tear into rylai and trying to all in the karma with your slow since she has no real way to 1v1 you but if she plays it well you can not kill her as she's too mobile.
- Irelia will kill you early even through double armor and corrupting pot ticking with RW if you get stunned. If not on the first time then on the second one. That's why it's a hard matchup but completely winnable if you dodge the stun. That was made even easier with the E buff.
- Riven with conqueror can easily bait you into thinking you have the upper hand you to be oneshot with a fast combo before your RW is up or the 2nd tick goes through.
- In general against assassins. Never use your mantra W unless you're pushed into the turret or you pushed into their turret without them having the means to gap close on to you and engage you. Well this honestly applies for most melee champs.
To end the guide I want to thank everyone for reading and as repeated a few times through out the guide.. HAVE FUN AND EXPERIMENT. I might be wrong in some parts or do not know every build or the most optimal set-up even after thousands of games on solo lane karma. Literally ANYTHING can work on karma so yu can always try the lethal tempo shojin build that Nidhogg is using at the moment or the PTA botrk statikk build that I saw theroyalkanin use in high elo euw soloq. You can add me on my smurf on euw Νathan (copy paste it I use the letter "Ni" as the origianl name wasn't available) or ask me on twitter at https://twitter.com/applesslo
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© Post "As karma top (and a bit of midlane) as a triple flex is getting a lot of popularity this patch I thought I should write a guide as I got challenger in season 6 with top/mid karma and play it to this day" for game League of Legends.
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