Old Karma had issues. What were they?
Karma’s kit was in a weird place, but her ultimate was especially problematic. Her base abilities didn’t feel impactful and only felt effective when supercharged by Mantra. On top of that, when Karma had two charges of Mantra, we had to make both of them weaker to compensate for players double casting empowered spells.
The changes we made to Karma’s kit focused on making each decision fun and meaningful while giving her abilities the focus they needed to perform her intended role. We kept the “empowering”-type gameplay of Mantra, but instead of waiting around for it to recharge, Karma’s basic attacks and abilities now lower Mantra’s cooldown. This rewards aggressive play so you can “buyback” her ultimate. Also, we gave Mantra a single charge to pump extra power into each cast. We also made sure Mantra empowers Karma’s abilities in drastically different ways, leading to more impactful decision-making and a better feeling of accomplishment when you pull off the right move at the right time.
Why was she hard to place in team comps?
Karma had the offensive tools to support her team in small skirmishes but not the powerful defensive abilities she needed to protect a team. Also, her all-purpose abilities are so broad they never felt like the right choice in any situation. All in all, Karma lacked direction.
Why isn’t Karma fun?
The effectiveness of Karma’s abilities relied too heavily on your teammates knowing all their nuances. No matter how hard you were carrying with Karma, your teammates had to be just as good with her for you to be super effective. When an ally’s confused about whether or not he should run from or pass through your Spirit Bond, we probably made a mistake.
What did we like about Karma?
Despite all the Mantra hate we’ve got going on, we actually think the concept is pretty kickass. It’s unique and character-defining to old Karma, and augmenting her abilities with an immense surge of Ionian will is visually and thematically fun. We also liked how Karma could turn the tables on her opponents with abilities that provided defensive bonuses and had hidden offensive power. Finally, Spirit Bond’s “clothesline” gameplay is really cool, but it’d work better on a tank champion that has an easier time jumping into the fray.
Karma’s new role
Originally envisioned as a support, Karma’s fringe successes actually came from players using her in the top or mid lanes as an AP burst mage with support abilities, much like Zilean or Morgana. We like this direction and want to encourage you to boost both her offensive and support abilities by building AP. We also want to make sure she can hold her own as a solo or with a lane partner.
Finally, we’ve updated her skills so allies are reliant on Karma, but Karma’s not reliant on them. She’s got enough power at her fingertips to feel strong as a mage or as a support without teammates having to work in perfect concert for you to be effective.
So without further ado… here’s Karma’s new kit:
Passive: Gathering Fire – Damage from Karma’s spells and basic attacks lower Mantra’s cooldown.
R: Mantra – Empowers Karma’s abilities, adding an extra effect to the next ability cast.
Q: Inner Flame – Skillshot that deals magic damage and slows enemies.
W: Focused Resolve
- Empowered by Mantra: Soulflare – Increases damage and leaves behind a zone that slows and, after a brief delay, explodes for AoE damage.
– Enemy-targeted tether that deals damage over time. If the tether is unbroken after a short duration, the tethered target is rooted in place.
- Empowered by Mantra: Renewal – Deals bonus damage and heals Karma for the duration of the tether.
– Shields an ally and grants them a short speed boost.
- Empowered by Mantra: Defiance – Enemies near the shielded ally are damaged while nearby allies are shielded and granted a short speed boost.