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Nov 19, 2016

Weird Picks #66: Tank Karma Top - How to Play?

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Tank Karma's been around for quite some time. The idea is that by utilizing playing her as a tank, you can fully take advantage of the percentage heal offered by her empowered Focused Resolve. Meanwhile, as an extremely mobile mage, Karma is extremely slippery, especially with 45% CDR.

Her damage as full tank is notably not very high, but her survivability and ability to peel for her teammates more than makes up for it via sheer utility. Meanwhile, she gains a lot from the new Redemption item, resulting in a more powerful Karma than ever.

Introduction

Tank Karma's been around for quite some time. The idea is that by utilizing playing her as a tank, you can fully take advantage of the percentage heal offered by her empowered Focused Resolve. Meanwhile, as an extremely mobile mage, Karma is extremely slippery, especially with 45% CDR.

Her damage as full tank is notably not very high, but her survivability and ability to peel for her teammates more than makes up for it via sheer utility. Meanwhile, she gains a lot from the new Redemption item, resulting in a more powerful Karma than ever.

How to Play
Runes: Ability Power Quints, Magic Penetration Reds, Flat Armor Yellows, Ability Power Blues
Masteries: 0-18-12, Windspeaker's Blessing Masteries
Abilities: Q, W, E, then prioritize R > Q > E > W
Core Items: Iceborn Gauntlet, Mercurial Treads, Spirit Visage, Redemption, Locket of the Iron Solari, Liandry's Torment


Why It Works

Stacking Synergies
The combination of Runic Armor + Windspeaker's Blessing masteries already gave Karma a powerful level of shielding power. However, with the introduction of Redemption, Karma ends up with an INSANELY powerful shield on that's transmutable to other champions (minus the Runic Armor). This gives her great survivability and peel potential.

Scaling Focused Resolve (W)
Level one Focused Resolve gifts Karma with a 20%+ heal on cast with Mantra, and then with another 20% if it completes the root. It doesn't take a genius to see that this scales better with additional health, and can certainly end up being a bit broken after combining with the synergies above.

Massive Mobility
The major draw of Karma has always been her ability to repeatedly spam her 8-second base E for the movement speed boost, which falls all the way to 4.4 seconds with max CDR. At 1.5 seconds per boost, that means she can speed up once every 2.9 seconds providing her mana holds out. That's essentially unescapable, especially with Iceborn Gauntlet equipped.

Potential Pitfalls

Low Burst Damage
The major drawback of this build is course the low burst damage that it puts out. This means that classic Karma-players who enjoy the poke and burst she provides will not have access to that sweet Mantra Q one-shot damage. Instead, they trade it for the ideal support mage, one that can't be escaped and can't be killed.

The low damage can also be mitigated by picking up Liandry's Torment as a final item.

Conclusions

Similar to the tank Akali build from last season, I think that Karma tank top is extremely powerful in her current state. However, with Redemption nerfs doubtlessly on the way, we'll see how long this lasts.

Suggested Rating: Tier 1

What do you think about Karma Top? Comment below!




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