Nothing much to say about it, but Karma needs a gameplay update. She's too limited as a Champion and lacks tools to make her unique among other Champions. This is an initial thought I had the other day to try to not simply buff Karma, but expand and refine the experience of playing League's Spiritual Avatar. I tried to be fair to both main styles of Karma players (Support and Midlaner) while also respecting her history and what made her fans really love her. With these suggestions, minimal visual artwork would be necessary.
Please, be respectful if you try to suggest/criticize it. Also, nevermind my WIP English.
Dahra faces a never ending conflict within herself, trying to balance Karma’s enlightenment calling for peace and her own Ionian heart for action. That duality should be reflected somehow in-game, because that has always been Karma’s uniquenesses: the duality and the decision making. That being said, I personally think Karma’s abilities shouldn’t be totally replaced, but expanded, satisfying both sides of the current Karma community: Mid Mage Karma and Support Enchanter Karma. The Karma dedicated player will have to constantly deal with the burden of their decisions, so more than having unique abilities, effects or innovative CCs, the distinct gameplay will be based on these decisions.
Here’s my idea:
Karma can manifest two “inclinations” in-game, both slightly changing her Mantra’d abilities effects. However, even though each “inclination” has its own scalings and purposes to be used ingame, they will not be immutable, so you can toggle between the two Karma’s “instances/inclination” whenever you feel the urge to. It can sound like Kayn’s ability of transforming into two “different” Champions, but the way it works can be tuned to be unique, since this decision and duality things fits perfectly for Karma.
(Abilities names are suggestions/placeholders, of course)
P - Dual Ardor/Twin Dragons: Karma starts with her Ultimate ability, that can be double clicked to toggle between two instances/inclinations/paths:
Dahra’s leadership (adds magenta hue to ability icons): Assumes a more combative instance that favors damaging/solo playing abilities. Mantras scales off of AP.
Karma’s enlightenment (adds turquoise hue to ability icons): Assumes a more peaceful instance that favors supporting/non damaging abilities. Mantras scales off of Heal/Shield power.
Q - Inner Flame: Basically the same (but of course, needs to be dragged out of the recent non-sense nerfed state).
RQ1 - (Dahra’s) Heart’s Flare: Basically the same --- Since I also suggested the AoE shieldbomb back to E, I see no reason to change the way it targets enemies. However, I could suggest that instead of a second blast/aftershock, enemies within the area suffer some kind of DoT burning effect (since it’s Karma’s main damage source and also a flame) and/or a “spirit hurting” effect (slowly deplete the enemies’ mana/energy/fury).
RQ2 - (Karma’s) Soul’s Flare: Same, but instead of the extra upfront and the extra “aftershock” damage, afflicts enemies with the Disarmed CC (the scrapped CC from Irelia’s Ultimate). Preemptive tool against engages. No other Champion currently has Disarmed in their kits (+1 uniqueness) and still matches the pacifist tendency of this “inclination/instance”.
Here you’ll need to choose between delivering more damage to enemies while also proactively setting up an engage or protecting you allies from one.
W - Spiritual Bond (yeah, “Focused Resolve” sucks): Basically the same, but I’ll suggest NeuroCat’s casting animation reduction as a QoL buff. Also it needs to have an ally linking effect for the basic ability. This addition is way past overdue. I suggest some resistances (much like Braum’s [fixed or %]) for both while the tether is active. Each Mantra version of W is only castable on enemies or allies, depending on the instance/inclination you have active at the moment.
RW1 - (Dahra’s) Resilience: Same, but ripped off of the unnecessary and unwanted “mega root” effect in trade for more damage on both ticks. Also, the self healing can scale off of AP instead of %missing health (I know Tank Karma is a thing for some people, but it’s not thematically cohesive and is somewhat frustrating to be played against). Final tick can/cannot be a splash damage.
RW2 - (Karma’s) Faith: Heals the tethered ally for a fixed amount along its duration while giving even more resistances. It’s numbers can be tuned to not be OP, having a small AP scaling, like Nami’s W (favoring Shield/Heal% items).
Here you’ll need to choose between shutting down an enemy’s movement while healing yourself out of an offensive or trying to protect your highest priority ally from one.
E - Inspire: Same, but I would suggest some tunings for shield resistance and movement speed. Maybe the Shield could scale less with AP, while the Movement Speed could scale more with that stat. That way, AP Karmas would get OK/mediocre shields with higher movement speed while Heal/Shield Karmas would display more powerful shields with OK/mediocre movement speed buffs.
RE1 - (Dahra’s) Defiance: Single Mega Shield with AoE damage (yes, we all want the Mid Mage Karma’s shield bomb back. It was signature, it involved decision making and can totally be a healthy spell, specially if scrapped of its AoE utility effects). Can be a delayed damage for reaction purposes. Ripped off of the current AoE effects though, ‘cause in this instance, you’re not really playing to effectively protect your team, but to damage the enemies.
RE2 - (Karma’s) Guidance: Single Mega Shield with the well known “mini” AoE shields and movement speed buffs for nearby allies. No damage. Here I’ll suggest NeuroCat’s shield sharing system, in which the secondary shields’ power decays the more allies you have around the main target. Since the movement speed will only be truly expressive through AP scaling, you won’t get the effective engaging/disengaging tool when you try to apply your AoE shields.
R - Mantra: The same effect we all know right now, plus:
RR - Paradigm Shift: Just like LB’s “Assassin Roster Rework” had an RR function with an internal cooldown, Karma’s Mantra can have one too to enable the “instances/inclinations” shifts. So, whenever you press R+Q/W/E you’ll have a kind of effect until you press RR, which will switch the added effects you’ll get the next time you use your Mantra. For consistency purposes, just like Kayn, you can only switch instances/inclinations at your base's fountain.
The old passive Gathering Fire is really problematic too, either being too broken or non interactive with Karma's whole kit. Could be reformulated and moved to R's passive, but seems too over for me.
Of course, my main focus here is to propose an option for a middle ground way in which both Mid and Support Karma can still obtain the most of their beloved Champion: toggling instances similar to the one Kayn has. The RR functionality adds enough flexiblity (toned down by it’s internal cooldown) to also assume a more Supportive role when playing Mid or a more Carry’ish role when playing Support, whenever and if the player judges it necessary. I'm not even close to be a Game Dev, so I know it is full of flaws and maybe even some conflicts, but I wanted to show this idea of mine.