A Detailed Post on Karma and her Twin Dragons

Hi there, welcome to one of my indepth Karma posts. This one is about Karma, twin dragons, some HIDDEN DATA, balance and a rework. Feel free to skip to any part, or this whole thread, if you are not interested. For all those who continue reading, let's start with a few basics to warm you up: If you wanna know why I am doing this, read up on my poem ["I used to main Karma"](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/skin-champion-concepts/rU1Wng8a-i-used-to-main-karma-its-still-a-poem-but-kind-of-a-discussion). >_So now I am here, writing posts every week, complaining and highlighting why Karma (to me) feels bleak, I don't want to be mean, so I try to be constructive, and write in form of analysis, reworks and updates._ If you think that Karma has no problems in terms of design, feel free to disagree with **Lead Champion Designer Meddler**, [who wrote](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/gameplay-balance/u8w2u3ka-why-hasnt-karma-been-considered-for-the-mid-year-mage-update); > _Revised Karma's a more functional, healthy champion, but also **in many ways a pretty bland one**, with a lot of tools on her kit that feel too familiar, even if there's some interesting nuance to their use. I wouldn't say she was weak, I'd certainly agree **she wasn't sufficiently satisfying or distinct** though._ This becomes increasingly problematic, if you consider that those weren't problems **ignored** by the rework, but **introduced** by it. You can also check out [Meelan's insightful post](http://boards.na.leagueoflegends.com/en/c/story-art/EggZFKf2-which-is-the-thematically-less-succesfull-rework-riot-has-made-i-have-a-postulant) about how Karma's update was incomplete from a STYLISTIC point of view. A short summary: * Unfinished animations (E used to have a casting animation) * No unique dance (half of Shen's dance) * No haste animation, on a frequently MS buffing champion (whereas the next champ in line, Sejuani, did get one) * Mantra sentence has been cut. She now literally says _"Sae Eleisa Tera Vi"_ which means _"Discover the meaning of..."_. She used to say _"Phyla!"_ (Tranquility), _"Jia!"_ (Pain) or _"Saera!"_ (Magic) If all of this didn't convince you yet, let me try to paint the picture here. > # Does Karma Need a Rework **In terms of power?** No. Karma is one of the most buff resistanc champions in the history of league. Nearly a dozen direct buffs and not a single direct nerf, yet she barely ever exceeded the 50% winrate. Karma's kit has so much counterplay to it, that overbuffing is basically a nonfactor. In her current state she isn't and can't become a threat to the game or the meta. Even when having broken items or talents, other champions become more of a problem (tank karma was obnoxious, but not nearly as problematic as tank Ekko and tank Fizz). **In terms of design** Oh dear, yes. Karma has no niche. She exceeds in nothing. She has poke, burst, sustained damage, a shield, a heal, decent mobility, CC, group protection, group utility, true vision, slows and decent waveclear. She needs CDR and mana, because she needs to spam, she has decent base damages, but penetration will leave her utility lacking, her W requires tank stats and RW encourages that, while she could use AP in every aspect of her kit, but doesn't scale excessively with it. So even her builds are all over the place. To be a decent champion, one needs propper strenghts and weaknesses. Not having clear weaknesses makes enemies frustrated and clueless, not having propper strenghts makes finding a reason to pick her a chore. Without them, champions aren't tangeable and feel bland. This was one of the problems with her rework in **3.5** Instead of highlighting Karma's strengths as a battlemage with enchanter qualities, Riot added range, CC and group protection. They failed at giving her direction. They made most Karma fans not even recognize Karma anymore. And they also took away her fanweapons. And this is more of a problem, than you might think. Let me show you: > # Visual Identity {{champion:99}} --> Light. {{champion:1}} --> Fire. {{champion:37}} --> Music. {{champion:90}} --> Void(lings). {{champion:101}} --> Electricity. {{champion:43}} --> .... Every champion has a weapon, that defines them. This is to give them clear roles, while also allowing future champions to be different to them. It would be really boring, if all mages had just differently colored _"magic"_. It ought to have a certain flavour. Watch [Necrit's amazing video](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xVPrSTPpy4) for more info on _visual identity_. Karma doesn't have anything. Is it _"soul magic"_? It doesn't feel or play like it. It's just colors. But what if I told you, that she USED TO have a weapon, that propperly replaced her lost fans. That wouldn't leave her feeling "empty". Weapons, that could be seen in her concept art down below. Take a quick gander! https://i.ytimg.com/vi/zrHgmN6uoto/maxresdefault.jpg Yes, that's right; the twindragons in her crest were to be used as her casting animations, forming around her hands and shooting at her foes. This should've been apparant in her LORE too. And guess what: It already was IN THE GAMEFILES. And thanks to the user URACLE I found out too! Here, take a look: > # New Friends from Long ago http://i.imgur.com/foJ6eeR.png?1 This is **_Ouro_**. He's been in Karma's data since her rework. Of course he doesn't have an official name, but that's what I call him. And he inspired me to give Karma a propper rework. Currently her kit seems so rushed; no proper passive, W is stolen from LeBlanc, her kit's stat synergies are all over the place, she has nothing unique in her kit and she doesn't have a niche. She even gets outdone as a _"jack-of-all-trades utility mage"_ by Lulu. I tried to make her fit somewhere. For that, I used Karma's twindragons **_Ouru_** and **_Boros_** to create a thematic identity and the idea of karma (_punish evil doers, protect the weak_) to compose a **damage/health manipulating mage**, akin to her current form, but more distinct and cohesive. Before we do this, a short note though: http://cdn.muslimmatters.org/wp-content/uploads/ouroboros-design.jpg > _The ouroboros (...) is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. [It] often symbolizes self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things such as the phoenix which operate in cycles that begin anew as soon as they end._ Ouroboros is the serpent that bites its own tail and probably the origin for both the infinity symbol ∞ and Yin-Yang ☯. Arguably it could've also inspired the Ionian crest, which is why I think it's so fitting to name the twindragons after him. They symbolize balance, infintiy, wholeness and duality. Both, for stylistic and gameplay reasons, Ouru and Boros need different colors. Here are my suggestsions; **Name** - _Ouru color_ / _Boros color_ **Classic** - Turquoise / Purple **Traditional** - White / Black **Sakura** - White / Green **Sun Goddess** - Yellow / Green **Order of the Lotus** - White-Gold / Pink-Gold **Warden** - Light Blue / Metal -Silver And now to the more interesting stuff; actual game design! > # Creating a Kit Currently, Karma's _"Gathering Fire"_ is a joke of a passive. Nearly every other passive in the game adds something to the character and sets the ground theme, like **Anivia** reviving, **Brand** setting people ablaze, **Thresh** collecting souls, etc. (just imagine them without those). Being aggressive and hitting enemies as much as possible doesn't only NOT fit Karma's character, it is also SO underwhelming thematicly, that Karma mains usually wish it would be just nerfed and moved to the ultimate, in order to give Karma a _real_ one. This is where **Ouro** and **Boros** come into play. They make for a nice passive! They could grant Karma their power, but in alternating ways. I imagined them as whirling from Karma's crest to her arms (right for Boros or left for Ouru), whenever she casts a spell. It makes sense to give Karma's spells different properties, depending on which dragon she uses. So every spell must have two possible _bonus_ effects. For her passive itself it would make sense to give it an effect that makes her deal and take more damage or deal/take less, depending on the active dragon. This would be a double edged sword, and while she can control it, her enemies can play around this as well, as alternating spells is rather predictable. The distinct colors (_see above_) should telegraph those ups and downs to the enemies and Karma alike. To not make this passive feel like a restriction though, Karma needs a way to freely decide on the bonus effects, so at least one spell in her kit must enable easy switching of stances. Lastly, her mantra can unleash both effects to increase the flexibility even more, but also create some nice play around duality. It asks you to spot situations in which both Ouro and Boros can use their potential, to have a huge impact. Creating these situations or preventing them is a game that Karma and her enemy both can partake in. > # Getting More Specific I have chosen **Q** and **E** as Karma's most dualistic abilities. One is a damage ability and one defensive, adding either effect to them makes them really interesting to play around. This leaves **W** for a _"bridge"_ ability, to allow for double offensive or double defensive moves (Q-W-E) using either dragon for the first and third spell. It will probably dissappoint some people to read, that I removed the tether. For multiple reasons. Firstly, as a bridge ability it fails. It usually acts more like a one-way-street than a bridge, favouring being in the middle and making one combo straight up better than the others. Secondly, with the twindragons and an ally/enemy function it gets overloaded too quickly. And thirdly, I wanted to remove as much CC as possible anyways. Why? To allow Karma to be more powerful in terms of damage/protection and give her a clearer identity, with pros and cons. Lastly, I must note, that I tried to take away the power of mantra and spread it more evenly into Karma's kit. Karma should be about mastering all of her spells, offensive and defensive, repeatedly making good decisions and not just landing a single impactful spell once every 1-2 minutes. Thus all her abilities - or twindragon effects, to be precise - will scale with ultimate levels, making her overall stronger when reaching lvl6, symbolizing _balance_; over one sidedness. It also makes R feel more like a tool than a half-hearted ultimate design. Take a look at how it turned out! > # FULL REWORK _!!!VALUES ARE HIGHLY TENTATIVE AND DEBATABLE!!!_ https://i.ytimg.com/vi/CChg6tOAmqk/hqdefault.jpg # http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/6/68/Gathering_Fire.png/revision/latest?cb=20130929122919 P - DUALITY Karma carries Ouru and Boros with her at all times, but only one will be active at any given time. If Ouru is active, Karma gains **5/10/15/20** extra resistances. If Boros is active, ~~Karma's next ability will have **5/10/15/20** extra magic penetration~~ _EDIT: I have been convinced, that bonus magic damage on AAs might make more sense_. Additionally Karma's next spell will have bonus effects depending on the dragon it was cast by. After casting a spell, the other dragon will become active and whirl around Karma's hand (Ouru left, Boros right). All of Ouru's and Boros' effects scale with Mantra levels. _____________________________ # http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/a/ad/Inner_Flame.png/revision/latest?cb=20130929122920&format=webp Q - INNER FLAME ~~25% Slow removed~~ **Ouru**: Hitting enemy champions heals the lowest nearby ally by ~~**30/40/50/60 plus 5/7/9/11% (+1% per 100AP)** of their missing health.~~ __EDIT: Too good on tanks. This makes more sense:_ by **20/40/60/80 (+1 per 50AP)** increased by **3%** for every **1%hp** the target is missing. **Boros**: Hitting enemy champions deals **10** extra magic damage for every champion they have killed this game. # http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/4/45/Soulflare.png/revision/latest?cb=20130929122923&format=webp RQ - SOULFLARE ~~50% Slow removed~~ Ouru and Boros travel to target location applying all their effects and Inner Flame's damage in the area. After **0.75s** the area explodes applying all effects again. __________________ # http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/0/0c/Focused_Resolve.png/revision/latest?cb=20130929122918&format=webp W - DRAGON'S CREST Target ally/enemy takes **10/13/16/19/22% (+1% per 50AP)** less/more damage from all sources for 4s. **Ouru**: Surrounding allied champions are healed for **15%** of the damage the target takes, up to **50/100/200/300**. **Boros**: Surrounding enemy champions receive **15%** of the damage the target takes, up to **50/100/200/300**. # http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/2/2a/Renewal.png/revision/latest?cb=20130929122922&format=webp RW - DRAGON'S BLESSING Ouru and Boro both apply their effect in the area, but with no hard cap. Additionally, the area's size increases by **100/200/300/400 units**. ____________________________ # http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/c/c4/Inspire.png/revision/latest?cb=20130929122920&format=webp E - INSPIRE _MS buff moved_ **Ouru**: The targeted ally also gains **45/50/55/60%** bonus MS for **2s**. **Boros**: The shield errupts, dealing **80/110 /140/170/200 (+0.5AP)** magic damage to enemies in a **300 units** radius (this equals _3 teemos_ or roughly half his attack range) # http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/4/40/Defiance.png/revision/latest?cb=20130929122917&format=webp RE - INSURGE Increases the damage and shield by **30/90/150/210 (+0.4AP)**, increases the damage-radius to **600 units** and speeds up all hit allies. _________________________________ # http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/leagueoflegends/images/7/76/Mantra.png/revision/latest?cb=20130929122921&format=webp R - Mantra _Probably needs a CD adaption_ Karma's next basic ability within **8s** profits from both **Ouru's** and **Boros'** power and becomes easier to apply. Mantra's cooldown resets if a nearby ally dies. > # Aftermath - If You Want further Information I originally tried to let Boros deal current%health damage, to really _equalize_ the battlefield, depending on your choices, but it made her too strong against tanks and too generalistic... and not just good against _"badies"_ as it was supposed to. This **Q** effect would give Karma the identity as an anti-snowballer and make rampaging carries more vulnerable to her. Fortunately it's mostly in a skillshot, that is telegraphed and can be dodged/bodyblocked, so Karma should not become stronger _for free_ if others do well, just give her priority targets. On another note, this should also justify why Karma could instagib the Noxian general in her lore.... because he supposedly had killed a hundreds of people beforehand! **RQ** is pure duality. Double dragons, double effects, double procs. For all those who think the faster follow-up explosion might be too strong, consider this; with a 50% slow everyone can escape THE CENTER of current **RQ** with no boots in **1.5s**. Removing the slow should make everyone capable of escaping a SPOT ON RQ in **0.75s**. Numbers are still up for debate, but just so you understand why this probably isn't as strong as it looks. **W** is probably confusing at first, because it does many things. It always deals the increased damage on enemies, no matter what dragon used. Just the aura changes. If a certain amount of damage was transferred to nearby units, they won't benefit from it anymore, but the crest (damage increase/decrease) will always last the full **4s**. Another thing this ability does, is to allow for "damage support", a lot of decision making, group protection (if all get hit, the ally taking the hits can heal the others) and some return damage. This, in addition to the RQ and E changes, should make Karma more short-ranged, or at least allow her more power in her direct vicinity. **RW** is kept rather simple, to not make the **W** tooltipp unreadable. For teamfights this should still prove potent enough though. **E** might make **some** Karma fans happy, because shieldbomb is back, and **others** maybe worrying, because the speedup is now conditional. Be assured that using the speedbuff can be guaranteed if you are mindful of your passive and have either **W** or **R** up. **W-E** or **E-W** will always grant you the desired effect of damage reduction, shield and speedbuff. **RE**, again, is rather simpel, but should give Karma another, reliable damagetool and retain her group mobility, that she always had (in Old Karma with **RW**, New Karma with **RE**). The mantra reset is very experimential and I am not 100% sure about this. It fits the thematic of getting back at someone for killing good people (what karma/Karma should do) and gives Karma fair windows of power, instead of raw stats, as her old passive did.... but it might become REALLY obnoxious with its anti-snowball nature and probably prevent a final deciding teamfight from being won. Might be good, might be bad. Alternatively one could use the cooldown reduction from her current passive, but it interacts weirdly with **Boros' W** aura. Let me know what you think! > # Thoughts about Lore I imagined this version of Karma to be the **final stage of enlightenment** Karma, compared to current Karma, who is just starting out. The idea was, that the fight with the Noxians had unlocked her connection to the twin dragons and with training and meditation she learned to master them. The twin dragons are supposed to be similar to the tentacles **Illaoi** is using; not the entity itself, but represantations wielded by the worthy. http://img01.deviantart.net/9433/i/2015/156/b/8/karma_by_wikimia-d8w45dj.jpg Karma's strong conviction and desire for balance allows her to use the power of Ouru and Boros and channel them through her soul, performing all their wonders. Fully opening up to them and casting her mantra symbolizes reaching a full connection and their full potential. So my proposed version is more similar to **Spirit Guard Udyr**, as it paints Karma as the person she can become after mastering her arts. Essentially, current Karma would be canon. > # Summing Up Thanks for reading! This took me literally over two month to create, write, compile, format and correct, but I can only imagine how hard and exhausting it must be to read through it. If you really didn't skip anything, you have my deepest respect and honest gratitude. Please offer me your kind criticism, positive or negative, and remember to keep it civil and constructive :). Greetings, **SilverSquid**
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