Solving the Karma Subclass Chaos

[]( _**No TL;DR this time. If you lack time, just skip my essay and tell me what subclasses Karma should have in your opinion**_ I believe Karma has an identity crisis. With a fanbase that's seperated into at least **3** parts, Karma being played in at least **3** different positions, with no decisively _"unique"_ spells or visuals to her kit, and I think the one thing that shows her crisis best, is her lack of a true subclass everyone (including Riot) can agree on. Sure, there are champions like **Singed** and **Teemo**, who don't fall neatly into any one category either, and that's fine, since they are unique enough to have their own _specialized_ playstyle. Karma... doesn't. Having hybrids between classes is fine too, as it tends to open up interesting combinations. But that really only works with **2**, maybe **3** subclasses. If you add more than that, a champion's kit becomes confusing and contradictory. Which I believe happened with Karma. Let me show you: > # How much Enchanting Does She Do? In Riot's [first iteration of subclasses](, back in **2016**, they listed Karma as an **Enchanter** (hybrid Battlemage). This might seem obvious at first, as she is usually mentioned alongside champions like **Janna**, **Lulu** and **Nami**, but the more you think about it; Karma has only a single spell, that actually interacts with her allies: **E**. Her _passive_ and her _mantra_ have no own identity, so it's essentially 1/3rd of her kit. It's questionable whether that's enough. If her **W** could target her allies with some simple functionality like resistances or heals, this would obviously be closer, but as it stands, Karma actually enchants her allies only slightly more than a **Sivir** or **Nunu** does. > # Burstmage or Artillery? Karma's first iteration was clearly a Battlemage with short cooldowns, short ranges, barely any CC or mobility. Great damage and sustain. She won fights by hitting enemies with many spells in a row. But now, after her relaunch in **3.5**? Her damage pattern is **W -> RQ**, which puts her into the Burstmage category. That's why the [wiki lists]( her alongside **Neeko**, **Annie** and **Zoe**. But weirdly enough, **RQ** is not only _bursty_, but also works best at _artillery_ range. This is due to it exploding at max range, making it pretty hard to dodge at 1000 units. In medium range it's a slim skillshot that can be sidestepped rather easily and the targetting makes it awkward to hit in close range. However, contrary to other artillery mages, like **Lux** or **Xerath**, the **RQ** projectile - and with it most of Karma's damage - can easily be blocked by a frontline (or random minions). > # Battlemage or Warden? **W** is a weird case. Compared to **RQ** that wants you at max range, **W** wants you to be close. So close that you can guarantee both ticks. With its casting time it requires you to stay in AA range of enemy champions for a good **2.5** seconds. No other Burst or Artillerymages wants to stay closer to their enemies than max range or longer than to cast their spells. Not so Karma. Even weirder; if you aren't at perfect range for her **RQ** you are in prime position for her **W**; and those two set up one another. These unclear range advantages are probably one of the frustrations people have with Karma, even when she is objectively weak. Staying at max range makes them easy prey for **RQ**, moving in makes them easy fodder for **W**, which sets up **RQ**. And then you add the fact, that **RW**'s heal is scaling with tank stats so incredibly well, that **12k** worth of mage items increase the heal from 20% to 25% missing health, while a single **Spirit Visage** DOUBLES its effective healing for a quarter of the price. That's why Karma can play "Tank" in toplane in the first place, despite nothing else in her kit supporting that. The way I have seen some Tank Karma's play, however, with AA abusing, mantra regaining continuous RE spam, Karma could even be construed to be played as a Warden. It's not a strong case, but defensive items (SV and IG) and utility (Ardent/Athenes) at least make her look like one. > # Longest Root in the Game With an on paper **3.25s** root on a maxed **RW** Karma beats a maxed Morg **Q** by a close **0.25s**. Pre **lvl16** Morgana has the longer root though, so it's not as amazing as it looks. But still, what was once the "Disruptor" subclass is now the "Catcher" subclass and it's known for the CC, similar to "Vanguards". Karma's engage is obviously way too soft to be a Vanguard and neither of her mantra abilities catch enemies out harder than most champions with hard CC could, making her fail as a Catcher, so it is confusing that the crown of "longest root in the game", isn't a title that anyone from the Catcher or Vanguard category wears. ______________________ ______________________ As you can see, Karma has qualities from roughly 5 different subclasses, even though her passive and mantra with their "more of the same" mindest don't go into either direction by themselves. Basic mage **Q**, burst/artillery **RQ**, battlemage **W**, tank **RW**, enchanter **E** and **RE**. The simple fact that **E** and its mantra version happen to fall into the same subclass might be the reason Karma is mainly played as a support these days. Again, I think Karma's flexibility in general is fine and I do respect people's desire to play her in diverse strategies. But could we - as a communtiy - and Riot themselves maybe get their poropoop together and agree that trimming maybe 2-3 subclasses from her dilluded kit could make for better strengths and clearer weaknesses? Might I suggest cutting Tank and Catcher? > # Your Choice This isn't about MY opinion alone, I want to know YOURS. What subclasses do you think Karma should have? Note that any vote FOR a subclass also implies you want it highlighted at the cost of other identities! The poll is a bit weird, because they don't allow you to tick multiple options. I tried writing as many combinations as I could reasonably justify. Please try to vote for the one that comes closest to what you'd like. And maybe tell me more in the comments And here, as a reminder: **Artillery** - {{champion:110}} {{champion:161}} {{champion:101}} **Battlemage** - {{champion:50}} {{champion:136}} {{champion:13}} **Burst** - {{champion:1}} {{champion:45}} {{champion:4}} **Catcher** - {{champion:432}} {{champion:53}} {{champion:25}} **Enchanter** - {{champion:37}} {{champion:267}} {{champion:117}} **Vanguard** - {{champion:12}} {{champion:20}} {{champion:111}} **Warden** - {{champion:98}} {{champion:223}} {{champion:44}}
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