Since she was introduced back in 2016, Karina has lasted as a fan favorite for many years due to her insanely high burst damage — possibly making her the one hero with the fastest killing speed in the game.
In short, if Karina is in the game, you can be very certain many players will be trembling with fear.
About Karina and her abilities
Unlike most assassin-class heroes, Karina has one slight difference — she is what players would categorize as a “Mage-assassin”, or a “magic-damage” assassin hero.
Instead of dealing physical damage that can be reduced by armor, Karina deals magic damage that not only penetrates armor, but whose damage can only be reduced with magic defense items.
Karina’s abilities are mainly centered around 3 main areas:
- Skill 1: Moving faster + negating physical damage
- Skill 2: A high damage AOE melee attack
- Ultimate: Blink strike with high damage and slow
- Passive: Karina deals extra damage on her normal attack after 3 basic hits, and recharges her ultimate skill if the enemy hero she attacks dies in combat.
How Karina is Played
Just like many other assassin heroes like Natalia, Hayabusa, and Aamon, Karina will generally target opponent heroes that are weaker, such as marksmen, mages, and other assassins.
However, because Karina is capable of dealing magic damage, tanks and fighters with low HP could also potentially be her targets.
A typical Karina hero would be played in the following order:
- Skill 1 to move faster (and reduce damage taken) to approach the enemy
- Ultimate to open the attack on the enemy
- Skill 2 to deal more damage
- Normal attack to trigger her passive (3rd hit) extra damage
- Skill 1 to escape/run.
Most Karina players generally roam around the map looking to pick off weak heroes, and will be spending a large amount of their time within the jungle/bush areas.
Most players also typically go for retribution (jungling) as their battle spell, giving her a level advantage during the early game (she will most likely be level 4 when everyone else is still level 2/3).
How to Counter Karina
- She has low HP, making her very easy to shut down
- She lacks abilities that allow her to escape quickly (except skill 1, which is usually on cool-down during combat)
- Her ‘blink’ to escape skill is situational, depending on the direction she executes her ultimate.
- Her movement speed is fairly slow unless she turns on her skill 1 (which is usually on cool-down during combat)
So the key to countering Karina is simple:
- Disable her quickly
- Stick together in groups
- Avoid going into the battlefield with less than 70% HP.