Updated on March 7, 12 p.m. (GMT+8): Added relevant guides.

If you want to play a flashy hero that can instantly eliminate enemies in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, Karina is an excellent choice.

This assassin is capable of closing the gap and executing a lethal combo to swiftly take enemies down.

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In this extensive ONE Esports guide, we will offer valuable insights on mastering the Shadow Blade, empowering you to dominate the game.

Karina’s skills in Mobile Legends

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang assassin hero Karina's Shadow Combo passive skill icon
Credit: ONE Esports

Passive – Shadow Combo

Karina’s third consecutive attack on the same enemy deals extra true damage equal to a small percentage of her magic power and her target’s lost HP.

If the target is an enemy hero, the cooldowns of her non-ultimate skills are reduced.

  • Ensure that you focus on an enemy hero to take advantage of the brief duration of the Shadow Combo mark. Use Hero Lock Mode or Basic Attack Targeting to ensure you hit your desired target.
  • To maximize the effectiveness of this passive ability, aim for enemies with low health, as the true damage inflicted is partly calculated based on your target’s lost HP.

First skill – Dance of Blades

Karina enters the Dance of Blades state for several seconds, during which she gains extra movement speed, blocks all incoming basic attacks, and reflects magic damage back to the attacker (the damage reflection effect has a short cooldown).

Her next basic attack within the duration deals magic damage, slows the target, and is guaranteed to critically strike. Casting the enhanced basic attack or Shadow Assault ends the Dance of Blades state early.

  • Dance of Blades is her mobility spell. Use it to pursue opponents or escape from them. Additionally, use it to rotate fast if you’re a jungler.
  • Make the most of the increased movement speed to evade enemy skills.
  • You can dash over walls if your target is within the range of this skill.

Second skill – Dance of Death

Karina launches a spinning slash, dealing magic damage to nearby enemies.

  • Since Dance of Death is her main damage-dealing ability, it is recommended to acquire it at level one, and focus on maximizing it to enhance its damage potential and decrease its cooldown.
  • As this is an AoE skill, you can still inflict damage to concealed or camouflaged enemies.

Ultimate – Shadow Assault

Karina dashes to the target enemy hero, dealing them magic damage, applying a Shadow Mark to them, and leaving a Shadowform behind them. The Shadow Mark and Shadowform both last for several seconds. If the enemy dies within the duration, the cooldown of this skill is reset.

Use again: Karina dashes back to the Shadowform’s location, dealing magic damage to enemies along the way.

  • Shadow Assault allows you to quickly dash towards your target, making it an excellent tool to initiate your combo.
  • Make sure that you target enemies with low HP, as the cooldown of this ultimate will reset if an enemy marked by it dies within its duration.
  • Similar to Dance of Blades, you can dash over walls using this ability if your target is within its range.
  • No matter how far you are from the Shadowform, activating this skill again will cause you to dash towards it. You can use this strategy to escape pursuits.

A comprehensive guide on how to play Karina in Mobile Legends

Recommended battle spell for Karina in Mobile Legends - Retribution and Execute
Credit: ONE Esports

If you’re playing Karina as a jungler, the optimal battle spell is Retribution. It allows you to quickly kill creeps, secure the Lord and Turtle objectives, and apply a debuff on your target depending on the type of Retribution you’ve equipped.

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Conversely, if you’re playing in one of the lanes, Execute serves as a viable choice. It gives you true damage that ignores shields, which is great for finishing off enemies who manage to survive your combo.

Recommended emblem and talents for Karina in Mobile Legends
Credit: ONE Esports

Assassin emblem is the most suitable choice for Karina, offering adaptive penetration and adaptive attack, which significantly enhance your damage potential. Additionally, it increases your movement speed.

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For the talents, choose Rupture in the first tier for additional adaptive penetration. In the second tier, there are several options to consider based on your role.

If you’re playing as a jungler, Seasoned Hunter lets you deal extra damage against Lord, Turtle, and creeps.

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Alternatively, you can choose Bargain Hunter to reduce item costs, or Weapons Master to gain additional magic power.

Lastly, opt for Killing Spree as your key talent. This promptly restores your HP and grants extra movement speed upon eliminating an enemy hero, enabling you keep going on the offensive during team fights.

Karina best build

Best build and battle setup for Karina in Mobile Legends
Credit: ONE Esports

As an assassin, your primary goal is to unleash devastating damage. To achieve this, get items that offer substantial magic power and penetration.

Begin by acquiring Arcane Boots, which enhances your magic penetration.

For your first core item, opt for Starlium Scythe, as it provides a significant boost to your magic power. Additionally, it enhances your basic attack to inflict true damage, and briefly grants you extra movement speed.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang item Starlium Scythe
Credit: ONE Esports
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Next, purchase Holy Crystal to further amplify your magic power, and Divine Glaive to boost your magic penetration.

In order to sustain yourself during clashes, invest in Concentrated Energy, which provides valuable spell vamp.

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Credit: ONE Esports
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For your final item, buy Blood Wings to greatly enhance your magic power and gain a permanent shield.

Depending on the state of the game, you may want to consider getting Immortality instead to improve your survivability.

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The best build for Karina in Mobile Legends

  • Arcane Boots (Ice Retribution if you’re a jungler)
  • Starlium Scythe
  • Holy Crystal
  • Divine Glaive
  • Concentrated Energy
  • Blood Wings

Easy combos to learn

Karina King of Fighters skin
Credit: Moonton

In the early game, approach your target using Dance of Blades. Follow up with the enhanced basic attack and Dance of Death to deal substantial damage.

Once you’ve reached level four, execute the Dance of Blades-Dance of Death Combo before eliminating your enemy with Shadow Assault.

Another tactic is to initiate your attack with Shadow Assault. Upon closing in on your target, use Dance of Death, and cast Shadow Assault again to dash to your Shadowform and inflict damage.

If your opponent manages to survive your combo, chase them down using Dance of Blades, and slay them with an enhanced basic attack. Where necessary, use Retribution or Execute as a finishing blow.

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