Skarner Build Guide by Ianeri

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Ianeri

All Your Drags Are Belong To Skarner

Ianeri Last updated on August 14, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 1

Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 8

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Centuries ago, there lived a race of creatures as ferocious as they were wise. The brackern were unusual beings blessed with the earth's primal magic, embodied in the form of crystals. Their kind knew of an arcane ritual to bind their life's essence to a crystal, communing with the magic embedded in it. With this power, the brackern thrived in the Odyn Valley, protecting both creatures and crystals alike. Despite attacks from those looking to claim the primal magic, it seemed that nothing could get past the brackern's defenses. Nothing, that is, until the devastation of a Rune War.

A vicious battle was fought near the Odyn Valley and the unleashed chaotic magic poisoned the crystals. The brackern began to grow sick and die, and no amount of defensive magic could reverse the effects. To avoid extinction, their only course was to hibernate underground until the wars stopped. The strongest, most intelligent brackern hibernated closer to the surface to awaken first and assess the world's condition for the return of their race. The recent mining operations and violent escalation in Kalamanda were enough to awaken the first of these vanguards. When Skarner burst to the surface, he lashed out in anger and confusion. Reason eventually won out over his anger when he realized that the agents of the League who found him were simply functionaries. Skarner was invited to the Institute of War to share the brackern's story. In return, the summoners told him about the history that his kind had slept through. Much had been done to curb the unchecked use of magic since the Rune Wars, but it was obvious that the world was not yet safe for his kind to reawaken. For now, however, there is a place where Skarner can use his power to change the world into one to which his kind could eventually return: the League of Legends.

''The humans have not yet learned to control their magic - what once was Kalamanda is now a crystal scar on the history of this world.'' – Skarner

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Why I play Skarner

Skarner is incredibly fun, and I see people play him and I just go "Whut?" They max out fracture because it "bursts" and go buying items similar to what phreak buys. Now this guide may not be for everyone because the way I play skarner is obviously a little different than how everyone else plays him. I play him as a tanky DEEPS type skarner. So for me to say "hey, use this build and you'll pubstomp noobs" isn't exactly true. However it'll definitely be a build that'll let you deal consistent damage which is what skarner is there to do and stay alive while you're at it.

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The runes I use for skarner is consisted of having 25 Armor pent for that DEEPS. The logic behind this is obvious. The dodge runes is for added tankiness and part of the reason why I do not max hardiness in the mastery page. Since the dodge runes will make up for that. The CDR is for the W and E skill to come by faster to spam it more often. Since throughout the game I play skarner as a caster rather than an auto attacker. I find it more fun that way.

However there are alternatives.

Dodge quints with dodge yellows is a good combo.
Having AP Blues will help you hit harder but this build is focused around AD damage so I find the AP unnecessary. But it is viable.
Attack speed is a viable option since it'd go well with your Q.
There are others for sure. But I am more comfortable playing with the runes listed above.

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I take the full MR in the defense tree and strength of spirit for the regen since you will be having plenty of mana. Just 2 in hardiness due to the dodge runes' backup. I take full dodge and nimbleness to quickly catch up or run away from an attacking enemy. Having nimbleness I find is valuable and necessary since if you hit with your Q you slow them down. Doing this allows your teammates to catch up and granting you a kill or an assist. Maxing out the rest is obvious. More tankiness and a bit of damage from the AP and ASPD boost from ardor. I take ghost and all the mana utilities offers me with the rest of my eight points since my damage is based off mana. The regen also compounds with the defense tree's regen so I find it unnecessary to have any regen runes of any kind with this mastery tree.

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I start with a crystal. It gives a good boost of mana and I start immediately spamming my skills killing minions with last hits using fracture. This is an important time since you will be needing tear of the goddess as soon as possible. When you have the money. Port back buy the tear and start grinding out for gold spamming your skills when possible. More mana = good and will help you in the long run. Whenever possible I go back and buy shoes with a long sword or immediately buy the manamune if I farmed well or got some kills. After this you can do several things. Either build tank if you're taking damage or build more DPS and either way is fine. If you build tank you won't get as much damage as you would if you built the DPS side first but you still get SOMETHING thanks to the manamune. If their team is AD heavy and you're hurting then grab a frozen heart. This item offers mana which offers damage due to manamune and CDR which lets you spam more. If their team is AP then grab Banshee's. This item offers mana which -redundancy here- and it even offers health! Awesome no? Oh and you'll heal mana and health with levels :D If you prefer DPS and aren't hurting too much (if because of dodge or just otherwise the enemy is a bunch of baddies) then grab a sheen. I'd recommend not turning it into a trinity force just yet. But if you want and feel confident / is getting fed then go for it. TF that bish up. As a final item I grab hextech gunblade. Since it offers more AD and another slow plus damage. Oh and the AP Spellvamp is nice~

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Skill Sequence

The first skill I grab is Fracture. I use this skill to last hit. I then grab a shield so I can come up a bit closer to the minions to safely grab last hits with fracture. I then start maxing out my Q since I use it as my main DPS. Plus this is the skill that'll start filling out your tear of the goddess. I also make sure to max out my shield quickly before my E since I'm not very AP based. The logic behind this is because the W will only have its base stats for the most part of the game. So I find it useless at end game besides to do my ult combo. So it's better to level it midgame where it WILL actually soak up some damage. Rather than endgame when most champs can one hit your shield away.

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Summoner Spells

I find ghost and exhaust to be my favorite spells for skarner. I use ghost when I see an opportunity to ult an enemy champion. Then when safely away from turret aggro or other enemies I quickly use my W to speed myself up even further dragging him an extra few feet away from the enemy. This is a good combo and it usually does not fail me. After dragging him and my ult breaks I exhaust him making it extremely difficult for him to get away alive. Many a teammates have thanked and relied on me due to this good combo. However this is difficult to do if you're extremely squishy like some skarner builds ask you to be. With my guide you will be an initiator and you'll be darn good at it.

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Thanks for reading.

Please leave a comment suggesting what I can do better with this guide and I'll be sure to credit you. Please also tell me why you downvoted this guide so I can better skarner.

Love peace skeet and cheese :D