Skarner Build Guide by Nephinox

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 Nephinox

Beam me up Skarny!

Nephinox Last updated on November 5, 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: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

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

Utility: 0



Currently Improving. Recent updates:
    -Added Second team for Jungle Build
    -Adjusted Items Section
    -Added jungling section
    -[11/5/2011] Improved purchase priority

Skarn Skarn Skarner! Hello and welcome to my first guide. I'm Nephinox and today I bring you the Skarner Build I've been using in Summoner's Rift!

Skarner is by far one of my favorite champions whom I never tire of playing. His Uniqueness comes from his ult Impale, very useful for initiation and eliminating the other teams carry, and his ability to perma-slow with Crystal Slash.

Pros || Cons


+ Tanky
+ Great damage
+ ult good for anti-carry
+ Perma-slow with Crystal Slash
+ Very Fast
+ Can Jungle

- Very expensive build
- Short range
- can be slow to start-up
- can be mana starved w/o blue
- Squishy till late game



This is the set of masteries I recommend for Skarner which give him the tankiness he needs to play his role effectively. If you are required to jungle swap the point in Deadliness and place it in Plentiful Bounty



Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Stat Breakdown:
- 25 Armor Pen(The majority of early game damage will come from physical damage)
- 8.9 Ability Power (A boost for Skarners sustainability and damage while Jungling)
or 13.4 Magic Resist (Added tankiness when Laning)
- 13 Armor (Pure sustainability and required to jungle)

This set of runes provides Skarner with some excellent stats that will help him across the entire game and is suited for both laneing and jungling.

Summoner Spells

Unmatched in escape, initiation, and ambushing.
Great for catching anyone attempting to get away, and in combination with Crystal Slash and Crystalline Exoskeleton it will make it a challenge for anyone to escape your claws. In addition to allowing you to race around the map or escape potentially fatal fights.

A must have for jungling!


Here I am going to go into a bit of detail of how all of Skarner's abilities work in cohesion.
  • Energize Energize: Skarner's passive can quickly reduce his cooldowns of all his spells. Meaning that Crystal Slash will be virtually on a 1 second cooldown when fighting other champions with this build and with the addition of blue buff. The best way to take advantage of this is to always be attacking something, weather in the jungle, lane or fighting another champion. constantly lowering those cooldowns will usually be the difference between being able to pull off anything you attempt

  • Crystal Slash (Q): This spell is very similar to ashe's Frost Shot, being that it can be used as a perma-slow. Crystal Slash however is a short ranged Area-of-Effect that radiates from Skarner and Doesn't require him to stop to cast. To take advantage of this, it is generally best, to be clicking ahead of the person you want to chase instead of trying to directly attack them, which causes you to stop. By doing this you can slow them down, and get in-front of them, which is when you should get an attack. Crystal Slash is also great for escaping when you need to simply get the slow off, pop Crystalline Exoskeleton and away you go, trollface and all.

  • Crystalline Exoskeleton (W): Sheild, Movement speed, and Attack speed. What more could you ask for? This skill is very useful for bolstering your health while escaping or closing in for the kill!

  • Fracture (E): This is your longest range attack, dealing magic damage and healing you. However it usually isn't the best for killing someone once they are out of range of your Crystal Slash due to the fact that it stops you. So this move is usually cast in whatever direction will give you the largest heal and deal the most damage to as many enemy champions as possible.

  • Impale (R): Your Ultimate, this is the skill your attacking random things for to lower its' cooldown. It deals damage twice, once on the grab and once on release. you always want this up for team fights, because if you initiate properly and grab the enemy team's carry for the gank, it's over for them.
    Additionally for Impale, you can drag them an extra distance, as well as placing you between them and escape by dragging them back, and then running back the way you had dragged them a moment before it ends. In doing this, you will seal there fate making it improbable to flash away for an escape.

Skill Rotation
Then keep spamming Crystal Slash to keep the as many of the enemy team as possible perma-slowed and anything else when its up!

Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Maxing out Crystal Slash is your Number One priority. because it is your most mana efficient spell while also being the best damage because of its spam-ablity and perma-slow. Next other than your ult, is your skill Crystalline Exoskeleton which is the majority of your survivability and a large boost to your movement speed.


Item Sequence

Sunfire Cape

Madred's Bloodrazor

Hextech Gunblade

Guinsoo's Rageblade

Abyssal Scepter

Core Build

  • : Gives you a bit of Attack Speed, which for this build makes it better then any other option.

  • : In addition to adding a great amount of tankiness, it also adds great damage. Constantly hitting everything around you within about the same range as your Crystal Slash. Building this early will make most people underestimate your damage as well as your ability to take it.

  • : Being as this build is based on Attack Speed and tankiness, this item adds the majority of your damage that will allow you to eat through the competition.

  • : This item has every stat you could possibly ask for. It gives you a huge buff in damage to your Crystal Slash as well as all your other abilities. But its' "On Use" is another great way for Skarner to close in on for the kill.

  • : The Rageblade is cheap, which is great at this point because lets face it, the past few items haven't been. So for its cost it also gives you a great amount of Ability Power totaling 97 when fully stacked as well as 32% attack speed.

  • : The final item is get is the Abyssal Scepter, it adds to your damage and tankiness by giving some Ability Power as well as the Magic Resist, plus it gives 20 Magic Pen. to boot.


When Laning as Skarner its best to take bot lane if your team has a jungler. When laning bot, your should play accommodating to your laning partner. If they play well aggressive, try to keep the enemy champions slowed so they can't escape death. If your laning partner is playing conservatively do hit and runs.


For Skarner's Jungling root, I suggest starting off at Blue buff, proceeding with Wolves, Wraiths, then Double Golem. Then I immediately look for a possible gank. The best targets to gank will be those champions with out escapes (flash or champion abilities).

Which Lane Are you Ganking?


TOP: for ganking top it is best to start from the bush straight out of the river and charging for the minions. after getting the first Crystal Slash off on the minions, and if they are too far away Flash onto the enemy champion and cast it again for the slow. If all goes well, you have earned your self a kill.

MID: When ganking mid i usually run past Wraiths, getting a Crystal Slash off and then popping Crystalline Exoskeleton and charge in from the adjacent bush from the river. Flash in, Crystal Slash, and grab the kill.

BOT: Ganking Bottom, is generally the hardest unless the enemy team is over extended. That being said, if they are charge at the closest minion to get a Crystal Slash off, then start attacking the enemy champs.


When ganking any lane with your ultimate ready, never use it for initiating the gank. you still want to get that first Crystal Slash off. once you have done that. ult up and drag them to their death and steer clear of bushes!

So as you can see. If you want to earn a kill through a gank, it is best to have your Crystal Slash's slow set up before you charge in. Good luck and happy ganking!

Team Work

Skarner's Main job is to initiate by grabbing the other team's Carry and dragging it to your team for the kill. After the initiate your job switches to being an off-tank. So you will remain in the fray Perma-slowing with Crystal Slash. For the most part if the other team is staying and fighting, your focus will be any Melee, physical ranged, caster ranged, then the tank. If the enemy team runs, your job will be to stay ahead of the enemy champions and slowing them with Crystal Slash, don't try to auto attack or use fracture (unless you need the heal) because that will cause you to stop running, which means they might escape from your Perma-slow.


I hope this guide has been useful and good luck out there with this Tank-Hybrid Skarner. If you would like to give any advice or if there is something i need to fix or clarify on my build please comment below!

Happy shredding the competition with Skarner!!

Credits to jhoijhoi and her awesome guide in helping me create my own!