Skarner Build Guide by
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Not Updated For Current Season
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Hello! My summoner name is jÄmää and this is my Jungle Skarner guide.
I play mostly Junglers and Skarner I have to say is one of my favourites. He's a strong jungler with few weaknesses and a lot of strengths. Skarner can obviously be played solo-top aswell, this guide will focus on jungling though.
Here's a list of some pros and cons with Skarner:
* AoE-jungler - fast reliable jungle clear.
* Not very rune dependant - He can clear very fast with pretty much any setup which opens up a lot of rune choices and makes it easy to optimize for late-game.
* Not very mastery dependant - A lot of Junglers require offensive masteries to clear the jungle at a decent speed, Defensive masteries however is preferable due to superior stats (this is the case for most junglers anyway, for tryndamera etc. offensive masteries are obviously better).
* Good sustain - With the shield from W and the heal from E Skarner sustains really well in the jungle aslong as he's got the mana to support it.
* Strong ganks all game through - While his ganks are good pre-level 6 they become godlike when he gets his ultimate.
* Deals a lot of damage while building tanky.
* Many path options - Skarner can basically start anywhere in the jungle and he is able to gank early without messing up his skill-order.
* Strong invader and duellist - Skarner can duel pretty much any other jungler and come out on top due to natural tankyness and high damage, he's also very good at stealing enemy jungle camps due to being high a damage AoE-champion.
* Somewhat farm-dependant - Skarner needs to be right in their and needs to be tanky, without items he may have a hard time doing his job.
* No Gap-closer - He has to rely on movementspeed alone to get into range of his enemies, popping his shield obviously cripples his ability to get into the mix.
* No range poke - All melee with a short ranged skill shot, not exactly a strong choice for all random all mid haha :D
Skarner is very versatile when it comes to runes. This is obviously a good trait since it mean that you can run pretty much what you got at hand.
I will give you some examples and idea on how to rune Skarner:
9x Attackspeed red - This is best in slot for skarner imo. It decreases his jungle clear time while also synergizing with his passive, more autohits means more autoattack damage and not only that, for every autoattack you decrease the cooldown on all your other abilitys which basically mean that you will do more Q damage aswell. Attackspeed therefor increases abilitys damage indirectly, or rather ability DPS. Penetration marks on red is an alternate choice altough I feel that they won't help him as much as the attackspeed ones. Flat attackdamage is also a possibility but still not as good as AS.
9x Flat armor yellow - Best choice for almost every jungle, decreases damage taken from jungle creeps and also helps against other physical damage based champions. It is by far the most allround chioce for Skarner in the Seal slot. Other options would be attackspeed or scaling health but this will leave you sore after a round of jungling, possibly unable to gank early.
9x scaling magic resist blues - This is a good choice since it gets you a free Null-Magic Mantle at level 18. Another chioce would be Attackspeed but the effects of AS blues are very minor and if you compare ~24 MR to ~6% AS you will find that bying 24 MR costs 400g while 6% AS would have a value of 168g. You might wanna go flat MR if you're up against fiddle in the jungle, this would be a very rare occasion tough and it's hardly worth making another runepage for. The last possible chioce for blue runes would be CDR but I still think MR will do you more good.
For quints I like to run Movespeed, I think these are very helpful considering the fact that Skarner hasn't got a real gapcloser, they are pretty expensive though so other solid choices would be Attackspeed or Health for example.
Skarner is often the initiator and he really needs to be in there to be effective, thus I think defense masteries benefits him much more then offensive ones. Skarner doesn't scale greatly on AD or AP so the best things he could get from the offensive tree really is the AS, CDR and penetration talents. If you wish you could pick up the one that you prefer (either Spellpen/CDR or AS/armorpen). Another chioce is to pick up increased buff duration, manaregen and movespeed in utility, this will make you less reliant on blue buff and while you actually have it it will last much longer.
The chioces you have in the defensive tree is to start either magicresist, armor or less creep-damage taken. I choose armor and a point in MR, I just don't feel like reduced creep-damage is worth it, you will do fine anyway. Next up I like to take scaling health and healthregen, the mini-thorns-aura isn't really needed since you have so much constant AoE damage anyway, it's a talent better suited for Rammus tec who's got good synergy with that particular talent ;) The healthregen can be swapped for for soem points in Initiator and Magicresist etc.
Talents to stay away from are probably Mercenary and Siege Commander, I feel that these talents won't do you much good at all to be honest and it's not worth giving up reduced damage taken and CDR for these.
The order of skilling up is very simple, R>Q>W>E.
The only real option here is if you want and early point in Fracture or not.
While it is a good skill for laning it isn't that necesarry in the jungle, a small nuke can be good mid combat and the tiny heal might save you at some point, I like to take this at level 4 but I suggest you try it out yourself and see what you like more.