Skarner Build Guide by MTaur
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Not Updated For Current Season
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1) It wasn't that great of a build, and
2) The recent buffs make it possible to farm, finally. Spamming Q was never so easy before.
Might still take Philosopher's Stone, but that's it for GP10. Maybe Heart of Gold if you really want to, but meh, it's nice to finish Trinity before it's too late to use it for anything.
One morning, as Taric the Gem Knight was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in his bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug. He lay on his armour-hard back and saw, as he lifted his head up a little, his brown, arched abdomen divided up into rigid bow-like sections. From this height the blanket, just about ready to slide off completely, could hardly stay in place. His numerous legs, pitifully thin in comparison to the rest of his circumference, flickered helplessly before his eyes.
Ok, not really, but that's what his default skin makes me think of.
Skarner is crazy stupid item-dependent. GP10 is one way of dealing with that. Finishing Trinity can be a pain.
This is a duo lane sort of build. Maybe you can go for flashier big-tag items earlier if you're in a solo lane. Just don't blame me if you pick a late-bloomer sort of build with no GP10 and die too much to ever finish Trinity. :-/
Items - core
CDR, move speed, and Sheen. Attack speed and Phage are also pretty helpful. Ideally, we'd have a lot of attack speed and 40% CDR, which would really let us spam all skills thanks to the passive. But we also have to be tanky because of Skarner's crazy-short range, so cutting some corners a little, we get to our core.
GP10 items help finish Trinity while keeping stats relatively good early on. In particular, you don't need to rush to finish Shurelya's Reverie - you can keep it as Philosopher's Stone + Kindlegem for a fairly long time to get more GP10. The item's active effect is the biggest draw, so if you want to have fun with your ult, go ahead and finish it, but I'd rather do Trinity first and get more GP10.
Banshee's Veil makes it easier to ult.
Everything else is just upgrades of GP10 items, not much to say there. Deathfire Grasp is a bit of a throwaway, but it does cap your CDR and is the upgrade for Kage's Lucky Pick. It's not a bad item for Skarner, and the active is fun. It's just not a zomg must-have Skarner item like Sheen is.
The item order isn't necessarily optimal - sometimes I upgrade things sooner than I'd like to free up an item slot, like by finishing Shurelya's Reverie before taking Zeal. Boots and three GP10 items doesn't leave a lot of room for partial items. :(
Items I wish I could take
No other single item lets you spam skills like Nashor's. I've tried it in bot games, and it's a blast. But it's not tanky, and it sets you back a lot. Ideally, you'd get this, Trinity, boots, and a tank item all in 15 minutes and you'd be a god. But you can't really do that. Note that Nashor's Tooth + Shurelya's Reverie would be 40% CDR by itself, leaving you free to take, say, 9/21/0 masteries. I just don't think it's a good idea for duo-lane, all things considered.
Nice item active, good sustain from dual-vamping. This and Nashor's together would make for some decent DPS, but then you'd need tank items and you still need Trinity... so it goes. Maybe if you get a solo lane you can work this in. I don't know.
See Build 2 for a sample of how I might play if I thought I could get enough farm for it. A little more DPS and some nice vamping is present here. The given Build 2 setup has no Shureyla's, but takes Ghost for ult hijinks all the same.
Ghost is a decent choice, and can be used together with Shurelya's Reverie during your ult for more dragging.
Flash in for an easier time ulting, if you want. Or Flash out when it gets dangerous.
Exhaust immediately after your ult to ruin someone's day.
Last-hit with E. Occasionally farm while regaining life with the EWQ combo. Don't die. Don't get too mixed up in fights unless they're worth it. Get that core finished, and then find good times to ult in teamfights.