Skarner Build Guide by Age Awkward
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Welcome to my guide on Skarner. This guide focuses on the jungle but I will add notes on laning with him too. I don't see the point in laning with Skarner as he is a very affective ganker even before level 6 and the AoE damage he has is great at taking out jungle camps with ease. Skarner is a very difficult champion to decide a build for and as such has many different viable builds. Bearing that in mind you also need to think about the enemy teams composition and know that these items are not ideal for every match.
energize This is your passive. It is what allows you to chase and jungle so effectively. You should always try to auto attack anyone to make use of this passive.
This will help you chase. It is AoE and it even hits enemies behind you. If you activate it more than once in 5 seconds, it will slow the enemy by a considerable amount allowing you to catch up.
I like to max this out this out first because the movement speed and shield are extremely potent early game. This will allow you to get in range to use Crystal Slash.
The numbers are very low on the skill. It does little damage and doesn't heal very much which is why we max it out last. The best strategy with this ability is to mark a whole group of enemies and then use crystal slash to damage each one. You do not need to auto attack marked enemies to consume the mark, only damage them.
This is what makes Skarner so much fun. With this you can peel enemies of your squishy or you can pull their squishy into your team or turret. If the enemy try to escape with flash they will get flung back. You can also target someone on the other side of wall to pull them over. It is also useful to take out Tryndamere when he uses Undying Rage.
Pros / Cons
Probably the best chaser
Constant AoE damage
Not often focused
Very short range so easy to juke
Will often get little kills but alot of assists
Ultimate requires team mates to be awake
Masteries & Runes
I chose to leave the offensive mastery tree and I feel that Ardor and Awareness are very important and if you follow the offensive tree you can't get both. Another argument is the need for Plentiful Bounty instead of Utility Mastery . Because my build does not include any items to help Skarner's mana consumption I feel that you need blue buff for as long as possible.
Important: You CANNOT jungle without these runes.
However if you plan to lane. These are not necessary. I would use:
Start with Crystal Slash to be able to take blue but then you should max out Crystalline Exoskeleton as fast as possible getting Fracture at level 4. Many Skarner's make the mistake of maxing out Crystal Slash first. The reason we don't is because Crystalline Exoskeleton gives the movement speed buff we need for ganking.
> > >
is OK but not as good as ghost.
The best chasing spell in the game.
Allows you to Flash then Impale someone but I dislike because you can't use flash while you have someone impaled.
Goes very well with with Ghost and Crystal Slash.
Works on everyone but on Skarner it's not really needed because you can catch up and deal the 200 last damage.
Skarner has good lane sustainability, you hardly need to go back so this will mean you can lane forever.
Would only use in ranked if you see they have full CC team.
Some say Skarner has mana problems. If you lane you will likely not have blue buff.
You should let the support take it but if you are good with this spell then by all means take it.
You could take this then Impale people into your turret.
The jungler will take this.
I have never used this, not even once so I can't comment. I hear it is useless.
Early game it is an annoyance to the enemy but after 15-20 minutes it heals very little.
Most Skarner games I play I only die 2-3 times. Also it has a 5 minute cooldown!
Here is my recommended build:
Gives everything you need. Especially the on hit damage passive and the movement speed buff.
This will give you a lot of durability, a small damage increase and will greatly improve your chasing ability.
Instead of building your cloth armour into Madred's Razors I prefer building this. It goes well with Atma's Impaler and lets you slow your enemies.
Self explanatory. Do not get unless you got a Frozen Mallet or Warmog's Armor already.
We need some magic resist. This is a great choice as not only does it give us the good stuff but also a nice movement speed increase and it's all about chasing.
If you do not want to build any of these for whatever reason then here are some other viable items:
How to play Skarner
Firstly find out if the bushes are warded. If not then run into the normal ganking bush for your side of the map. When everyone is ready, activate Ghost and Crystalline Exoskeleton. Run into the enemies and use Crystal Slash keep on them with normal attacks so that energize will refresh your cooldowns. Use Crystal Slash again for the slow and use Crystalline Exoskeleton again to keep up.
Firstly you should initiate by activating Crystalline Exoskeleton then using Impale to pull a squishy into your team. After that you should be at the centre of the team fight using Crystal Slash also try and mark the whole team with Fracture to keep health up throughout. You should be the one that chaser stragglers as well.
Creeping / Jungling
Run to blue and let your team mates guard and pull. Spam Crystal Slash on it, use a Health Potion as soon as you start to take damage and Smite the last 420 health. Get your Crystalline Exoskeleton and run to wolves. Use Crystalline Exoskeleton and spam Crystal Slash until the big wolf is dead. Stop using Crystal Slash and just auto attack the other wolves. Kill wraiths and then golems. You should use a Health Potion at each camp and have 2 or 3 left. Either go back and get Boots of Speed or heal up and gank / cover a lane.
If you are ganked at blue, get a team member to Clairvoyance it and make sure it isn't taken. If they are taking it you can either try and get their blue or you can Smite steal yours.
I think that is everything. I'm sorry this guide isn't too detailed at the moment but I will add more detail in time. Thank you for reading and please rate and comment.