Skarner Build Guide by Shoado

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 Shoado

Laning AP/Hybrid Skarner

Shoado Last updated on December 3, 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.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Introduction/About Me

Skarner, The Crystal Vanguard

Welcome to my very first Mobafire build.
I've been playing League of Legends for over a year now, and in this time it has easily become my favorite game due to its high re-playability, numerous champions (as well as numerous ways to play those champions), an ever-changing and always interesting meta-game, and the addition of my friends to the Fields of Justice.

Skarner is still a relatively new champion, and one of the many joys of champions coming out is that it enables to craft your own build and test it, as opposed to using a guide. Skarner is a champion that seems to excel at sticking himself to a target and dealing significant damage over time, as opposed to nuking it all out at once.

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The rune setup took me awhile to get down pat.

Flat Magic Pen Marks, to buff his damage output from spells.
Greater Seal of Vitality 3 Health per Level Seals, to combat him being a bit too squishy for my preference.
6 Mana regen/5 per Level Seals. He is mana hungry at the moment, and these (along with Archangels Staff) seems to fix the problem.
Flat Health Quints. Somewhat standard for many champions. Movespeed Quints also seem like a good choice, but once having these has saved me a few times just from having extra health.

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I run a 9/0/21 setup for my masteries. The important mastery points will be in green, less important but semi-useful and preferred points will be in yellow, and non-crucial points that are either fillers or ones that can be swapped out will be in red.


  • 3/3 Archmage's Savvy provides Skarner with a slight AP boost.
  • 1/3 Deadliness
  • 4/4 Sorcery allows access to Archaic Knowledge, and the cooldown reduction it provides is welcomed.
  • 1/1 Archaic Knowledge will allow and to deal high damage, even when the opposing team counter-builds you with Magic Resist.

  • 3/3 Good Hands While we would all love to think that we can go all game without dying, the chances are we will at least once or twice. Reduced death timers allow you to get back into the fight, go farm, defend, or push, quicker.
  • 1/3 Perseverance
  • 1/1 Haste boosts the move speed that provides, as well as lengthens its effect. I list this point as yellow and not green because it is only useful if you use Ghost. If not, put the extra point into Perseverance.
  • 4/4 Awareness provides you with a slight level advantage over your opponents, which means more health, mana, AP and skill points.
  • 3/3 Meditation provides a necessary boost to your mana regen per 5.
  • 1/2 Utility Mastery is actually quite useful, even though I don't play Skarner as a jungler. I often find that, while returning to lane, I grab the Red or Blue buff. The reason that this is listed as a yellow point is because if you don't find yourself grabbing these buffs as often, then you can switch out for something else you see to be more fit.
  • 3/3 Quickness provides mobility when moving lane to lane, the utility to get in and out of teamfights more effectively, and stick to the target you are focusing. A crucial point.
  • 1/1 Blink of an Eye reduces the cooldown on . If you use Flash, this point is a must, if not, switch it out for something else.
  • 3/3 Intelligence gives much useful cooldown reduction, allowing the spam of your abilities (primarily your Q, )
  • 1/1 Presence of the Master allows more use of and .

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Begin your game by purchasing and 2 , and proceeding to a lane with a partner. This allows early game mana regen (a must on Skarner).

Buy and on your first trip back.

Boots Choices

are my first choice for boots. The extra magic penetration really buffs your spell damage on and , enemy Magic Resist be damned.
However, if the enemy team has a plethora of nasty stuns, silences, slows, fears, AP characters, or any other forms of CC, my boots of choice tend to be .

is more of a core item, in my opinion, than a late game item. While yes, it is expensive, the stats are by and large worth it. The mixture of AD and AP is nothing to scoff at, the active on this ability is one more slow to add to your arsenal, and the lifesteal and spell vamp provide more lane staying power, as well as survivability in team fights.

Shortly after reaching the 1000 bonus mana mark from , return to your base and build this. It has everything necessary to round out a lot Skarner's rougher edges dealing with mana and mana regen. The bonus mana is nice, the regen is great, and the passive that converts 2% of your max mana to AP is a fantastic bonus.

Thus finishes my core items.


After building my core, assuming the other team is balanced the game is going well, my preferred item build is:

has a lot to offer in stats for Skarner. The attack speed and cooldown reduction it provides has good synergy with his passive. The mana regen isn't truly NEEDED, but certainly is nice and helps.

provides survivability in the form of health; utility in the form of a slow on your abilities.

ensures your survival of team fights and ganks.

Other great items I recommend would be:

has a great passive that stacks up which, being extra attack speed and ability power, boosts your sustained DPS in team fights while you stick to their carry. Use this in the place of if you feel that more damage trumps higher AS and CDR.

is mostly seen on AP carries and some offensive supports. However, as a late-game item on Skarner, it goes very well in sync with the passive of . I recommend getting this if you feel that the defensive stats and passive of are not needed. For instance, if your team is completely dominating, and your opponents still have not surrendered, then consider getting this just to make your spells hit like trucks since your chance of dying is lower.

works fairly well with this champions balance of AP, auto attacks, and defensiveness. Magic Resist is almost always welcomed, but Lich Bane really shines through with it's passive, which buffs your next attack to do increased damage. While I like this item, I think that mana regen and attack speed/CDR are a little more important for spamming your abilities, and while it provides ability power, I feel other items provide more with more uses. It certainly isn't a bad item for Skarner, so the use of Lich Bane is really up to you.

really shines through for making Skarner tankier, and providing more movement speed. If you need to fill a bit more of a beefy role for your team, consider getting this item to keep you going and going.

has some interesting uses. Since Skarner excells at sticking to targets throughout a fight, this would provide a lot more sustained damage as it hits their whole team, all the while making Skarner himself a bit beefier and giving him the ability to take more punishment. As in the case with , use it when your team needs you to fill a beefy DPS role, but know you are sacrificing damage for health and armor.

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Above are the items that I recommend using for either:
  • a) shutting down an AD carry on the opposing team
  • b) shutting down a scrub team who picked all AD champions and expected you not to counter-build.
All provide a nice chunk of armor to reduce the amount of physical damage you take, Frozen Heart has some nice CDR and mana, Randuin's has an active that really shines in shutting down the enemy team during team fights, and Thornmail returns 30% of all physical damage to your attacker.

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Tips and Tricks

Okay, so I just discovered this awesome trick with Skarner's ultimate (which has a lot of interesting uses).

If you use your ult on an enemy Skarner who is using their ult to pull a teammate back, you end up pulling both Skarner away from his team AND saving your teammate! Truly great.

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Skill Sequence

Max your E first .
Then your Q
Then your W
Take one point in at level 3.
Obviously, put one point in your ultimate, , at levels 6, 11, and 16.

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Summoner Spells

and are my preferred summoner spells to use. They help you escape death, get into team fights, and stick to your targets.


if you're having mana problems, due to runes or whatever your reason. Swap this out with Ghost.
can be swapped out with Ghost if you enjoy having the map awareness and movement it'll give you, or don't feel you properly utilize Ghost.
can be used if you don't feel confident with the champion yet.