Skarner Build Guide by SirSpankAlot
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First Buy + Notes
Ability Sequence + Notes
Welcome Season 4 and Guide Update!
//Let us thank Janitsu's mother for giving birth to him because without him we wouldn't be having awesome banners like this.
//I finally decided to rework this guide because my friends basically told me that I had to contribute something to the community so I decided to spend some time on this. Season 4 has arrived and the jungle is a chaos because everyone is trying new stuff. I am currently looking for someone who can make banners / graphics for this guide so I can make this pretty and all ^^.
// Hello guys , and welcome to season 4! Season 4 is definitely the season of Skarner , my little scorpion is better than ever as he can out-clear at least 90% of all the other junglers and he has amazing jungle pressure if played right. Riot is even planning to rework the scorpion so you'd better abuse his huge power in the jungle while it lasts as the rework isn't looking very promising but at least he'll be getting his 4th skill finally! ( Fracture is the worst spell in the game so they are adding a slow on top of it but they are removing the slow from the Q ).
// I guess I will have to introduce myself as well. I'm Sir Laughs Alot and I'm currently ranked platinum on EUW. I love playing mid-lane and jungle and I used to be a Skarner main back in season 1 and 2.
// Well personal information aside , Lets get to the point! I´m proud to present you my jungle Skarner guide. I like to build Skarner like a bruiser utilizing trinity force as his only damage item as his base damages are ridiculously high already which means he doesn't need any other damage items. He also requires a lot of tanky items as he needs to get in the carry's face to get the job done.
Have fun reading!
// Special thanks to jhoijhoi and janitsu for helping me with the formatting!
+ Amazing pressure past-6
+ Can stick to enemies very well
+ Snowballs extremely well
+ Good counter-jungler
- Early mana problems
- No gap closer
- Horrible skins
- Quicksilver Sash </3 Impale
// These summoner spells should be your common picks because I think that they fit Skarner best. These 2 spells give you everything you need to secure objectives and to make flashy initiates.
Flash: is a great spell for any champion. I use it to escape and to perform Flash + Impale combos.
Smite: Smite is game-changing , every single jungler should take it with them. Without smite you cannot secure buffs or objectives well enough and without smite you cannot pull off game-changing baron/dragon steals.
// In this section I review other summoner spells which can be good in certain situations.
Ghost: This spell is amazing in the jungle because it has a shorter CD than flash but you cannot pass walls with it and you lack the element of surprise that Flash offers.
Exhaust: Not having any escapes is somewhat risky. However , exhaust can be extremely strong against splitpushers like Tryndamere and Aatrox and it can be used to shut down their ad carry if necesarry. It also adds a lot of danger to your ganks.
The reason you spec 21 into defense over utility or offense is simple. The season 4 defensive mastery tree is just too good to pass up as it offers many things like shields , resistances and much more. The defensive tree has been buffed a lot and it will turn you into an unstoppable beast. The reason I like to get the 50 health shield is because it will block like 1 or 2 hits from camps in the jungle and it will be nice late game as you can just see it as a 50 extra health that recharges everytime you go back. Having 100 armour and 100 magin resist means that all the damages will be reduced by 50% which turns that 50 health into a 100 effective health if you don't count penetrations.
So why do I get offense? 5% Cooldown reduction is pretty nice , some attack speed is nice because it synchronizes with your passive and having some AD is strong aswell because you weave in auto attacks in between attacks. I prefer these masteries over others because a 2% increase won't be relevant early game at all. I am not implying that getting some extra AD on lvl 18 will be as effective either but the 5 AD early on is huge. Imagine chasing someone and weaving in 5 auto attacks in between , that's more than a 2% damage increase. Utility only offers a mediocre MS boost , some trinket cast range and increased buff duration but I think I know better honestly. Please don't try to spec into 3 mastery trees by the way , it's simply not good at all in season 4 because they made the first 4 points in utility MUCH weaker which makes it better to just spec into 2 trees (not like leveling up 3 trees has always been perfect ._.).
Basic attacks lower the cooldowns of Skarner abilities by 1 second against champions and 0.5 seconds against non-champions.
Q: Crystal Slash
I use this skill to stick to the enemy. It's on a low cooldown which syncs well with your Trinity Force. Try to weave in auto attacks while spamming this skill to reduce the cooldown on this skill as well.
- Charge this skill on the minions when walking onto lane so that your slow will be ready when you meet your opponent.
W: Crystalline Exoskeleton
This skill gives Skarner a Shield and some useful buffs. A Movement speed buff to move around the map and a strong attack speed buff to jungle or duel with. This is an amazing skill as it's shield is quite strong. You can just stack resistances and your shield will last for ages. I think this skill really makes up for the fact that Fracture is mediocre.
Mediocre skill. Tiny bits of sustain and tiny bits of damage. Not worth leveling in my opinion because it's just a waste of mana early on and let's be honest , I don't think this is going to win trades for you.
- ANY damage inflicted by skarner consumes the marks.
- You also gain health when you kill people with Fracture(Not like someone will ever die to a single Fracture though unless you play AP Skarner).
This is Skarner's signature move! He can use this to initiate, chase, keep in place and much more! It deals proper damage and it doesn't get cancelled by Cleanse. This skill allows you to instantly melt 1 person without giving them a chance to fight back.
- Never use this on Gangplank , Olaf or Alistar , they can break out of your suppress.
- Quicksilver Sash can neutralize the effect.
- You can turn around just before the ultimate ends. Make sure that the stinger who holds the champion is facing your allies! By doing this they will have to walk past you to get back to their teammates! More time to dish some damage!
- You can still use your abilities when your ultimate is active. You cannot use flash though.
- Flash in to the enemy team to surprise them and instantly use your ultimate on the carries , most people won't be able to react to these initiates.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Boots of Speed
Spirit of the Ancient Golem
Boots of Mobility
I start with Hunter's Machete so that I can clear jungle properly. After I acquire 800 gold I go back to get Spirit Stone and Boots of Speed to increase gank capabilities and to increase mana regeneration so that I can give the blue buff to the midlaner , use leftover gold for health pots and wards. I then build into Spirit of the Ancient Golem because it's a very cost efficient item with stats that all benefit skarner. The reason I take Spirit of the Ancient Golem over Spirit of the Elder Lizard is because ancient golem allows you to pressure lanes while still getting a lot of gold from the jungle while farming it less. Getting Phage is really nice too because it offers a lot of sticking power which is always appreciated. You should always get Boots of Mobility or Ninja Tabi over Mercury's Treads when you get Spirit of the Ancient Golem because tenacity simply doesn't stack.
Mid-Late Game// Try to get a Trinity Force as soon as possible for a great damage increase and more sticking power. Afterwards consider getting a Spirit Visage or a Randuin's Omen depending on the enemy team. When you are playing against double AP team compositions you should aim towards getting a Spirit Visage but if you see that they have a fed Tryndamere or something like that I would definetly get a Randuin's Omen if you value your life.
//This item contains a lot of great stats , Armor/mana/de-buff aura/CDR. Great replacement for Randuin's Omen but passive is less effective than randuin's passive in my opinion.
//Great item which offers a lot of utility and tankyness. It's a great addition to the team but you should only get it if your support decides to ignore buying it.
//With the season 4 jungle you might even be able to afford this item. It's an amazing item that offers a lot of damage in extended trades and it's tanky stats are quite high for it's price. It's a great item to fill the 6th slot with.
//If you are disgustingly in the lead you can get this item instead of Spirit of the Ancient Golem because the damage that this item offers is huge. It burns everyone hit by your Q with true damage which is pretty crazy. Also very cost efficient and it offers a lot of gold for farm junglers in season 4 so Skarner can use it quite well as he clears really fast.
//This item is amazing when you want to duel their ADC. It reduces their damage by a lot and it's generally bought a lot if you don't like Boots of Mobility.
Burn Build inspired by Diamondprox//Many people know GG Benq Diamondprox and many people have seen him play Evelynn. Then people started asking me : ''Hey sir spanks why don't you try this?''. And I have to say , this build is extremely funny but is it actually viable? Skarner has 2 skills that actually look a lot like Evelynn but he doesn't have a reset on his movement speed boost and he has only 3 skills unlike Evelynn who has 4 skills ( Fracture OP ). Also , Skarner prefers tankyness over cheesy burn builds because he's usually the main initiator in 90% of my games which means you can only really afford to get this if your a ridiculously fed. Although , if you are ridiculously fed I would recommend getting this once because it's extremely funny to see your enemies burn.
Season 4 Item Changes and Viability
Trinket Selection//In season 4 riot added in the trinket system to give us free vision and to share the supports burden with the entire team. Right now every person gets to choose out of 3 trinkets that can be upgraded but the only 2 that are worth getting are the Oracle's Lens and the Greater Stealth Totem because they offer the most to your team. As of season 4 it's harder to gank because the people who never bought wards now get to protect themselves with a free ward which is huge. For that reason you buy Oracle's Lens so that you can wipe their puny wards from the field. The reason I don't always take Oracle's Lens is because I like to be an aggressive jungler. I like to have access to a free ward so I can ambush enemies at their camps or so that I can ward for my laners so I know when to counter-gank. Having a Greater Stealth Totem benefits your team a lot although you should be buying wards from the shop as well because 1 ward is simply not enough. The reason I don't like Farsight Orb or Greater Vision Totem is because Farsight Orb only offers sight for a brief moment unlike Greater Stealth Totem. Greater Vision Totem can actually be good situationally , Greater Stealth Totem actually saves you more gold. Having a ward out every 120 seconds means you get 75 gold every 2 minutes. The Pink totem is less reliable and offers less free gold if you take in account the reliability. Also , if you want to clean wards the lens is a much better option as it doesn't grant the enemies any gold because they cannot simply destroy your lens which makes it an easy choice for you. The lens has a low cooldown as well and is quite reliable when upgraded because it offers a true-sight buff for a certain duration. You can also utilize the Oracle's Lens to counter champions with stealth like Akali , kha 'zix or Shaco as these champions use their mobility and stealths to replace tankyness. By removing their stealth they will be left fragile to be destroyed.
Spirit of the Ancient Golem
Spirit of the Elder Lizard
Spirit of the Spectral Wraith
Season 4 Jungling
//In season 4 buffs won't be giving you lvl 3 instantly. You will have to clear at least small camp which means you can't gank at 3 minutes anymore. Right now it's really nice to just smite your blue buff or red buff so that you will have your smite up as soon as you get to your next buff. The most optimal paths that I have found were the following:
- Red -> Wraiths / Wolves -> Blue
- Blue -> Wraiths/ Wolves -> Red
//The wight camp is also quite nice , it was placed somewhat awkwardly but it's been fulfilling its job of being killed over and over again quite nicely. I feel like season 4 jungle is also forgiving when you are behind. More XP when behind on levels , more gold and no problems with laners taxing you.
// Thanks for tuning into my guide, I'll keep updating this guide as much as possible and I hope that you enjoyed reading this guide. Any feedback is appreciated and I'd be happy if you posted your succes with this guide in the comment section so that we can prove that this guide works.
~Greetings , Sir Laughs Alot.