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.
Introduction: The Warning Chapter
Hey readers, I'm an a regular skarner player and this is my first ever build guide so bear with me as I'm going to get in depth with the whole theory behind this build I've made and had great success with on normals. This build is a rather squishy one due to the lack of typical tankier items usually built most skarner builds and as such it requires a different playstyle. Skarner usually deals consistent damage over time via the cinder's passive and his AA's are less essential to land as they themselves dont hold that much threat to most champions. With this build, one must play very reservedly with your E and make sure you can land it before you cast it as it provides a great deal of cc in the form of a slow and a stun if able to land an AA. It's through this stun that you'll be able to start dealing a great amount of damage to a given champion.
Okay let's go over the stats of a full build Skarner.
at level 18 you'll have the following stats:
For non skarner players and Skarner players wanting to become more familiar with the way the champion properly works I'll run through the abilities and their ratios to get a more in depth sense of what the champion can do depending on build.
The way that Skarner's Q works is that the ability itself does physical damage and the subsequent AA does magic damage, both with respective AD and AP ratios which will both be 45% at max. The second part of his Q which I find vital to damage out output in this build is the 0.25 second CDR upon AA against minions and monsters and is quadrupled against enemy champions, allowing skarner to deal immense damage over a brief period of time.
There's not much to be said about Skarner's W, its a MS and health steroid and at max level the shield it gives skarner is equal to 14% max health plus 80% of AP, meaning that a full build skarner would be granted a shield of 340+220, temporarily giving him roughly 3000 health and 16% MS.
Okay now Skarner's E is his primary source of cc so it's important that you're able to consistently land it because you're at a major disadvantage if you don't as you'll lose potential damage of the crystalline sting passive and the hypothetical DPS if you were to engage as well as the added damage you ult does to enemies affected by crystal venom. Just land the damn thing okay because there's nothing scarier than a skarner that looks like he knows what he's doing, it give you a great psychological edge over your enemy.
Just like Skarner's Q, his ult also has both AD and AP ratios, the latter accessed by having the enemy champion affected by crystal venom when ulted. These ratios are 60% and 100+60% for AD and AP respectively. There's also a few thing that beginner skarner players should note about his ult, you cant AA the target however your Q is still effective. Secondly, when you drag an enemy with your ult, it goes behind the direction you're moving, meaning that you can drag an enemy champion from in front of you to behind you and toward your teammates by walking backwards slightly then forward. If you do this correctly and synchronise with a teammate or more then you'll box the enemy champion in and it'll be unlikely that they'll escape.
Items: The Juicy Bits of the Build
I believe the runic echoes enchantment is extremely powerful on skarner when built with other on-hit items and i usually combine it with the stalkers blade for added cc. The echo passive is a nice addition to Skarner's AEO damage but what I enjoy more the item is the added 10% MS. All in all a very neat item and a great prelude to the eventual damage that the full build provides
Okay it's 6.3 at the moment and guinsoo's gunblade is probably the strongest item on the rift at the moment(...and everywhere else for that matter). Guinsoo's is core to the idea my build represents as it passively gives bonus AD, AP and AS and adds nice on-hit AOE damage. This added attack speed synergises with skarner's Q and will lower the cooldown due to increased attack speed on a target so Guinsoo's is a must.
Another good synchronicity with Skarner's Q is the Black Cleaver due to the passive MS and Armour reduction and with less armour on a target champion, skarner's physical damage with his Q and AA's in general is accentuated. It also adds 20% CRD and 300 health and helps balance the build with 55 AD. In my opinion it's an essential item on skarner regardless of build type.
Following this theme of on hit effects is the Lich Bane which it's spellblade passive, dealing damage equal to 75% base AD + 50% ap which activates on the AA following a spellcast on a 1.5 second CD. This passive should be easily procced twice if synchronised with your E (stunning the target). It grants 80 AP however what I inevitably enjoy more is the additional 10% CDR and 7% MS which helps Skarner to chase down, destroy and instill fear into the hearts of the many.
To top it off, I've added a hextech gunblade, the main reason being the nice AD and AP stats as well as the nice survivability it provides as well as another form of ranged dmg/cc.
Conclusion: Relax, It'll Be Over Soon
Despite the obvious innate weakness to cc this build possesses, the damage it can exert is simply astounding for the common conception of this champion to be a tank. I wouldn't recommend this build to new players as you really have to be familiar with Skarner before you attempt to build these items. This has been my first ever guide to a champion and I really didn't want to include things like farming and jungle routes because if you're looking at this guide, you've probably looked at 1000 other ones which all say the same thing. Anyway, I'm hope whoever reads this enjoys this extended insight into Skarner and shares the success that I've had with this build. Enjoy