Skarner Build Guide by Shucks
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Not Updated For Current Season
Hey there guys! I have been playing Skarner for a long time, and he is by far my favorite jungler. Skarner is very fast, packed with CC and utility, and all around just an amazing/insanely fun champion to play! This guide will give you:
My opinion on what to buy and why.
How to start off your games.
How to gank.
And TONS of information!
If you follow this guide, you will be a Skarner master in no time.
1. Wriggle's Lantern
2. Mercury's Treads
3. Trinity Force
4. Frozen Heart
5. Force of Nature
6. Hextech Gunblade
Some people don't use Wriggle's Lantern on Skarner, but I love this item. Wriggle's Lantern provides armor, damage, life steal, and a chance to do a ton of damage (Phreak)to creeps in the jungle. Mercury's Treads, one of the best boots in the game, I run these on all of my junglers. The MR and tenacity is too good to pass up. Sure it doesn't give a lot of MR, but it helps more than you think. Now let's talk about Trinity Force. This is where your damage comes from, also providing health, mana, and movement speed. Trinity force is amazing on Skarner, especially when spamming Crystal Slash. Your damage output will be significantly increased because of this item. Lots of people ask "Why Frozen Heart on Skarner?", simply because it shuts down champions that heavily rely on Attack Damage and Attack Speed, while providing the mana that Skarner desperately needs. Try this item out, I guarantee you will love it. Force of Nature is my favorite item for MR. Besides the MR, you also gain movement speed and health regeneration. With Trinity Force, Force of Nature, Crystalline Exoskeleton, and your masteries, you will be cruising. Now you can easily initiate a team fight, take out their damage with Impale and, with this build, take extremely decreased damage. Now to top it all off, I like to get Hextech Gunblade. This item is great because it gives AP, AD, a damage dealing slow, life steal, and some spell vamp. For your last item you don't have to get Hextech Gunblade, at this point you are pretty much can't die.
Other viable items (there are more):
This item is absolutely amazing, but in my opinion the passive from Frozen Heart and the bonus CDR is more beneficial for Skarner.
This item is good, but since Skarner isn't a champion that needs Warmog's Armor, I don't find this item very useful.
Shurelya's Reverie :
This is one of my many favorite items. It has an amazing active, and just all around a great item. I would recommend this item if you don't want to get Hextech Gunblade.
This is obvious, every jungler SHOULD use smite.
This is one of my favorite summoner spells. It really helps with escapes, and initiations with your ultimate, Impale.
If you don't like flash for some reason, I would recommend Ghost.
I wouldn't recommend using summoner spells like Surge or Exhaust, simply because they aren't as beneficial as Flash. Besides, Skarner already has a perma slow, there is really no need for Exhaust.
Pros / Cons
Tons of CC
Doesn't have "Hard Counters"
Great Counter Jungler
Needs to get close to deal damage.
Somewhat weak early game
Extremely blue buff dependent
Start by getting Cloth Armor + 5x Health Potion
Start at Wolves, have your team do some damage after you initiate. Starting at wolves is great because you can kill them before blue golem spawns.
Have your team leash blue golem, take it down with Crystal Slash and Smite.
(Use potions when needed)
Proceed to wraiths, then to double golems, then to the Lizard Elder (red buff).
After this go back to Wraiths, and if done correctly, you should be level 4.
As any jungler, make sure you are buying and using Sight Ward or Vision Ward on top of the free ward that Wriggle's Lantern provides. I like to ward my buffs, and the enemy's blue golem. This allows me to see if they are counter jungling, or if an enemy jungler, like Nocturne, is alone at blue golem to pick up an easy kill.
After my initial jungle route, I look to gank. If on the purple side, gank/mid first if possible. If you are on blue side, look to gank bot/mid first if possible. Whatever lane is available for a gank, gank it! Ganking early is beneficial because the enemy team has not had the opportunity to go back to spawn and buy Sight Wards yet. Entering through Tri Bush, or the River Bushes is the standard way to gank. If your lanes are pushed up, you can sneak into the lane bushes without the enemy team seeing. This is great for unexpected ganks, and are hard to avoid especially when you have Impale.
Q: Crystal Slash
W: Crystalline Exoskeleton
You should always max Crystal Slash before anything else. This is your main source of damage, and it slows! This skill is insanely useful and makes people rage because they can't get away from you.
Crystalline Exoskeleton is a godly skill. The shield and movement speed buff makes jungling, initiating, and escaping situations so much easier. Besides, you look super intimidating when this is active!
Fracture is not the most useful spell in the game. It does help when jungling because of the health it returns.
And finally, Impale. This is what makes Skarner what he is known to be. This skill is what makes the other team stay at their base. Dragging your helpless enemies around is just so fun and helps with ganks a ton. And on top of being able to drag them around and making them be able to do absolutely nothing, it does damage!
Skarner has a very unique, but amazing, skill set.
Thank you guys for reading my guide. I hope you found it helpful. If you have any suggestions, feel free to tell me! Also remember, you don't have to use every item i mention. If you find other items that work better for your style of play, tell me and i'll put them under "Viable Items".
Thanks again guys!