Skarner Build Guide by LinkmanxD
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.
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.
Welcome to the Skarner AD Lovers build.
This is simply a build on how to use Skarner effectively as an AD Champion - let it be known however, I'm only level 21 in game and use Skarner with majority of this stuff on a regular basis usually achieving decent scores. This build is however set on the premise of a level 30 champion and therefore is built to be how I'd probably play him when I hit level 30.
The runes stated here as pointed out above are mainly for what I'm using now as a level 21 champion however they should still work effectively at that level too. If not I'd simply replace whatever didn't work with further Critical Chance or Critical DMG.
The masteries I've currently selected is definitely what I'd use when I hit level 30. Skarner seems to be primarily built for AP usage however I use him as an AD champion - this is simply because I prefer AD Champions and can see that Skarner has potential in this area. I go with a 28/0/2 build because although I prefer playing Skarner as primarily an AD Champion, he seems to work a little better when given the AP boost in both Masteries and Items on the field.
Items, this one should be fun, by the seems of it I think it won't achieve what I was trying to show on this page as I selected too many items.. We'll just see. Basically to clarify:
*Buy Vampiric Sceptre. (Lifesteal)
*Buy Boots Of Speed. (Movement+1)
*Follow Protocol Chain:
> If Enough Money:
* Buy Zeal, If Not Enough >
* Buy Berserker Greaves, If Not Enough >
* Buy Dagger
*Follow Protocol Chain:
> If Zeal Bought, Buy Dagger and Build Towards Berserker Greaves,
> If Berserker Greaves Bought, Buy Dagger and Build Towards Zeal,
> If Dagger Bought, Build towards Berserker Greaves and then Zeal.
* After Zeal and Berserker Greaves bought - Build Zeal into Phantom Dancer.
* Buy B.F. Sword (Attack Damage)
* Build B.F. Sword And Vampiric Sceptre into Bloodthirster. (Lifesteal/Attack Damage)
* Buy Blasting Wand. (Ability Power)
* Buy Pickaxe. (Attack Damage)
* Build Blasting Wand and Pickaxe into Guinsoo's Rageblade. (Attack Speed)
* Follow Protocol Chain:
> If Enough Money:
* Buy Phantom Dancer, If Not Enough >
* Buy Zeal, Then Dagger, Then Cloak Of Agility, If Not Enough >
* Buy Zeal+, If Not Enough >
* Buy Dagger Then Brawling Gloves
* Build Final Item Towards Trinity Force.
* If All Items Complete, Buy Elixir Of Agility, Then Elixir Of Fortitude, Then Elixir Of Brilliance.
* Finally Buy Oracle's Elixir on every life.
Fracture is the best move to choose first as Skarner. Skarner plays brilliantly as AD but his one flaw is his severe lack of range. Should you start the match with the intention of playing Skarner as AD make sure you choose:
1. To lane with a champion that either plays as range support or a champion with high damage output or stuns that uses range. IE most/majority ranged champions will accompany AD Skarner very well.
2. Fracture as your first skill, it's Skarner's only ranged move.
Most of the time acquiring first blood won't happen when playing AD Skarner unless you have a very unskilled opponent until you hit level 3. Choosing the sequential build in the system I've deviced you can attack the champion with range, using your Crystalline Exoskeleton (W move) as a speed boost and attack speed boost to rush into where your enemy is standing, then landing your Crystal Slash (Q move) to slow down your opponent - using as many basic attacks as possible these moves will be on very short cooldowns allowing you to spam most of your moves to secure the first blood. (As a word of warning, you may want to conserve as much mana for this moment when you first lunge out - most enemies will be taking off guard by such a bold move as you will be pretty much passively farming from minions before this). NOTE: It pays off to wait before returning back to base when using Skarner until at the very least about level 6 (when you've secured his ulti). Skarner is a mana hungry champion but you don't need mana to play AD Skarner effectively, when being attacked he can defend himself rather well and can use Crystal Slash (Q move) in a tight situation as it only costs about 20-30 odd mana.
After the initial first-blood stage no particular one of Skarner's move is more valuable than another and therefore it pays off to build them all equally (obviously choosing his ulti whenever possible to upgrade).
Choosing Ignite and Ghost both have their uses. I've attempted to try other spells, more over - Flash, but the uses of both Ghost and Ignite are far too handy to be replaced by any other spell.
Using Ignite is especially helpful with Skarner due to the build you are using making you quite a fast champion in terms of Movement Speed. You'll be able to chase down any low-health enemy after a long battle as they attempt to escape using flash and simply knock an ignite on them before they get out of reach. Alternatively being able to cast Ignite on a champion that you have exhausted all of your moves on just before they reach the safety of their turret works wonders too in finishing off enemies that attempt to escape. (Sadly, this build doesn't work well in terms of armor/hp so it wouldn't be advisable to attempt turret diving - but it can be done and has worked with Skarner securing the kill and surviving before, just a on far lower probability ratio than those of other AD champions)
Ghost is really handy. Some people ask when playing Master Yi, what's the point in using Ghost when you've got his ulti? And those people who have played him and understand that point will understand the need for Skarner too. It's not a necessity to have Ghost to impact the survival of Skarner, no doubt Clarity could be a good alternative as he goes mana-hungry early game but with the help of neutral buffs it becomes pointless late-game. Heal could have been a good second move too but again, with the Bloodthirster you build into later game, it becomes pretty pointless. Flash is all well and good but against a well co-ordinated team, it won't save you. With both the mastery complimenting it and Ghost lasting quite some time before wearing off - it becomes a handy accessory when both getting back to the team fight scene after having been recently slain, Chasing down enemies when they attempt to escape after losing majority of their health to you or simply escaping as a last resort when enemies chase you downs with all kinds of Crowd Control.
In summary, the usage of AD with Skarner's already rather powerful natural Ability Power works wonders for him as an overall AD champion. Although you may find yourself scoring a few lesser kills and a few more assists as his ultimate always seems to attract the likes of nearby killstealers - however, you'll find that if you build this correctly and all goes according to this guide, that there should be no reason as to why with a bit of practice using this build you cannot succeed on nearly all games.
I've had a lot more success ratio in terms of winning using this build so I wanted to share it with all of you. Of course, this guide may still have it's flaws - simply improvise as most of it is following a die-hard strategy.
A word of warning though, Playing AD Skarner is a very powerful choice in terms of damage output but Skarner was intended to be built as a tank using items - sacrificing that choice for terms of Damage output and lifesteal means you may have to play carefully sometimes as both his upgrades in Armor and HP are comprimised as a direct result of this build. Although the lifesteal does give you a much bigger intake on how much you can take, playing passively defensively whilst using the correct oppurtunities to switch from a defensive low-output player to the AD Madman you wish to be, AD Skarner can easily catch enemies off-guard, lunge at foes and make his quick escape after dealing the final blow whilst remaining safe.
Hope this helps you guys and gals and that you enjoy playing it through as much as I have enjoyed writing it for you all.