Skarner Build Guide by Flamejin
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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.
Skarner is a champion that can completely dominate a game and shut down an enemy carry with ease. He is best utilized in the jungle as he can be very effective without very much gold. Skarner relies on being mobile and putting constant pressure on enemy lanes. Also, please note that this guide assumes you know the basics on jungling and leashing. I may or may not make a guide on the basics on jungling and leashing.
If you want to learn more about jungling I suggest looking up Stonewall008 on Youtube. I learned a lot from him and continue to learn from the constant content he releases.
Pros / Cons
-You’re a scorpion
-Scorpions are badass
-One the strongest initiating ultimates ( Impale)
-Fast and safe jungle clearing
-With double buffs beats just about any other jungler in a duel
-Reliant on blue buff for first clear
- Flash pretty much shuts down your ganks, but you can always come back while Flash is down
-Relies on Flash to instantly close gaps, otherwise relies on being faster than his target
-Without jungle buffs his dueling and ganking is slightly lacking
Your Role in the Laning Phase
During the laning phase it is your job to balance pressuring lanes, farming the jungle, and counterjungling. While you have double buffs your focus should be on counterjungling and ganking. Skarner is extremely powerful with double buffs so make sure to abuse it. When you don’t have buffs or lanes are simply pushed don’t waste time sitting around trying to gank a lane that’s pushed to tower you should be farming up jungle camps. Once you get level six though, ganking pushed lanes gets a lot easier. You can come up through the lane and go into the bushes (lane ganking) and when they get close enough you can Flash + Impale or just run out of the bush and pull them to their death.
While farming the jungle make sure to poke you head into lanes every so often just to keep the pressure up and keep the enemy guessing. Never stay in one place to long as other lanes will take advantage of you not being able to help out. For example if you gank top lane and you get the kill but stick around to push the turret the enemy team may try to dragon since you can’t contest. Knowing where the enemy jungler is and what objectives are up/almost up is key to succes.
Also spending any extra gold you have on sight ward is a great way to track the enemy jungler and help out your lanes. Sometimes getting an Oracle's Elixir is needed so you can clear wards and make ganks easier.
Jungle Camp Spawn Timers
If you don’t know these memorizing them is a great way to improve your jungling.
Blue Buff spawns 5 minutes after it has been cleared.
Red buff spawns 5 minutes after it has been cleared.
Wolves spawn 1 minute after they have been cleared.
Golems spawn 1 minute after they have been cleared.
Wraiths spawn 55 seconds after they have been cleared.
Dragon spawns 6 minutes after it has been killed.
Baron spawns 7 minutes after is has been killed.
Timing dragon and baron is a very useful thing for your team. If it helps you can turn on time stamps in the options menu this makes timing much easier for baron and dragon.
Your Role in Teamfights
One the laning phase is over it’s your job to protect your carries when your team is initiated on, if you keep your carries alive they will do what their name implies carry you. If it’s you starting fights pull high priority targets into your team for quick kills. Skarner is extremely good at catching people out of position and punishing them for it. Just make sure to watch out for Quicksilver Sash as it stops your ultimate. Olaf, Alistar, and Gangplank can also stop your ultimate with their abilities.
In team fights try to position yourself so that you are hitting as many people as possible with Crystal Slash as the slow can really help out your team. Also make sure that if you can block skill shots from champions like Ezreal so that your carries can stay healthy.
The best way to build Skarner rune wise is without a doubt:
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
- This is pretty standard for all junglers, without them you just take way to much damage from jungle creeps.
- Skarner functions as an initiator/tank so the more damage you can take the better off you are.
- Skarner's ganking relies all on being able to catch up to your target you do this by being fast. A fast Skarner is a scary Skarner.
Masteries are a pretty standard 0-21-9 setup. The setup I use maximizes his movement speed and durability. Most setups work for Skarner as his jungle clearing ability is very strong. I do find that 21 in defense is almost a must, as more often than not you are the initiator/tank for your team.
- This spell is a must on all junglers, if you're jungling without Smite your doing it wrong. It is used for faster clears, buff securing/steals, and securing Baron and Dragon.
- This spell is extremely effective on Skarner as Flash + Impale can catch people off guard and secure kills.
- The only spell to really even consider if you’re not taking Flash there is absolutely no reason to not use Ghost/ Flash and Smite. The movement speed has its uses but Flash is so much more effective.
- This is your bread and butter skill. Good AOE magic and physical damage, while also being a AOE slow, what more could you want? Max this first always. No Exceptions. None. Ever.
- This is your utility spell. Gives you a shield, and movement/attack speed buff. Max this second and by level 12 unless if for some reason you had to take fracture early.
- While this skill has it's uses it really just burns your mana pool down. It only hurts you when ganking because of its cast time so why use it. The only time I put a point into this is when the enemy jungler (like a Shyvana) won’t get out of my jungle and I need the healing to help duel her.
- The main reason to play skarner, is this skill right here. Suppress and you get to pull them. Most fun skill in the game. Also, if timed right as the enemy flashes away you can pull them back essentially wasting their flash. There are a lot of things you can pull off with this skill.
Skarner is capable of many routes, but is reliant on blue so it’s best to use blue starting routes. Note all routes assume Regrowth Pendant and Health Potion start. Boots also work but potion timing and clear finish is slightly different I might add them in later as well as other routes. Also Note: These clears are done without leashes so leashes will speed clear times up and increase the safety of the route.
Route One: Wolves -> Blue(use smite) -> Wraiths -> Wolves -> Red(use smite and potion) -> WraithsThis route is very safe and gets you level 4 at about 3:50 with double buffs. Keep in mind junglers like Nocturne, Lee Sin, Shyvanna probably will have ganked by now so make sure you are confident your lanes won’t be needing you until about the 4 minute mark.
Route Two: Wolves -> Blue(use smite) -> Wraiths(use potion) -> Red
This route is best if you think an enemy jungler is going to try to take your red after their initial clear or you want earlier ganks/expect the enemy jungler to be ganking early and you want to countergank. It gets you level 3 with double buffs at about 3:15.
There are many other routes that can be used and I will be adding them later. Also i might be able to add in videos of these routes being done with and without a leash.
I have found the best start with Skarner is Regrowth Pendant and a Health Potion. This start gives him a good ammount of sustain and allows him to clear the jungle and stay at about 75% health the whole time. Remember, any extra gold you have can be used on a Sight Ward or two to help your team out.
On your first back Boots of Speed and Philosopher's Stone are great items. Boots to get around faster and philo for the sustain it gives you in the jungle. If you have the gold Heart of Gold is great if not wait for your next back.
On your second back pick up Heart of Gold if you have not yet. Picking up a Sheen will give you a lot of extra damage and mana. Sheen is also amazing as skarner has a very high base attack damage value. Glacial Shroud is another core item on skarner. The CDR and mana are amazing and the armor allows you to try some turret diving ganks. Mercury's Treads should also be a soon to buy as you need to be able to catch up to people.
At this point your build should look like this Mercury's Treads, Philospher's Stone, Heart of Gold, Sheen, and Glacial Shroud. From here its best to finish Frozen Heart, Trinity Force and Shurelya's Reverie. Now that you have your core build look at the enemy team. Items like Randuin's Omen, Banshee's Veil, Warmog's Armor, Atma's Impaler, Force of Nature, Sunfire Cape and Guardian Angel are all good items if you’re looking to be tanky. If you want damage Hextech Gunblade is amazing and Wit's End and Rylai's Crystal Scepter have there uses. But for the most part you want to be as tanky as you can.
Core ItemsShurelya's Reverie
Magic Resistance Items
Useful but Situational Items
Tips and Tricks
-A well timed Impale can pull an enemy even after they have used Flash this requires extremly precise timing and is difficult to pull off.
-Skarner is a jungler the utilzes double buffs extremly well try to pick fights when you have them.
-When ganking try to hit minions with Crystal Slash as you approach so that when you hit your target the slow is applied right away. This can make the difference in some cases.
-If you want to steal baron from the enemy team you can Impale the enemy jungler so they can't use Smite on it giving you an easy steal.