Skarner Build Guide by Master Dim Sum
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.
First Off: Read the ITEM section of my build, since the item cheat sheet is just the final build, it is not the proper build order. Using the proper build order gives the wrong end game stats.
Hello all this is Master Dim Sum with my first guide ever, please be gentle.
Anyway this guide is for Skarner the Crystal Vanguard (or as someone else put it..the Crystal Letdown). In his current state, I believe he's a bit UP. Doesn't mean he can't be fun and do some damage, but just means he's not competitive in his current state. But don't let that detract you from playing him in some normals, he still has a pretty fun kit. And his voice acting is pretty sinister.
Anyway this is a guide for mainly AD/DPS Skarner in lane. He can jungle, but despite what some others say. I feel his clear time is meh, and most importantly his ganks are also meh compared to other superior junglers. What good is jungling if you can't gank. You really need someone who is extremely over extended, red buff, and that person to have wasted their flash if you expect to gank anyone pre-level 6. At level 6, it's a little easier, but again, without the gap closer and the slow from your Q not coming until the second activation. Very hard to successfully gank. Also counter jungling can hurt you quite bad. So yes lane Skarner just seems the most stable.
Pros / Cons
- Great utility for team fights
- Great base damage and health
- He's a SCORPION!!!
- Awesome Voice Acting
- IMO he's a bit UP as of release
- Bad scaling on his abilities
- Low base attack speed
- Does not fit the current meta of the game that well
- Vulerable to CC due to lack of escapes given your slow is meant to chase not run away, and your shield is to start a team fight not escape it.
I am mainly running a 0-22-8 mastery as it works quite well, Skarner has problems with durability as a tanky DPS, so this really helps. He doesn't need immense CDR because his passive covers it. What good is extra damage if you die. So yes the damage reduction helps, and he needs all the mana regen he can get.
Okay build order. Is not exactly as shown, but I left it to those items, because for some reason the stats are off if you put in the appropriate build items, it adds them all up, and you get ridiculous stats. and I don't want to lie to you guys :).
Anyway this is how it goes. Hopefully people who vote for me actually read THIS section:
START: Sapphire Crystal and 2 Health Potions. This will help you early game with your mana issues (a little) and give you some durability for your early game farming. Which is weak.
Tear of Goddess - Again helps with your early game mana issues, and you can start building your max mana right away.
Merc. Treads - Sometimes I will just get level 1 boots and go to Sheen before finishing Merc. Treads, but I feel his lack of durability and vulnerability to cc makes this a must and sometimes even prior to getting your Sheen.
Sheen - This will be the first boost to your damage. Especially since spamming Q procs the sheen, it works really well with Skarner.
Zeal/Chain Vest/Negatron Cloak/Catalyst - They all have their place. Depending on the situation of the game. Just need more mana and health. Catalyst is great, not to mention the earlier you getting the more you take advantage of its passive. Chain Vest and Negatron Cloak should give you a quick MR and Armor boost for durability. Don't forget at this point, Manamune is still giving you AD, and Sheen Proc is great. If you don't need durability at this point, you can get Zeal. For the critical chance, and attack speed to boost your passive.
Finish Banshee's Veil - At this point even though you should already have two of your three major items for TriForce. It's not too important to finish it. The phages added damage is minimal, and the slow is not necessary for Skarner. It's nice, but let's just say finishing your spell shield item will be of much more use for you at this point in the game. This is a guide, so in some cases an FON will be more useful (and cheaper).
Finish Triforce - Now you can finish your triforce. At this point, you should have manamune, m. treads, triforce and banshee's veil and perhaps even Chain Vest. You should have a sufficient amount of all stats, making you a great Tanky DPS melee fighter.
The last two items are really situational, I said Sunfire Cape and Hextech Gun Blade. But I will break it up into two last situational items: Armor and Hybrid Damage.
Armor: Most Melee DPS fights have generally good armor scaling, so you don't need to rush an armor item as fast as your BV or even FON. I like sunfire cape, since your melee the passive will do its share of damage, it gives you more durability with health, and the armor should be enough for you late game. However, in some cases you can consider Frozen Heart (extra CDR why not? excellent armor AND passive) but it's very expensive and of course Thornmail for those auto attacking AD champs that are just a pain in your ***.
Damage: Skarner is supposedly a Hybrid Tanky DPS champ. So why not take advantage of it right? Okay so this is the time to get your Hextech Gunblade or Guinsoo's Rageblade, perhaps even Rylais Crystal Scepter. They all work great for him. Remember this is a guide, nothing is set in stone, depends on the situation and team compositions.
I chose Flash and Teleport.
Flash - Because it's the best Summoner Spell in the game, don't leave home without it. You're silly not getting it no matter what champion you play.
Teleport - Skarner's early game farming is weak. this helps you come back to lane with your upgraded items faster. plus in general it's just good. You can leave your team and be back in a flash, stop backdooring champions, split push. I mean why not right?
Other god choices:
Exhaust - Slows down enemy champ in addition to your slows, great item for you
Ghost - You can combine it with your ulti to really drag that guy back. But honestly, just seems like a waste of a summoner spell to me, but hey if you do like it, why not combine it.
Ignite - Skarner IMO is an assist king, at his current state, he needs expensive items to be useful. You need kill gold to get those items. Ignite helps you get those kills. So it's a good option.
Clarity - He does have mana problems, but after you get manamune you won't need this spell anymore, so yeah no good.
Everything Else - Forget it.
Q - His Q is great for team fights, AOE slow and what people call "mini nuke" damage (it really is mini) you can spam over and over. Great to proc sheen. I do not really level this until after level 6. The way I see it, early game it does not help you sustain lane, nor does it help you farm or harass. It is very useful mid-late game though.
W - This is very useful all game, MS and AS steroid plus shield. This should be leveled up 3rd priority after Q/E, Ulti being first obviously. I like to use W prior to using Ulti obviously for MS buff, and durability to get in there. It's also great to activate prior to last hitting to try and sustain some early game harassment. Which sadly kicks your butt.
E - Your E skill is your only real ranged attack. And it does more damage than Q. It's great early game. People forget you have this, and its enough damage to not be ignored. the heals from it do give you a bit of durability, but sadly you still need to activate W before finishing those minions off because the shield from W and heals from E may still not cover the harassment you will get while last hitting, but you need to farm damnit!!! Mid-late game this skill is not so useful, so I don't really focus on leveling it past the laning phase. Again the heal is minimal, and the damage towards late game not so great. But I still spam it in team fights and attempt to use it for last hits on enemy champs or fleeing ones.
R - Your ulti. It's a great ulti. It's cool to see, and who doesn't love the awesome "FEEL MY STINGER!!!" scream right as you impale someone. Anyway if your team is there, pretty much anyone you ulti is going to insta die. What more could you ask for than an ulti that has like a 90% kill success rate. Here is the main tip I realized with this ulti. You do NOT pull for the full duration of the spell. Because if you do...you end up behind the champ so when they are out of your ulti, you're suddenly back to chasing them. You actually want to pull for only one second and then move forward. If you move forward your enemy does not get moved forward, they just stay still, but were still pulled the initial distance. This allows you to be ready to auto attack and use your slow immediately after the ulti ends, again helping make sure that kill is secured.
So that's the end of my build. It's a build in progress. I hope you guys try it and like it. Again I do feel Skarner is definitely in need of some tweaks, but I feel so far this is the most effective way to build/play Skarner. All comments are welcome. Have fun!