Skarner Build Guide by Zamniosis
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.
This is my first legitimate build that I've made on this, please be critical but not offensive! (my disclaimer).
Ever since I read the mechanics of this toon in the preview I was super stoked. After playing with him a few times my hunch was right. Not only is Skarner an amazing CC'er, he is rarely focused. With the runes and and item build I have suggested here, not only will you be a successful CC'er, you will also be a slowing, impaling, badass bruiser who can shutdown any toon on the opposing team who has been fed.
Believe it or not, as a player when we see a group of opponents together, we subconsciously pull our attention to the lowest HP toon. Some players may be aware they do this, but if you are not, watch yourself and see if you do it. The reason I'm informing you of this is because with this build you will be able to put out an ample amount of DPS without being focused by high DPS toons.
Pros / Cons
1. Ultimate is a game changer.
2. Mid/Late game is nearly unstoppable.
3. Good escape mechanism and legitimate damage absorption.
4. Can stay in for the entire duration of fights.
1. Awful early game.
2. No significant burst.
Ok, so here are the goods and bads of the summoner spells
this spell needs no explanation. Cool thing with Skarner is that he can:
A: Flash in and Ultimate the carry and either drag them away from the team or drag them to your team to be destroyed.
B: Run into "The Fray" and Ultimate the carry, then flash out to pull them away from their team or bring them to your team.
this summoner spell will shutdown a healer on the opposing team and potentially ensure your team the Ace.
Other Viable Summoner Spells:
movement speed plus your chasing abilities = awesome, but not necessary.
This would be my choice instead of ignite, because teleporting to save a turret, or to a ward to become part of the team fight is always helpful. Unfortunately the CD on this is sooooooooooo long.
This summoner spell nearly ensures you can get your skill sequence off onto them and can be very useful.
Unnecessary Summoner Spells:
this is only useful early game, and you shouldn't be spamming your abilities anyways. After early game your Philosopher's Stone and will provide enough mana.
Not your job.
Can be kind of useful, but not your cup of tea.
Not your job.
Here are my reasons for this mastery build. Seeing as how Skarner's early game is weak and he isn't that tanky yet, it is near pointless to go for AP/AS/AD/or any type of pure offensive talent because you will get FACEROLLED (rghwrhwRHWRH looks like this). This is the reason for speccing into the EXP/Gold/Flash CD reduction/HP/Defense/Mana Regen. Not only is Skarner a weak early gamer, he is severely item dependent. This is another reason for the Gold/EXP spec rather than Magic Pen/Crit, etc.
Going mainly into the defensive tree keeps players from focusing you in the beginning and from unnecessary deaths from aggressive play. Seeing as how you are a bruiser and a CC'er you should be more aggressive than passive.
Seeing as how Skarner is the ultimate in hybrid ferocity, going straight utility/defense in both Masteries and Runes is not using Skarner to his fullest ability. Skarner is not a full AP monger, is not an AD god, and is not a full form tank. If you want an AD god play Tryndamere. (I hate that mother f***er) If you want an AP monger play Brand or Annie, If you want a full tank play Rammus. What makes Skarner fun is his ability to be all 3.
Now for Runes:
Marks: Strength x 7, Desolation x 2
Seals: Resilience x 9
Glyphs: Focus x 5, Warding x 4
Out of the 10+ games I've played I have either been dominate or at least came out with a positive K/D ratio. (As we all know this is completely team competency dependent.) Nonetheless, this mixture of survivability, AD damage, and CD reduction gives your early game some stability.
Outside of the ultimate, this is the skill level up sequence.
When laning with Skarner, his Crystalline Exoskeleton gives him Movement Speed/Attack Speed/and an all damage absorbent shield. This skill can chase toons down, protect you from initial damage, help you escape from chasing toons, and finally helps you farm. Seeing as how this ability has SO many significant advantages over the other 2 abilities, it is a MUST to level up first.
Secondly, leveling up your E next will give you even more lane stability and in late game will help you solo just about any toon.
Lastly, Always have at least one point in your Q ability. Since its base AOE damage is so minimal it is pointless to level, but the slow is nice to have.
Skill Casting Sequence
Skarner's skill sequence is completely dependent on the situation.
Situation I: Offensive Chasing:
If you are chasing a toon, or see a toon that your team has brought down low, and there are no MIA's on the map, open up with your W to give you increased movement speed, then follow by using your Q to slow them, then if they arent very low drag them to your team with your R and continue to beat on them, BLAH BLAH BLAH
Situation II: Offensive Initiation:
ALWAYS save your ultimate for the toon who is carrying the team. Never ever ever ever ever ever use it on anyone else. If there are two toons carrying, use it on the one who is the easiest to get to.
Open up the initiation by using your W then casting E on the majority of the team. Find the squish carry and ulti them. After you have initiated this way use your Q to slow the entire team and then ground and pound.
Situation III: Defensive Being Chased:
Use your W and run, use your Q to slow if it is an AD toon, and then head for the hills. Pretty simple.
Of course there are other potential situations, but if you are a skilled enough player you should be able to figure out when and where to use your abilities.
Ok I'm not going to go into huge depth about why these specific items. But if you read the intro you will understand why hybrid is my choice, and not full AD or full AP. I've fought against full AP Skarner and raped him. I've fought against full AD Skarner, and raped him.
with 4k health, , Slow from , movement speed and overall versatility from , initial spell absorption from , and AP/AS from , your spells will always be off CD, your Magic Resist will be enough to negate AP carries, your armor and damage from will shutdown an AD carry, and your damage from Rylai's/Trinity/Guinsoo's will be enough to shred any opponent.
Yes I know this is expensive, but speccing into Gold per 5, and getting Philosopher's Stoneoff the bat will let you farm by staying in lane and will help with that extra gold you need to stay ahead of the competition.
Okay...here is goes the longest part of this guide. PLEASE bare with me. Keep in mind this is a laning guide, NOT a jungle guide.
As I have mentioned before, Skarner's early game is very weak. With the mix between the masteries and runes I have suggested, your early game will not be useless. If you are laning with a ranged dps AP or AD(i.e. Twitch/Ryze/etc), you need to be in the front putting space between your ranged carry and the opposing team.
If you are laning with an melee toon or another tanky toon (irelia,malphite,etc.) then you and your partner can work out who should be more aggressive and who should be less aggressive.
If you are the solo lane then you should have no problem at all. Yes you will be pushed back to your turret the entire time, but if you have a competent jungler then they will PAY FOR THEIR OVER EXTENSION!! (hopefully...). Regardless, by going philosopher's stoneand with your E ability, your lane stability will be fine.
As laner Skarner, your mid game goal is to be completely map aware. Look for potential 2v3's where your team is out numbered, or look for potential team fights in which you should be apart of. If there are no team fights you need to be apart of then stay in your lane and farm. By this time you should have at least 1 or 2 of your items which will keep you in your lane and prevent just about anyone from pushing you out. Outside of that your role is be an initiator and a distraction. If players ignore you in team fights then they are only doing you a favor.
As I mentioned before, always always always focus the carries. The length of your ultimate gives your team enough time to put out an ample amount of damage on the team without having their carry do damage, therefore almost always insuring a team kill.
In late game, if you even have half of your build put together, you will be extremely hard to kill. Hopefully at this point you are either:
A: At par with the enemy team
B: Ahead of the enemy team in farming/kills/etc.
Now your role is to be in the front lines harassing/focusing/and shredding. Always travel with your team when you are trying to push a lane, or find an out of position opponent. You do not have enough burst as a DPS to take down a toon that has any kind of escape mechanism so traveling alone is useless. Plus, you thrive in team fights. You also have a huge advantage in chasing down toons as well after your team as completely obliterated the opposition in a fight.