Skarner Build Guide by Drazzt
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.
Hey everyone, welcome to my Skarner guide. I decided that after winning 22 of the 26 games I had played with Skarner that I had a feel for him, and some insights into how he was built and played. Ill try to make this short and sweet, I should be able to cover most of the groundwork into this new champ!
I start with Q, E, W, then max out E and W. As skarner gets bonus attack speed from his W, you may wish to spec this a little more depending on your situation, I.E needing to jungle longer. Until you have it at 5 and a guinsoo's, you don't have the largest amount of AS.
I prefer to max out E as its damage potential is great, even without early AP. As his Q hits low damage anyway and relies on being next to the target, E can score those last hit kills very easily.
I chose flat armour and attack speed. Why? Because Skarner is pretty weak in the jungle early game, the armour is essential for coming out from blue with at least half health. The attack speed seems obvious, with each hit you reduce your CDs, allowing decent damage output. Ive tried a couple of other rune setups but they don't do as well as this one has thus far.
Ah, the interesting bit. Sorry guys, but theres not a set of 6 items that will make you win, theres only a core. Your core is madreds and boots. Madreds will be built into wriggles usually, but if the enemy have high hp champs you may want Madreds. Your boots, are also situational, being either merc treads or boots of mobility. Treads will be only if the enemy team has a large amount of CC, or particularly annoying CC, this include Blitz, Cho and Rammus. Mobility will get you around the map in moments when couples with your W, and to be honest beserkers greaves are just awful.
Heres where your decisions lie at this point. You can build wits end to deal with nasty burst AP, go straight for Rylai's or Guinsoo's, or even pick up Manamune. The majority of games ive ended up with Wriggles, boots, guinsoo's, Rylai's, Manamune and Hextech gunblade.
My reasoning behind these main items is that Skarner is made for initiating. Rylai's is your best friend for this occasion, as normally you would have trouble getting into range, with the slow on your E, enemies become bait in seconds. Guinsoo's rageblade. This item works so very well with skarner, he can keep it capped at 8 with his Q, this will give him a very nice boost to his already lethal combat abilities, and allow you to hit a lot more, especially coupled with his W.
Shurelya's and Hexdrinker are both situational too, if the enemy is speed heavy you may need the active from Shurelya's, Hexdrinker for those irritating AP champs. Generally Wit's end will see you through, but Karthus and Leblanc can be very tricky sometimes.
Thoughts on strategy
Right, so what exactly IS Skarner, other than a giant scorpion? Well, he is a tanky initiator and threat device. Left alone, he will hurt your squishies, a lot. Your main task will be peeling a major DPS off a friend, or ghost/W into an enemy and pulling them back to your friends. With Wriggles and runes, Skarner has around 100 armour at level 6. That means you can tower grab very nicely, just make sure you have a friend to help you! Never try to go for someone on your own, unless you are 100% that they will die, your dps is not the best early, and your really trying to get your team fed, not yourself.
Think of Skarner as Alistar, he's meant to disrupt the flow of a team fight and be a general nuisance. Pull enemies into range of your CC effects, Anivia and Cho are great people to pull to.
Dont be afraid to mix it up in melee! A lot of people wont target you immediately, but given a few moments they will soon wish they had. A Skarner with full guinsoo's and W will really start to hurt, use this to your advantage!
A lot of my games will either end with me on a lot of assists, or a lot of kills. If your team is lacking DPS, or they just aren't very good, you may need to transition into the lead DPS. This can work, but Skarners real form is shown as a support champ. I dont mean in place of a real support either, but in the way Jarvan and Kayle are, kills are not important to you, only team score. If you can get your team fed, you will inevitably start to get a few youself anyway.
Start with blue, and get someone to pull/leash. Ask them to get a couple of hits before leaving, this will give you better HP in the long run. Drop a potion then just Q him over and over, smite then go to wolves, drop a potion, wraiths, then red, smiting red. Drop a potion if needed again at the end of red. Your main rotation is E, W, Q, Q , Q ect. E whenever possible, but try not to get kills with E as you lose the HP component. After red, go golems, then back up to wolves, then wraiths. You now have madreds, so blue pill.
From here you want to look at ganking a lane, or covering for anyone who needs it. If the enemy doesn't have a jungler, feel free to take theirs. Ideally, you want to have manamune, or a good stock of mana pots, for around about level 10-11. This is when you want your mage or support to take blue. Red will be for the ranged AD or you, depending on composition.
Your goal mainly is to lurk around ganking, jungling and covering untill midgame, then you can become the initator. Feel free to roam around at this point too, it just depends on how the game is going and where you are needed.
Overall, Skarner is a great champion. He fits well into many team compositions, including current metagame. I do not agree with laning Skarner myself, as I believe there are many better champs that could do a much better job than he can. His early game can be fairly conservative, maybe even weak, but once you get into the flow of things he is an unstoppable killing machine.
As with every guide, remember, its just a guide. If you see a hole in your build as your playing, fill it! By no means do you have to stick with the same items, just use your head and think situationally.
Some of my games(ive won a lot more): Uploaded with ImageShack.us[/img]