Skarner is a very effective jungle farmer and his ult sets up alot of kills for the team. in my opinion hes not the best laner because he isn't very good at last shotting minions. the way i see it, skarner is there to get your heavy damage champs fed with your grab until late game when you do monster damage in team fights.
skarner jungle (if done correctly) is extremely fast at leveling. ill explain it but you can just watch this video of some other guy doing it cause thats the path i use. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXLgxx6pu2I . ok. so u start by smiting big wrath and using [fracture] and auto attacks to kill the rest. go up to wolves and do the same thing. use a health pot while killing wolves so that ull have enough to take out those two golems on bot. its ok to pop your smite on them. your probably thinking that it wont be up by again in time for blue but it will. it is possible to kill golems without smite if u do have the armor runes however its not as fast. after killing the 2 golems go to red buff and kill a small minion and then book it out so u don't die. this is just to save time so u don't have to wait for like 20g for your boots. after you go back go to blue, last shot it with smite, then go straight down a normal jungle path. i know it sounds slow with all the walking around in the begining between wolves and golems but since u get to kill all three of those camps twice since they spawn fast enough it acctually puts you ahead of even your solo lane. dont assume your ganks will be very successful till you reach level 6 first. ill write another paragraph on how ganks should go.
starting with the blue crystal is necessary because by the time u go back to base you will be oom. but with this path you end up spending less money on armor and more health pots and the crystal will go right into your tear quickly letting you get it up very early in the game. when you have your tear of the goddess and your about 1150 away from owning it but you have enough for the sheen you may want to get sheen first if your tear has not gotten your mana pool past 1000. get sheen first in the triforce set then decide if youd want phage or zeal first. take phage if you dont think youll be having red buff very much or your ad carry wants it or if your team doesnt have enough beefy champs to keep you from getting killed fast. if you do have control of red buff and a healthy team tho you might want to go with the zeal since it will allow you to roam a bit faster and the attack speed is good for his jungling because of his passive. since skarner is one of the best chasing champs in the game its essential to be faster than the enemy your chasing as well. when you finish the triforce you build your hextech gunblade. i know the item has gotten nerfed (thank god. i hate hextech stacking jax) but it is still an amazing item. it allows you to slow to close in on people youre chasing and it also gives you pretty fair spellvamp and lifesteal for when fights break out. i usually get the gunblade first because the range on the cutlass isnt much farther than skarners Q and at that point ive got much more ad than ap and its time to even it out a bit. after that i obviously finish the hextech revolver and get warmogs and atmas impaler. together they make you very beefy and do alot of damage. youll end the game with around 150 armor/ 80 magic resist and 3800 health making you a great offtank with huge damage too. if you feel like your getting destroyed by an ap champ get a force of nature and a wits end. wits end is also an amazing item on him but i prefer to go the more expensive route with my gold and buy the big items.
skarner is a great farmer and quick jungler
he clears large minion waves that have been building up in seconds and he flies through the jungle crazy fast because of his AOE abilitys ( his Q and his E)
doing runs through the jungle as much as you can is very important in order to put his passive to use to change his 70 second cooldown on his ult into a 30 second cooldown so you can successfully gank much more often and get some tasty gold.
because his build is expensive your going to need to have a good mindset. always be thinking about where you could be spending your time best. if you came down to bottom and a gank was unsuccessful than leave and go farm if you know that the kill is not going to happen and they dont need protection.
when your covering a lane get as many last shots on the minions as you can and leave to go jungle as soon as your teamate returns if nothing is happening that he needs assistance with.
ALWAYS be focusing on how much gold your gaining. a good farming skarn will get at or above 100 cs easily before 20-25 mins so make that your goal.
dont be dumb and overextend a lane or jungle in the other teams jungle when you have no idea where their team is.
Ganks are typically best once your level 6.
your going to need lots of room between them and their turrets if your under level 6 so be sure to tell your team to let the others push their lanes.
When Ganking as a champ with no range its essential to pop your ghost (if it will get you the kill).
if the enemy is far enough away that you know you wont land your q within 2 seconds use it when you pass an enemy minion so that the when you get close to their champ you will have a very strong slow ready.
if you have your ult grab them and drag them away from their turret towards your team.
since you yourself don't do a very large majority of damage till you get your trinity force you should only use your ult if your teammates can grab the kill since its more about setting up the kill for others than actually doing damage.
know when to puss out and dont get too aggressive depending on who your playing against.
for instance, if your ganking a lux, dont go under turret fire unless you know her snare is on CD and/or you know you can get her.If you dont already know this your probably not very good at the LoL in the first place (no offense)
just remember that you rely on your teammates for the most part in early ganks.
For skills i max [CRYSTAL SLASH] first but i make sure i have 1 point in everything first and i start with a point in [fracture]. fracture does alot of damage at lvl 1 but isnt very useful later game. it wipes through the jungle faster then starting with ur q with my route. i max the sheild second not because the sheild itself (even though its a monster by the time u max it) but because skarner is more dependant on movement speed then most champs due to not having range and that need to get good pulls with his ult.
[Smite] for jungling obviously
[Ghost] helps with chasing and escaping. An amazing spell for a champ with no range and relys on speed to drag enemys as far as possible.
What other people use on occasion:
[exhaust] very popular because its very good. however [Ghost] is better imo because it allows you to use your own slow and your drag plus it allows you to chase and escape
[clairvoyance] dont recommend this. your support should have this spell because you need ghost really badly.
[ignite] no, this should be taken only if they have a mundo, fiddle, ap yi, soraka, and nidalee. :) even then i think ghost would still be more effective
[clarity] although skarner is ridiculously mana hungrey you are the jungler so you should have blue buff most of the time
[promote] if you can somehow hack the game and get this id recommend it just for the hell of it
Pros / Cons
hits fairly hard
very good at jungling
can get team fed
bad laner (IMO)
cant really carry very well if your team is garbage
mana hungrey w/o manamune
Skarner is one of my favorite champs and is very underated. i think people dont like playing him because they dont think he hits very hard until late game but hitting hard isnt what hes about. skarner is an offtank with pretty high damage that gets his carries fed over and over till they cant eat anymore. a good skarner will get more assists then kills unless his team is very lacking. Skarner is the unsung hero of most games when your carry thinks hes got the team on his back just because he can auto attack while you make the enemy stay in range.
THANKS FOR READING
This is my first guide so please rate and comment and all that. suggestions are welcome and yeah i know i didnt put up a picture of the jungle path and if your a visual learner check out that video i put the link to above in the jungling path section.
enjoy and go get some friend requests from that Ashe that you gave 11 kills to