Skarner Build Guide by PhantomChaser
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 build for Skarner is a hybrid build for laning for those of us who enjoy him as a champion but aren't exactly fond of jungling. This build is great for those who aren't super focused on getting top kills, though you still could, but more focused on making sure an enemy dies through Skarner's relentless chasing and slowing capability. I've found that he isn't the greatest dps until mid to late game, but with this build you can still present yourself as a prominent threat.
Now the Greater Seal of Armor and Greater Quintessence of Health are just the ones that I currently have on, they work well to beef Skarner up early game, but if you have runes you prefer, by all means use them.
Now I have the greater quintessence of desolation and Greater Seal of Attack Speed because those are what I would prefer to use, but seeing as I haven't been able to test that I don't want to put them as my recommended. So again use what you think is best, runes are always preference.
Now I've tested a few mastery pages out, and I've found that the 9-21-0 is great to keep him alive and to take advantage of his hybrid nature. I prefer to take the dodge boost leading up to Nimbleness so that he can gain the chance of a movement speed boost when chasing past minions, plus I don't believe he has enough mana with this item build to justify Strength of Spirit .
Now here is the stuff that actually matters.
I like to start with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potion, because to say Skarner is vulnerable to ranged harass is an understatement. Champions with powerful AoE skills (ie. Brand, Malzahar, Cassiopeia, etc.) can shut down Skarner hard, Brand especially, so boots help so much to avoid them early game as you farm up. When you get the gold for it, blue pill for a Sheen as soon as possible and finish out your Mercury's Treads and Trinity Force, these two item alone can make a strong Skarner.
When you're finished with that, the order in which you build is up to you based on your situation. I like to grab Rylai's Crystal Scepter for the health and slow, not to mention the nice boost to the majority of your abilities. However if you would rather put out some decent deeps, grab the Hextech Gunblade and punish those who would think to mess with you.
Why grab Merc Treads?
Easy makes him more mobile to chase with Tenacity and less vulnerable to AP carries with a small amount of MR. But yes I suppose Berserker's Greaves or Boots of Swiftness are also viable.
Now the skill sequence, this is pretty straight forward grab Crystal Slash at the start and then put a point in it every chance you get except for Fracture at lvl 4 for harass/Q heals and Impale of course. Next you're gonna want to max out your Crystalline Exoskeleton for the survivability and the chasing utility it gives and then Fracture from then on taking a point in Impale every time you can.
I rather enjoy the early point in Fracture because with it you can slow down your quarry with the Tri-Force and Rylai's slow proc allowing you to get in range for an Impale.
Yes, I use Exhaust for yet more slow capability and the defense reductions from Cripple are a plus too, I consider this a requirement at least with this build.
As for your second spell, I prefer Ghost in combo with your ult so that way you can pull them as far as possible without running into those OP minions. However, I find that Flash, Ignite, Cleanse, and perhaps Teleport are all also viable.
Game Play Style
In lane, try your best to just last hit minions so that you can build as fast as possible, because honestly this item build is so expensive it's unlikely you'll finish it in most games. However don't spam Crystal Slash to farm, that's a waste of mana and in the end just makes you miss far to many last hits. Save it for if you are ganked or if your enemies try to make a ballsy first-blood attempt, making sure to hit them a second time so they can be slowed and you and your lane partner (if you have one) are both safe.
When you finally have Impale, its actually better sometimes to be pushed back to your tower. I rather enjoy shielding toward an enemy in tower range, and ulting them into it once they've hit me once. A very easy kill. Other than that, keep a sharp eye on the best times to grab someone, for instance in mid lane before a team fight, grab that Brand or Ashe who thinks they can get away with a little AoE harass and let your team pounce on them while you spam Crystal Slash as you pull back. REMEMBER to use Ghost when in lane with minions at your back, its infuriating when you land a perfect ult but they get away because you were caught up in minions. Also...don't be that guy who grabs Gangplank or Alistar and just have them free cleanse out....you don't want to be made fun of for forcing a GP to eat an orange....that's not K.
Also remember, that unless its late game and you have your Hextech Gunblade, don't go chasing enemies alone, make sure a bursty damage dealer is following close behind. It's not that you wont survive, it's more that they have a higher chance of getting away and you'll just waste alot of mana and your Ult for nothing. However this is all situational and you should just go with your instincts.
Other than that, SPAM SHIELD AROUND YOUR MAP....I can't express that enough, you will be a force truly feared when you are fast enough to get to any lane at any time, speed is what makes you strong, no one but a Phantom Dancer stacked Master Yi or Rammus can get away from you with your shield on...no excuses when you have that many slows.
Now, I'll say again that this Build is to focus on Skarner's team fight utility to ensure that enemies die, not necessarily you killing them. To do this, focus on Ulting there dangerous DPS or dumb, out of position teammates, it doesn't matter which but you can usually always make a teat fight 5v4 by grabbing one of them early to shut down a key enemy player.
Not to mention that with just your shield and a Sheen, you can drop a tower like woah.
I apologize for this being short and text heavy, I'll probably fill this out with pics and what not later on.
Thanks for Reading. Please test it out. Hate on it if you want. Don't forget to buy wards, and just remember to have fun.
"FEEL MY STING" - Skarner