Skarner Build Guide by Azure_Dauragon

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author Azure_Dauragon

Skarner- More Than A Jungler

Azure_Dauragon Last updated on August 12, 2011
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hello, i joined MOBAFire today to create this Skarner Guide, i decided to main him and buy him the moment i saw him at E3, i know, noob stuff :X
First of all excuse any mistakes in my english as it is not my Primary Language.
Second, this guide is to elaborate all that i know about him and i think should work, most of the stuff here are "theory" only, i know that is bad, but i intend on trying all of that stuff to give my personal opinion, tough it is hard to do so when you are dependend on your team.
Third, i am no Pro player or even close, im an average player, maybe below average, never did ranked, reached 30 a while ago, and my match history is not full with 10 straight wins with scores like 20/2/15 with a Galio or /3/0/40 with Soraka. I know that lowers the Credebility of my Guide, but i do not intend to make anyone pro or godlike, but rather share what i know, or what works, in my opinion that is.

Well sorry for such a long introduction, will apreciate commnets, have a feeling im gonna get bashed, probably with reason, and enjoy the Guide! ;)

Skarner is an Hybrid DPS, but has no quick dash in like Jax's Leap Strike or Katarina's Shunpo or Master Yi's Alpha Strike. So you resort on your Movespeed buffs and Slows to keep the enemy at bay while you dish out the damage, he is also, in my opinion, not so much burstive as other champions, but a bit more resilient, meaning, you dish the damage trough larger spans of time, but are more resistent to hold your HP for said time. Also heals, even tough weak, and surpresses, with the ability to move target, wich is a high asset to a 1v1 or Teamfight. He lacks an escape mechanism, he is probably the only Melee Champion who cannot escape easily in any way, champions like or can arguably escape if they have an enemy in the path they are escaping. Rumble could compare to him, but he has the little excuse of being able to set up an ultimate to slow down his escape path, and is usually more resilient. So Skarner can be in a bad spot, tought to Riot wanting to make a champion that did not have a quick way in or out. Im looking at you

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Energize As the tooltip says, every time you do an Auto Attack your Abilities Cooldown will be recuded by half a second when hitting a minion/creep/pet/tower (i think it works on towers, to be updated) and by a full second when hitting a Champion. I dont know how this works with clones yet, tough since the tooltip says "non-champions" it would mean that only champions give a full second CD. This is very helpfull if you can stay autoattacking, it helps you spam Crystal Slash and other abilities.

Small AoE. First use is Physical Damage. After hitting an enemy you are "Charged" for 5 seconds, any following uses deals bonus Magic Damage, not sure if it is Physycal and Magic at the same time, it also aplies a slow and Charges again.
The base Physycal Damage on this ability is higher, but harder to scale, so if you have 100 Bonus AD and 100 AP you will deal with a level 5 charged Cystal Slash 80+80 (scale)=160 Physycal damage+ 69+ 40 (scale) =109 magic damage, 109+160= 269 Physycal and Magical damage (?) before armor mitigation.
if what i suspect is true, this ability is even better than it apears, since it may do 2 types of damage at the same time, you may still damage if you enemy only has one Armor stat up, still damaging from the other side. Tough with this build you will not get much Bonus AD, and since all of his other Abilites scale from AP, its not worth it to scale ad just for the sake of this ability, but he may be good full AD, since he gets lots of base AD.

A Shield, Movement Speed and Attack speed buff all in one. You either use it to resist some damage and get away, or use it to close distance and stick to the target. Very usefull.

Skarner's less usefull ability, in my opinion, it is a skill shot that damages all enemies in a straight line, and marks them, these marks can be consumed by Skarner for a heal, being the Heal 50% less effecient with each mark consumed. I feel it deals little damage, so it is maxed last, Crystal Slash is an AoE, albeit short, but highly spammable, this one has a longer CD, and you have to aim, might miss and all that. The heal is weak, at level one, you get 30 something hp form one mark, if you mark a wave at level one, and use Crystal Slash to clear them all, you will get around 65 hp....
Still good to get some sustainablity during team fights, and deal some extra damage, or kill and enemy too far form the other abilities, it is frustrating to see a weak enemy running away, i throw this, and he survives with little health. Dont Overestimate its Damage, since it is Magic and we have little Mpen, might change build for this issues.

Supress, we all know how good/annoying they are. Skarner deals half the damage when he picks the target, and the other half after releasing, for a total of 400 damage at level 3 before Armor mitigation and added AP. Its a a.5 second surpress at all Ranks, but that is not is so good about it, as you may know, you can move your enemy while having him surpressed.
You cannot flash while you have an enemy supresed, the game does not let you, you can use ghost, use your Crystalline Exoskeleton and Crystal Slash, also you can use summoner spells, like ignite, (yeah, ghost, so that should work too) and items, like Hextech Gunblade Active, Fracture, however, is not usable.

Little tip, as you pull your enemy your target will be a little away form you, just outside Auto Attack range, and Crystal Slash range too i think, so a "trick" is to stop pulling, as Skarner pulls his target close. Meaning you Impale, Click somewhere that is 1 second away, and on the other half that is left, Skarner will pull the enemy closer to him, in range for his abilities. you might want to use your Q as soon as you grab hold, and as you release use it again, so the enemy is slowed, or use a slowing active before it ends.
Try like this, use ulti, start moving, and as it is about to end just stop. easier than to calculate distance in a second.
But wait! There is more!! (i know, "really? shut up!") Another thing you can do is, as about Impale is to end, you click behind the supressed target, as in like, click on him, Skarner will stay in the same position, but will turn his back, meaning he will pull his opponent thowards him, when the opponent is released, he will be in a bad spot.

Example. top lane, you use ulti, drag enemy to tower, they take 2 hits, and leave. if you use this trick and get behind them, it will take them a bit more to leave, since you will be blocking path, getting them a third hit. with the added bonus that you will be in a perfect position to chase.
But be carefull, as this can be bad, tough rarely, just know that you can control where you oponent will be when it ends more than it seems. You can pull, top lane from the left, towards the river, and leave him faced towards the river. Lots of ways aply, just experiment, once you undertsand you might be using this to give you a little edge, leaving them away form a wall so they cant flash over. Imagine Hyper-Kinetic Position Reverse but way close, and manual.

Hope that was usefull when it comes to the Ultima, it is better than it seems.

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Ok, for runes i use what i have, this is nor~t a Rune set "ONLY FOR SKARNER" i have the Rune Page Named as "Tank" because i only have 2 pages and i have to manage, so i have this rune to make Champions a bit tankier. Tough this rune page i have it more towards the way i wanted Skarner.
So up Top we have a Lane and Jungle Skarner, with the same Rune page, because thats how i roll, i could have hadded some ideal runes, but very few people can handle that.

I run
9 Greater Mark of Attack Damage This Helps me do some extra damage early game either against champs or jungle creeps
9 Greater Seal of Armor This is more directed to the jungle, but also helps the early game a bit.
9 Greater Glyph of Magic Resist The same as above, except worthless for jungle, but you will need a bit Tankiness during the game.
3 Greater Quintessence Of Desolation I have read over and over they are the best runes/Quints in the game, be it or not, helps with Jungle and Early attacks on champs.

There are far better rune sets i could have gone to help both ways, but this is what i have, and how i feel like they work.

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For Masteries in a Laning Phase (where i have seen people consider Skarner weak, and i tend to agree from experience) i go 9/0/21.
Picking CD Reduction to get MPen since we hardly get it any other way, i would take Attack Speed since he has short CD thanks to his Passive, but then i would not get Archaic Knowledge . Also the point in the Crit is because we have not Exhaust or Smite as is obvious.
I take Good Hands over Perseverance because as many of you may know, Perseverance is just plain bad, and those extra 10% can save a Tower or Inhib or whatever.

For Jungle i Run Also 9/0/21 with very few changes, dummy me.
The attack part is the same as above, except we switch Deadliness for the PLentifull Bounty to help in the jungle.
Even though i said Perseverance is bad, and it is, it makes more sense to take it over Haste or the Spatial Accuracy , since those would be even less usefull since we do not take them.

i take 2 points from Meditation in comparison to the Lane Build to have them on Utility Mastery as it is obvious to increase buff durations.
Since Skarner Depends on Move Speed to get to opponents and sticking to them you may want to ditch the Point in Blink Of And Eye and get it in Quickness , however i beleive that the CD on Flash is worth it.

I know it is somewhat stupid not to go 9/21/0 or 0/21/9, especialy in jungle, i usualy take 21 Def a lot, but here i just feel that utility gives me more then Def. however, Def helps a lot in the Jungle.

I will change that. After i try it, ill jungle with 21 in def, and put it here. There are 2 Skarner Jungle guides already, so you can check those instead in more in depth Jungle i think.

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OK, now a really tough part for me, since i usually ask for recomendations from friends. And i dont really like telling "pick this, or that." im not the more knowlegable person in the game when it comes to item usefullness and such, therefore my last item in the "jungle" build is... Nashor's Tooth not quite end-game material. But i felt that by that point in the game items would be situational, and i really did not know what to recommend, i usually change a lot, i could go with that, or a Banshee, or a Try Force, Guardian Angel, sell Wringle's Lantern and buy other things, whatever. i am a noob jugnler, did it the second time today, so i still am a bit oblivious when it comes to that...

While laning i start with Meki Pendant to rush Fiendish Codex and ultimatly Nashor's Tooth, while buying Mercury Threads during the process.

Nashor's gives Skarner, in my opinion, great stats, 55 AP for that little oomph in his abilities, Attack speed goes greatly with Skarner, for CD reduction, and damage, also gives Mana Regen, a good one at that, wich helps, since you will be spamming Abilities a lot, and this can hep you recover in the downtimes, the mana costs are low, but high spam leads to some starvation. It Also gives CDR by 25%! the highest in the game, this plus my mastery choice, and i have 34% CDR, i know he has CDR by attacking, but CDR is never enough, and you can spam even more.
Merc Threads are for the Resist, to help to become a bit tanky and Tenacity to help with those pesky CC. I Get focused a bit more than normal with this guy, don't know why.
Next up i build Hextech Revolver for the spellvamp and added AP and then Bilgewater Cutlass to ultimatly build Hextech Gunblade. You might want to build the Cutlass first for the slow, as its range, even if lower than the Gunblade, is the same as Skarner's abilities.
Hextech Gunblade.... how i love this thing, 60 AD, 75AP, 20% lifesteal, 25% Spell Vamp, and a slow active that deals 300 Magic DMG, love it. Really good on hybrids, and really good to slow while you ulti.
Sunfire Cape For added Armor and HP, and Banshee's Veil for the same reasons, get more tanky.
The Try Force is self explanatory, stats everywhere, slow on-hit passive, and 150% base damage on-hit, albeit after using abilities.

For Jungle, well, its basicly the same as above really. will try to get better at it and improve this.

Start at blue, or golems, clear smaller camps, when done with it, check you health and overextended enemies, see if you can gank or hold a lane.

Try to pick Wrinler's Lantern soon, as it helps with jungling a lot, and te free ward is very good to help lanes.

Use your smite to last hit buffs, or take out stronger creeps, steal enemy bufss, and always save smite for last to ensure a kill, may enemies come to steal you. if you are helping a teamate gettung a buff, (Veigar blue, or Vayne Red) you miiight want to use smite early fi you see the buff going away quickly, and have good awareness where enemies are, or need to helo a lane. always care for ganks.

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Skill Sequence

For Skill sequence i do it balanced, i believe it is good to have them both equally leveled, the Q for damage and slow, and W for Speed and Shield. But by all means level the one you feel more confortable first, maybe the Shield to get close to enemies earlier and faster and do less efective slows, but with more AS form the shield, less CD, meaning more slows. Play with it untill you find something that suits you.

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Summoner Spells

and in laning, why? Well, Flash is all around good, to jump in and grab an enemy with your ulti, to escape, to juke, whatever. is good!
Ghost... i would take Exhaust, but we already have tons of slow, but ghost with Crystalline Exoskeleton give a nice move speed, wich can make you stick to a target while damaging and aplying slows. other uses? Escape, help a friend, or when you W is on CD.
I used my W, closed on a Gangplank dealed damage and slow, after i used my Charged Q, he used Parrrley, and drove off. i was unable to catch him. I Could have ultied him yes, if it was not on CD. Had i ghost, and i would have catched him for a second slow.

Ignite is aceptable, to use during ulti. but i think it may be less usefull, do to skarner's way of playing.

Clairvoyance and Clarity ... you could use them, but you mana problems arent that much, and CV is better off on another teammate, but you can pick it up, if no ne else has.

All other spells are... meh at most like the 2 above, maybe Telport might be good, but defeats the purpose of helping you kill.

For jungle is the same thing, except we take Ghost and Add Smite for obvious reasons.

I just don't see any other spells being usefull on him, Exhaust is always good, but Ghost also helps with escapes, and Skarner needs Escapes.

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Team Work

When it comes to teamfights and helping your team, i recommend cutting off either the main source of damage with your ulti, or damage~ing CC. Malzahar ultis someone? You ulti him, this goes for Katarina, Warwick, etc. Try to pull enemies to your team with your ulti, or away from a carry to save them from harm. E.G you have a Carry, who is somewhat fed, but have 2 enemies chasing him, while he is somewhat low hp, you know they will kill him, you take the more dangerous one away from them. Skarner is strong, but i dont see him carrying games, so i beleive it is ok to sacrifice yourself for a teamante who is worth it.

You can also go around slowing chasing enemies, preferably if you know you will survive.

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When it comes to Farming, Skarner has potential do be a really good one, but not until mid game. His Q and E deal low damage, you would have to spam Q round 3 times to clear a wave of minions, wich is risky. that is why he is a good jungler, where he can farm "uninterrupted", ok thats not why, but helps. Later on, you can use E on a line, and Q to clear them up, while scraffing of leftover with your autoattacks and extra Qs.
He does have good damage, and AS, so you can last hit preety well. so thats a plus.

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Fun and test build.

I will add this to the builds up top if possible, but he has some fun stuf, possibly effective stuff he can do.

i did a build wich was: Sorcerer's Shoes, Hextech Gunblade, Malady, Nashor's Tooth, Wit's End, Black Clever, might switch Gunblade for a Sword of the Divine,

Why fun? lots of AS, some AP, On hit efects, less CDR from AS means more Q spam. also some good defensive state. fun!

Test build, is Frozen Mallet Trinity Force, Atma's Impaler, Mercury's Threads, Banshee's Veil, Force of Nature or a Sunfire Cape or a Thornmail

Gonna test this out, seems good.

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Well, i think i have ended. First guide, first everything, hope the format is good, that the guide is compreensible. Hope that i covered any good areas, i know i have left some blanks, wich i intend on filling, i also know that if i were to make a guide, why not make it full as possible, dont go around "ll update later", its not that i wanted to be first, am clearly not. But rather that i wanted ot share what i know, and go from there as i learn more.
Any doubts will be answered. i hope i get some commnents helping me improve.

hope you have found this helpfull in the least. ;)