Skarner Build Guide by Shaxys

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Shaxys

Skarner - The Crystallized Guillotine

Shaxys Last updated on November 6, 2012
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Jungle - Solo Top

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.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Under construction!

This build is still under construction. Don't expect to find anything in it. The items in the cheat sheet is just core. I am working to finish this build as soon as possible.

Thank you //Shaxys

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Warning! Read this before you vote up/down!

This is MY way of building Skarner, and I know that it has almost nothing to do with the current metagame. But I have been very successful with this build, and I love it. Please try playing Skarner my way before downvoting with the comment: ''newb build l2p Skarner ffs'', etc.

The thing which will probably be most annoying for anyone reading this will be MY need for taking the blue buff. I know you will have alot of mean attacks about me taking blue, but honestly, I will not stop because you say so. I find that I need blue for MY build, if you want to build him without blue, and with other items - go for it, but do not attack me.

Thank you
Sincerely, Shaxys

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Introduction to Skarner - The Crystallized Guillotine

Hello and welcome to my Skarner MobaFire guide. I am Shaxys and this is my second MobaFire guide. My first one was for Garen, Offtank Garen. You can find it here:

But enough talking about Garen. This is a Skarner guide, after all.

Skarner is a very potent champion, whom I started to play when he came out and that was a very lucky move by me. Atleast that's what I think. ''I fell in love with him at the first look'' and I have played him alot since he came out. But I never found out why they had made him so mana dependant.. When he got buffed, and the manacost on his Q went down, I was one of the first to cry happily. And when they nerfed him again, making a rank 5 Q costing more mana then on the release, I was one of the first to die partly inside...
And later, when they nerfed blue buff, I thought: Why do they hate Skarner? He is probably the most manadependant champion LoL has, and while jungling effectivly you need to use his Q alot. And as his Q can (and will) be very mana costly due to the spamming of it, he really needs a blue buff on his own. This can be sad for your midder, and that's a great reason for syncing Skarnerjungling with a Vlad midd, or a Kennen, as they do not need blue.

Anyways, even if Skarner has been skirmished alot since he came out, and even though he is not having his ''golden days'' anymore, I still like him alot. He is, and has been since he came out, my favourite champion. And this is how I play him..

This build is both for jungle and for solo top. But as I'm mostly playing Skarner jungle, the solo top information can be futile, but I hope you can deal with what is there. If I need to fix something, tell me.

And before voting, please read the full guide. Also, whenever you vote, be it + or - please tell why. I don't want trollvotes. Also, tell me if I did anything wrong (stats, info or anything else) and I will fix it.

Thank You.

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Skarner - Pros and Cons

+ Great slow, probably one of the best in game, that can be constantly applied to your opponent.
+ Huge overtime damage, mostly through Q and W but partly on E (for AoE fights)
+ A great shield, which does also increase movement speed by a great amount and gives a significant amount of Atk speed.
+ Skarner's passive is what makes a Skarner. By hitting enemies you gain refreshing on your cooldowns! This is the main reason why Skarner is so good at dealing consistant damage.
+ One of the best, if not the best, CC's ingame! While surpressing (surpresses are good themselves, as they are the hardest to remove CC ingame) he can still move, and while moving he is dragging his target with him! He can also still cast both his W and Q while using this great surpress and even though he can not auto-attack nor use his E it is still a such great spell....
- One of the most manadependant champions ingame. Really. Due to the nerf to both blue and to Skarner, he is actually able to get oom with blue, and that in a short amount of time.... He needs blue greatly for jungling effectivly and that hurts your middlane. So either your middlane or your jungle gets hurt.
- Due to his need of blue, he is EXTREMELY vulnerable to counter jungling. If Skarner loses his blue, he is no happy scorpion, and that for a reason. He loses almost all his jungling power, and that is a hard blow for any jungler.
- If laning, he may get oom very easily if you do not household his mana ALOT. Perhaps you need to household it too much. I don't oftenly lane him though, so I don't know.

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For runes, I pick the runes I find strenghten Skarner the most. Both for jungling and for solo top.

For jungling:

As a jungler, I pick Greater Mark of Attack Damage for reds, as I find that the flat atk damage boosts Skarner's Q and autoattacks the most while jungling.
Alternatives may be Atk speed marks, but I myself find Ad better.

Yellow runes goes for flat armor, just as the most jungler. Greater Seal of Armor has no replacements in my world. Perhaps they have in yours, but I think Skarner can have no better seals.

Glyphs are at their best in MR/lvl. That's atleast what I think. Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist may be replaced by flat MR, or Cdr glyphs.

Quints goes in the same way as Marks. And just as Marks, Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage may be replaced by atk speed Quints, or maybe something else. I do only find AS or AD effective for Skarner. But ofcourse it is a personal referee.

For solo top:

I myself, pick the same runes for jungling as for solo topping. (That's because I ain't got any flat MR glyphs yet:P). And the only thing you SHOULD change, according to me, is the glyphs. Flat MR fits better while laning. Other than that, the seals could also be replaced with Cdr, just as the glyphs. And if you really want to try something, try ArPen Marks & Quints, even though I myself find these horrible for Skarner. But you go on trying.

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As for masteries, I play mostly defensive, with a few points in utility for bonus MS and recall, etc. I improve both my summoner spells for jungling and for laning I improve Flash. I pick defensive masteries for more toleration and for greatly safer jungling and improved jungling speed in the jungling build. For laning I pick it to tolerate more, as I love toleration.

(Short) Explanation:


Resistance and Hardiness : Plain defensive. Standard for almost everything I play. Gives a nice touch of defensive power. The flat armor is specially good for jungling.

Durability and Veteran's Scars : Gives a slight bit of health. Both flat and /lvl.
I like these masteries as I think they give me some hidden survivability and also let me skip these ''big health items'' in my build while still letting me have quite a nice amount of health.

Tough Skin , Bladed Armor and Indomitable : Absolutely G-R-E-A-T! These are, according to me, the best jungling masteries the mastery book has. Reducing the damage from jungle creeps by 4/attack (which makes these pesty wolves hit like nothing) + returning damage upon every attack. Causes you to gain both safer and faster jungle.

Summoner's Resolve : As I jungle, I use Smite. I actually use it almost whenever possible. Therefore 10g/ Smite is great. Even though 10 gold itself is a small amount, it all adds up.

Mercenary : I jungle. I gank. I fight in teamfights. I get assists and kills. These assists and kills give me 24 more gold each if I take this mastery to max. I take this mastery to max. That's what's needed to say.

Juggernaut : Even more health!! 3% bonus health, which is great. This reduces the need of ''big health items'' even more. But the best thing with this mastery is the 10% reduced disable duration! Practically 10% free tenacity!! With a pair of Mercury's Treads it's up in 35%<3. Great thing. (Could be slightly another amount though. Depends on how they stack)


Summoner's Insight : As I use Flash ( Flash is probably the best summoner spell out there) I take this. 15 secs reduced cooldown on such a great spell is just... great.

Expanded Mind : I take this, as Skarner needs alot of mana. Doesn't need much more explaination.

Swiftness : A slight bit of movement speed has never hurt anyone, right? Except the enemies. Gets me scorpion faster to the combats, better chaser, better initiator with ult and all that adds up to: Better scorpion.

Runic Affinity : Skarner needs blue badly. While he has blue, it should stay on for a long time. Bonus buff duration fits perfectly.

That's all for my jungle masteries. If you think you can find better masteries, go on pick your own. But for me, these are the best. Believe me, I've tried.

Solo top:


Resistance , Hardiness , Durability and Veteran's Scars : Same as for jungling. Great masteries for a great scorpion. Survivability just plain out.

Vigor : As for laning, you need more over-time sustain. Health regen is a great over-time sustain. Go for health regen.

Enlightenment : As you do not need anti-minion masteries for solo top (minions do not hurt THAT much) you can pick something else which is great for Skarner. Cooldown reduction!! Go for Cdr/lvl as there is no other type of it in masteries..

Mercenary : Okay, you do not gank as much at solo top as in jungle, but bonus gold is always great <3 <3

Juggernaut : The same reason as for jungling.


Summoner's Insight : Improves Flash, and Teleport if you use Teleport. If you use Exhaust it does just improve Exhaust.

I find you don't use your spells as often in solo top. Therefore I don't pick Expanded Mind , but instead Good Hands as reduced death timer is one of the best things ever. Because we do all die, right?

Improved Recall : Just as for jungling. To be more effective.

Swiftness : Same reason here as for jungling.

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Summoner Spells

For jungling, I use Smite and Flash. I find no other options for this.

Smite is necessary for ANY jungler. (Except Nunu, who has inbuilt Smite). Without Smite you can perhaps still jungle safe and good, but it will be alot slower. And you will, if you face clever enemies, find your buffs to be stolen too often. Also, you will lose alot of Baron-control.

Flash: No options. Best summoner spell ever. Or something. Well Flash is just so great... It has soo many uses I don't think I know them all. Flash to survive, Flash to get a kill, Flash to initiate with Impale, Flash to steal buff/baron/dragon, Flash to save ally..... They are almost infinite! So go on, pick Flash and use it! (As Skarner has no built-in jump Flash is just too needed on him).

For solo top, the choices are more open.

I'd still like Flash, though. But your second summoner spell leaves many different choices. I myself have two favouries. Exhaust and Teleport.

Exhaust: Exhaust is, even though the nerf, the best way to shut down an ad-carry. If your team has no Exhaust, you MUST pick it. It reduces the damage dealt with autoattacks by 70% and by spells with 35%. Great spell for any duel. Pick Exhaust if you want to win duels with ease. ( Teleport could be better for Skarner in most cases though. Atleast I think so, as Skarner is great duelist (atleast for me:P) )

Teleport: Best laning phase spell for Skarner. Ever. (Perhaps Flash could be better, but nvm.) Use it to get back into lane, to surprise push a lane or to pick up minions at a lane where nobody is. You could use it to quickly defend a lane, to get back into the teamfight fast or even to help an allie. Teleport has many uses, and almost all of them are positive. Pick Teleport for a more effective laning phase. Although Teleport falls greatly into late game, where it is not as useful anymore.. ( Exhaust dosen't fall at all into later parts of the game, it is more the other way around. Exhaust is instead better in teamfights the later of the game it is, as Ad carries gain more power the longer the game proceeds. Rather pick Exhaust for teamfights, but Teleport for better laning phase. This is for almost 90% of the games. You can't follow a cheat sheet all games, you will have to improvise in some of them. Go on, follow your heart. Test new combos, gain more experience and become a better player)

These two summoner spells are those I use on solo top. Other examples on good (or okay) summoner spells, according to me, could be:

Clarity: As Skarner is very mana dependant, Clarity could be a good choice for laning Skarner. I find Teleport a better alternative though, even if it has a longer cd.

Heal: Great summoner spell and largely underrated. Although it dosen't fit Skarner. Skarner has his E to heal, and his W to gain a great shield, so do only pick Heal if you think that you really really really need it.

Ghost: I've seen Skarner using ghost. I've seen them succeed. I never get it to work myself though. I never pick Ghost on Skarner and I would never like to. Skarner got his very own Ghost from his W, so don't pick this if you don't just really need to.

Surge: Surge may seem a very powerful spell on Skarner, as he scales good with attack speed and ap. And yes it is strong on Skarner, but it is partly overkill. Your W does already give you alot of attack speed, and you don't need the ap that badly. Exhaust is a much better choice for duels, and Surge can't give you quicker recalls or get you faster back into lane. I would not pick Surge on Skarner, but it is a somewhat viable choice.

Cleanse: Cleanse is a very viable choice for any champion in the game. This is the summoner spell I would pick if my team didn't need an Exhaust and if I didn't want Teleport (Although I prefer Teleport..). Pick Cleanse if you are playing draft pick and you are facing a heavy CC-team, or if you just think that you are getting CC'd too much in games generally. Cleanse removes both CC's and summoner spell debuffs! That includes surpresses and even Ignite / Exhaust!! Great summoner spell in almost any case.

Ignite: This summoner spell is great! (although I prefer Flash, Exhaust, Teleport and sometimes Cleanse) It does not only deal a huge amount of damage (huge because it is true damage:)) but does also reduce healing and regeneration of the enemy target by 50% for the 5 seconds it is dealing damage. This includes lifesteal and all other effects which heals your enemy! Use this to shutdown that pesky Dr. Mundo, Warwick or Vladimir or just to get a kill easier! (In the current meta, middlane usually picks Ignite, and that makes a toplaner with another Ignite not THAT useful. Rather pick Exhaust for fights if your team already has an Ignite. Otherwise, feel free to pick Ignite. One Ignite is better than 0)

The summoners spells NOT mentioned here are just ****py on Skarner, and therefore they are not mentioned. (If I have forgotten any summoner spell though, tell me and I will fix it) Or atleast they are ****py according to me. You could perhaps find other combos, better than those I mention, that you enjoy more. Go on and experiment, that helps you alot on your path to becomming the best player of all..:P

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Skarner's Skills

Skarner's skills are, or that's atleast what I think, pretty original. I like his skillset alot and that is what makes him so fun and interesting.

Passive: Energize: Pretty simple, but still wonderful. Skarner's passive reduces the cooldowns of his spells whenever he attacks an enemy. The cooldowns are reduced by 1 sec if he is attacking a champion, and by 0.5 seconds if he is attacking a minion or monster.

Tips and/or tricks:
Great, pretty much fullfills Skarner's kit. To maximize this passive, use attacks whenever possible in fights ,to recharge your damaging and survivability spells, and later while farming, to recharge your ultimate. This spell causes Skarner to be able to cast spells almost all the time. Works great with his W, as Crystalline Exoskeleton is a great AS steriod.

Q - Spell: Crystal Slash: Skarner slashs with his claws around him, dealing damage in an aoe. If he hits an enemy, he will charge himself with Crystal Energy, empowering his following Q:s for a few seconds. If Crystal Slash is empowered by Crystal Energy, Skarner will also slow struck enemies by a significant amount.

Tips and tricks:
Q is Skarner's bread, butter and almost EVERYTHING else. But it has one downside: it costs damn lot of mana! I don't know how Riot thought when they increased the mana cost of this spell, but I won't go into my hate towards some of Riot's stupid decisions now. Crystal Slash is really manacostly, though. So this is the simple reason that I think Skarner needs blue. Badly. To utilize Skarner's Q, you could move in between attacks, so that you will hit your enemy with the slow. This is very important while jungling, as the slow can mean the difference between a successful gank, and a akward failure (or something in that way :P). The Q is pretty simple. There not like there's many angles you can use it from, it's always around Skarner. If you can't get blue (if your middlaner if a complete meanie!), try to not spamm this in the jungle, and save it as much as you can. It is VERY easy to suddenly have lost 300-400 mana while using your Q some times:D. Always max this first because it is, as mentioned, Skarner's bread and butter.

W - Spell: Crystalline Exoskeleton: Skarner gains a shield, which gives him bonus movement speed and attack speed while the shield is up. The shield, of course, fades after some seconds.

Tips and tricks:
Great spell for a great champion. This spell gives Skarner a shield, which is great whenever fighthing, movement speed, great for moving around the map as a jungler to gank or just creep in the jungle, and attack speed, boosts Skarner's usage of his passive and increases his fighting potential. Max this second when jungling, as the movement speed is a key to jungling with great effectiveness. When laning though, you don't need as many points in this as your Fracture overshadows Crystalline Exoskeleton in toplane strenght. Try to use Crystalline Exoskeleton whenever possible in a fight, especially in the jungle, while running towards a lane(if you can afford the mana loss), while running around between camps in the jungle and to block those Ezreal, Karthus, Lux or other global range ultimates. It will make those Karthuses go mad, and that is sooo lovely:D

E - Spell: Fracture: Skarner sends out a line skill-shot which passes through units and damages enemies. Always stops at the same range. All struck enemies are marked, causing them to heal Skarner the next time he deals damage to them. The heal significantly decreases with each consecutive unit where the mark is consumed.

Tips and tricks: An almost complete waste in the jungle, as it consumes such a ****load of mana without being that effective. Great for laning, though. Try to hit as many enemies (preferably minions) with is as possible, then just run in and use Crystal Slash for great healing! Also, in teamfights and when recovering after fights, do the same procedia: hit as many enemies as possible and just Q for health - Profit!! Max second in most toplanes, for great lane sustain and a nice amount of damage. While jungling, don't take a point at all until level 13, as it only delays your other strenghts.

Ultimate: Impale: Skarner attaches target enemy to his tail, freezing the enemy in crystal and causing Skarner to be able to drag his helpless victim around, dealing damage over time and when the effect ends.