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Skarner Build Guide by sp00fz

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 sp00fz

Skarner: The Jungling Vanguard (UPDATED!)

sp00fz Last updated on April 15, 2014
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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.



Offense: 0

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 21


Utility: 9

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Hello! My name is sp00fz, or NambawanFFS (In-Game) and I play on EU West. Most of the time I play jungler, and Skarner is one of my favorites. I play at Low ELO, I'm aware of that. But I do play with higher ELO-players during scrims. I have to climb, I just don't have the time for that at the moment (school...)MMM}

MMMSkarner is an amazing champion, and takes the role of Jungler/Tank/Initiator. I have played Skarner for over 100 games, and i think i have mastered him well. I recently downloaded LoL Recorder, so I will upload some games when i played Skarner to show you guys more in depth how I play Skarner, The Crystal Vanguard.MMM}

I hope you will find this guide helpful. Please leave a comment and rate!MMM}

Skarner is so bad right now, so I don't really want to update this, so I'll just update the top information about his build, runes, masteries and such.

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Skarner Lore

MMMCenturies ago, there lived a race of creatures as ferocious as they were wise. The brackern were unusual beings blessed with the earth's primal magic, embodied in the form of crystals. Their kind knew of an arcane ritual to bind their life's essence to a crystal, communing with the magic embedded in it. With this power, the brackern thrived in the Odyn Valley, protecting both creatures and crystals alike. Despite attacks from those looking to claim the primal magic, it seemed that nothing could get past the brackern's defenses. Nothing, that is, until the devastation of a Rune War.
MMMA vicious battle was fought near the Odyn Valley and the unleashed chaotic magic poisoned the crystals. The brackern began to grow sick and die, and no amount of defensive magic could reverse the effects. To avoid extinction, their only course was to hibernate underground until the wars stopped. The strongest, most intelligent brackern hibernated closer to the surface to awaken first and assess the world's condition for the return of their race. The recent mining operations and violent escalation in Kalamanda were enough to awaken the first of these vanguards. When Skarner burst to the surface, he lashed out in anger and confusion. Reason eventually won out over his anger when he realized that the agents of the League who found him were simply functionaries. Skarner was invited to the Institute of War to share the brackern's story. In return, the summoners told him about the history that his kind had slept through. Much had been done to curb the unchecked use of magic since the Rune Wars, but it was obvious that the world was not yet safe for his kind to reawaken. For now, however, there is a place where Skarner can use his power to change the world into one to which his kind could eventually return: the League of Legends.

"The humans have not yet learned to control their magic - what once was Kalamanda is now a crystal scar on the history of this world."

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Pros / Cons


¤ Great, fast jungler.
¤ Good damage during whole game.
¤ Tanky + Shield.
¤ Supress-ultimate.




¤ Mana issues early.
¤ Fracture is only good in lane.
¤ Takes time to master.
¤ Hard to get strong if shutted down early.

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When and Why Skarner?


Your team lacks a tank.
Your team lacks initiations.
Your team lacks cancellers.


Skarner is tanky and can cancel channelings
like Katarina and Nunu. He's also a
jungler that works great with many teams.
He got a great initiate and can pick out
your enemies.


If your team already have a good tank, you won't
need Skarner. Your team will lack damage.
If your team already have a jungler, don't pick
Skarner. He's not good in lane IMO.

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    Start with
Hunter's Machete and 5 Health Potions.

Why shurelya's reverie?
MMMShurelya's Reverie is a great item overall, and the synergy with Skarner is just to good. Skarner works best with Movement Speed, and that's exactly why we are getting this item. Activate + Crystalline Exoskeleton. Insane movement speed for initiate with Impale. This combo with Flash is great to, and very surprising! The stats is not bad either. Regen and HP!

Why Boots of Mobility?
MMMThey work great with Skarner. You will roam the map and that extra movement speed will help you get to your enemies and Impale them.

Why Spirit of the Ancient Golem?
MMMThis item makes Skarner a monster. Early game advantage with alot of HP and Tenacity. You are jungler, and you are tank. Problem?

Why Randuin's Omen?
MMM It's simply great. The activate is amazing for Skarner and the passive is very strong with the current meta with a lot of AD-scaling champions.

Why Iceborn Gauntlet
This item let you be tanky, and you will also be dealing alot of damage. You will also slow more than you already do.

shurelya's reverie

This is how i build Skarner

The item gives him balanced amount of
Armor, Magic Resist and Health.

You will also have spot for one (could say 2) more items.

Read further down the page to find
situational items that might work
to help you help your team.

Viable Items/6th Item

This are some items that works on Skarner, but i didn't found room in the build to add them.

Guardian Angel
Great item. If you're getting smashed you might want to give yourself an extra life. Very good on tanks since you will be focused (even if that's good for your team). The passive is immense and you might have to get this item in the late game when a death can throw a game.

Banshee's Veil
Get this if your enemies have strong combinations-dmg-burst (like Diana or Annie) and you need to shut them down. Banshee's Veil will have to pop and that might be bad for that huge burster. This is also a good Magic Resist-item, and the new changes improved this item ALOT imo.

Spirit Visage
Kind of the only magic resist-item that is worth getting, but doesn't synergy with Skarner that well. It's kinda good to power-up your Fracture, but that's all. The stats are really good, but I would pick another item for Magic Resist if it can help my team winning, like Banshee's Veil against bursters or combos.

Abyssal Scepter
Great magic resist and helps your Q. It's passive is great because you will be in their faces. Get this item if you are playing with alot of magic damage.


These are those items you can get if you are getting kills after kills. You are being able to farm and your income is over the roof. When you are this ahead you don't have to rush tankyness, because obviously you are killing them, they aren't killing you.

Spirit of the Elder Lizard
This item, is flippin' amazing on Skarner. I randomly tested this item and I got crazy fed. BUT you cannot get this item if you aren't like 3-4 kills ahead and are stomping hard. This item will fall off hard later in the game.

Trinity Force
The item got buffed and have been good on Skarner forever. It's good, but you won't be as tanky as you should. Only get this item if you are having good Gold Income, because if you will try to get this item when you aren't getting kills or farm, you won't get it fast enough and then you will fall, really bad.

The Big Do-Not-Buy-Section

This are items I have seen players getting on Skarner, but aren't even worth getting. I don't care if you carried games with these items. And yes, I have tested them. This is my opinion, and I will tell you why I don't want to buy them on Skarner

Hextech Gunblade
Skarner is a hybrid, that is true. But you are not a offensive, tons of damage-dealing carry. You don't need the Spell vamp, you could use the Life Steal... But it's not necessary. The activate is good but I don't feel that Skarner have space for this item. He don't need the dmg or ability power. If you think you need Hextech Gunblade, you are playing him wrong from this guide.

Nashor's Tooth
What!? I mean, come on! Why? Sure. Attack Speed for the passive and AP for more damage... But really? Nashor's Tooth? Don't be stupid. Nashor's Tooth are only there to take space from other items that are good for Skarner

Atma's Impaler
The reason I don't like Atma's Impaler is because Skarner needs more than just armor and AD. Sure, you get some crit chances but that is just... Not that necessary. Atmog's is for bruisers. Skarner is a Tank. He deal good amount of damage with Trinity Force/ Iceborn Gauntlet, and Atma's Impaler aren't fitting into my build. It have no synergy with Skarner. Now when Atma's Impaler got nerfed, i really can't see any reason to get one.

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Attack Speed
+ Helps Passive
+ Faster Jungle
Flat Armor
+ Easier Jungle
+ Tankyness
Magic Resist/Level
+ Tankyness
+ Able to deal with Magic DMG
Movement Speed
+ Initiate
+ Synergy

This is the runes I'm using on Skarner, and I can't replace them with anything. It's the only way to go IMO.
If you are missing the Quintessences, Skarner is still playable with any Quintessence you want. Movement Speed are utility-runes, and are not giving any "fighting-stats". I would recommend Armor, Health, Attack Speed or Magic Resist.

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I try to think "What do Skarner
synergy with playing as an jungler?"
Well, I think Tankyness and Movement
Speed. If you pick Masteries
like this, you should be fine.




I try to pick what Skarner needs.
Movement Speed for synergy and CDR
on Summoner Spells, cuz OP.
Flash for cooldown and Buff-time is
kinda obvious, isn't it?

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Summoner Spells

You are jungling. AS A JUNGLER, YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO PICK SOMETHING ELSE. Please, i don't care if you can clear the jungle without smite. Smite helps you clearing the jungle faster, and to secure Baron and Dragon.

I use Flash on Skarner to do crazy surprise-initiates, and also for chasing or being chased. I know that Skarner I play is really fast, but sometimes it can be good to jump a wall or something like that.

Viable Summoner Spells

When i started playing Skarner i used this instead of Flash. Mainly for the Impale but also because high movement speed on Skarner is strong! But he doesn't have a gapcloser and he needs to get in range to use Impale. Ghost works, but Flash is just a better choice IMO.

I have never played Exhaust on Skarner, but i think it might work as a "opposit" for Ghost. Instead of speeding yourself up, you are slowing enemies. Exhaust is great for ganking, but Skarner already have slow. It works, but Flash is still a better choice IMO.

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

This is for ganking and being a tank. I max Crystal Slash for the slow, and Crystalline Exoskeleton for speed and shield. I pick Impale when i can. Fracture is not a "must have-ability" so I don't start leveling it until level 13.

Crystal Slash
Skarner lashes out, dealing physical damage to all enemies in a small area around him. He charges himself with Crystal Energy for 5 seconds if a unit is struck.
If he casts Crystal Slash again while empowered by Crystal Energy, the ability deals bonus magic damage and slows all targets hit for 2 seconds.

MMMGreat ability for clearing the jungle and farming. But AMAZING for pre-6 ganks. Once you hit the slow on the enemy, you will force a flash, or else you will kill, or your laner will.

Crystalline Exoskeleton
Skarner receives a shield for up to 6 seconds. While the shield is still active his movement speed and attack speed are boosted.

MMMMovement Speed, Attack Speed and Shield. Great for keeping you healthy in the jungle, but also to increase your high tankyness. It will also make your jungling faster. It gives everything Skarner needs!

Skarner summons a blast of crystalline energy in a line which deals magic damage to enemies struck and marks them for 6 seconds. If any marked targets receive further damage from Skarner, or if they die when struck by Fracture, Skarner will consume the mark to heal himself. Subsequent marks consumed and unit kills will heal for 50% of the last.

MMMI don't like this as much as i should, I think. It heals you when you deal damage on "marked" enemies or minions.

Skarner suppresses an enemy champion for 1.75 seconds and deals magic damage to it. During this time, Skarner can move freely and will drag his victim around with him. When the effect ends, Skarner's target will be dealt the same amount of magic damage again.

MMMGreat Ultimate! Good initiate, good ganking, good to shut down carries. It will suck if your opponent gets Quicksilver Sash, but if they don't you are dangerous!

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Creeping / Jungling

Standard Route

This is a good, fast route and your laners should help you.
  • Blue. Ask for a hard leach so you don't need Smite. Spam Q.
  • Use W and run to Red.
  • Red. Use Smite here. Use Q and W.
  • Gank or Farm. Do what you can.

I don't like Golems, I take them when I feel i got time for them.
You don't have to go exactly this route, this is how i often go when I'm not counterjungling low-lvl.

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THIS COLOR MEANS: Walk here if the ward is placed there.
THIS COLOR MEANS: Walk here if the ward is placed there.


THIS COLOR MEANS: Walk here if the ward is placed there.
THIS COLOR MEANS: Walk here if the ward is placed there.


THIS COLOR MEANS: Walk here if the ward is placed there.
THIS COLOR MEANS: Walk here if the ward is placed there.
You can use this on top if the lane is pushed there aswell, but walk in from the base/tower.

Skarner pre-6 ganks is all about slowing your enemies and deal damage. If they used flash, that is still a good gank. If they died, it's a really good gank!

When you hit Level 6, ganking is easy. You don't have to use your ult directly, and in most cases you don't even need to. If you are ganking an champions with high CC and/or jumping abilities you might want to use it early and tell your mates to deal as much damage as possible for the kill, or even stun then the same secound your ultimate turns off.

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Me: I don't want to name and shame people, thats why i blurred all names, except from mine.

Mike Litorizz
Let me know how you did, and i will paste it on the guide!

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This is it. Hope you think Skarner is a good champion!

Thanks to jhoijhoi! Your guide helped me alot!

It would really help me if you guys spread the word about this guide!
If I help alot of players, I will make other guides for my other champions.

I want to give all my love to everyone who gave me a +1!

Edit: Fixed it for Season 3! I might change some things, but this is how I play atm.