Skarner Build Guide by Bernat
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SKARNER DOMINION GUIDE
I have recently discovered how easy and funny is Skarner to play, so I thought I would share my point of view so I can share my play experience so far and maybe learn new things.
Skarner is a short range champion whose skills scale with AP. His passive makes it so the highest your attack speed, the faster you can use your skills. This is the reason why this guide focuses on attack speed, AP and, lately, AD.
Pros / Cons
High survival ability once into melee.
Close range aoe abilities.
Self healing plus shield.
Needs to get into close range, so can be harrassed by ranged champions.
Can be a bit weak at start.
Energize is a great passive. All the choices are taken around this skill. Basically, every time you attack an enemy champion, all your skill cooldowns are reduced by 1 second. This means more healing, more damage mitigation and more damage output. This is the reason why you're looking to maximize your attack speed. If you ever get out of mana from skill spamming, visit your base. Attacking minions gives half the benefit, so engage them if your ulti is on cooldown.
If your fingers don't hurt after losing a game, then you didn't try hard enough! At level 18 with items, runes and masteries, Crystal Slash has a 2'1 second cooldown. If you took Malady and Wit's End, you'll be dealing aproximately 1'5 attacks per second. On average, this means the effective cooldown will be 0'6 seconds when attacking enemy champions. Remember it's an aoe skill (this is good), and as such spell vamp will be reduced to 1/3th (this is bad). It also slows enemy movement after the first cast (this is good too!).
Crystalline Exoskeleton gives you damage absorption which gives you more attack speed and movement speed. Spam it when chasing, spam it when fighting and you'll rock. Unfortunately, the buff part won't last long in melee, but it's still 400 health points every 5 seconds or so.
Fracture means added damage and healing every few seconds. Too bad this skill makes you click your mouse, which somehow stops you from entering a full keyboard smashing rage that would definately make Skarner the most legendary champion ever. Try to use this when enemies are in line to increase the number of hits, then use your Crystal Slash to damage as many as possible and heal a lot.
Impale Is The Most Funny Skill Ever. Disabling an enemy champion is fun, but picking it up and carrying with you is epic. Add in the ability to keep spamming skills and attacking (even the target of this skill) while in effect and you'll find yourself attacking your own teammates in hopes of reducing its cooldown. The damage from this skill is also decent, dealing 400 + full AP (before magic resistance reductions).
Go R > Q > W > E to increase mobility/mitigation and R > Q > E > W to increase harassing/healing.
Core item build
These items cover Skarner's survival as well as add some damage output. The last item slot can be taken according to your preferences and, most important, what the current game demands. Here are some suggestions depending on what you're facing:
Versus both AP and AD
Guardian Angel is a good choice that will make you start a 5v5 fight with confidence. Sure, you will most likely die, but 750 hp will be enough for you to recover using your spell vampirism and skills. Just try to make sure you lock someone before dying.
Heavy physical damage
Thornmail alone can be the difference between a win and a lose. Not only will this reduce damage income, but it will also deal some decent backfire damage. I consider this a solid choice and would even take it if facing a single tough melee champion.
Randuin's Omen will both reduce your enemies auto-attack damage output and their chances of chasing you or fleeing from you. It also adds some health which is always welcome.
Heavy magical damage
Odyn's Veil is a good choice. It will reduce incoming magic damage by 10% (great!), and will also allow for a 400 aoe nuke every 90 seconds which will trigger your spell vampirism healing you in return. On top of that, it gives health points and more magic resistance. Yeah, gives mana too, but who cares at this point.
Wit's End is a more offensive approach. If you feel you're fine surviving enemies' nukes but think a bit more magic resistance won't hurt, and you feel you can spam your skill even faster, then this is the item for you. Your high attack speed will also benefit from on-hit magic damage. However, this item has two important downsides. First, you have to get into melee to proc the magic resistance, and second on-hit magic damage won't benefit from spell vampirism.
You will benefit from Guinsoo's Rageblade's AP, AD and attack speed. The only problem is it needs to grow from attacking. The good news is your attack speed will be high already, so it will grow up quickly.
Malady is probably the most offensive one, reducing your target's magic resistance and giving you AP and attack speed. Don't forget the on-hit magic damage.
My typical choices are Ghost and Flash. Both spells focus on increasing mobility or providing a mean of escaping.
Ghost can help you getting into range of enemy champions when you find you're being kitted and your W is not ready. It can also be used to pull an enemy champion with your ulti faster, as this spell can be used while Impale is active.
Flash can be good for escaping, chasing or fight initiation. Flash to your target and use a charged Crystal Slash or Impale on it to slow or disable. Flash in the middle of the enemy team and take the most squishy champion with you to your teammates. Be creative. Remember you can't flash while impaling someone.
Surge is a good alternative for Skarner as it will increase your attack speed and AP, which are the most important stats for Skarner in this build.
Skarner's survival in this guide depends on three things:
First, by reducing incoming damage. This is done by stacking armor/dodge and magic resistance. This is covered by seals and glyphs.
Second, by increasing its self-healing. This is done by increasing damage output through magic penetration. This is covered by marks.
And third, by increasing mobility. This is done by increasing movement speed, which is covered by quintessences.
All over rune selection you'll find out I prefer "per level" runes over flat ones. Considering Dominion is a fast game where you level up quickly, I find them to be the best choice. If you don't agree, it's you who will be playing, so do what you want.
9 x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Less magic resistance ==> more magic damage ==> more self-healing and more damage to oponent.
9 x Greater Seal of Evasion
At 100 armor, adding another 24 armor from runes would reduce incoming melee damage by roughly 5%, and it only gets worse and your armor increases. These seals alone reduce incoming melee damage by 6'75% no matter how high your armor is, so I consider them a better choice over Greater Seal of Defense.
9 x Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Plain magic resistance to reduce incoming magic damage. Other alternatives for this one are Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power, Greater Glyph of Attack Speed and Greater Glyph of Vitality.
3 x Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
For quintessences you can pretty much choose what you like the most. I picked movement speed runes to get into fight faster so I can pull a champion to my team, but they can be replaced by Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration, Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power, Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed, Greater Quintessence of Evasion, Greater Quintessence of Scaling Magic Resist or Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed depending on your preferences.
Mastery choices are pretty straightforward. They focus on surviving so you can get into melee to start dishing out damage. Once you get into melee, few things will survive your spamming wrath.