Skarner Build Guide by Cuthalion
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.
Skarner can be built many different ways as he is an extremely versital champion. This build walks the line between AD DPS and survivability. He also can be built into a viable tank or hybred DPS.
Please dont let my ****py spelling make you think that this guide isnt worth your time, trust me, it works.
This build will allows you to maximize your speed to be quick into a fight snag one of their dps and drag them kicking and screaming into your team/tower. It also gives you the damage and survivability to stick around in a team fight and focus their dps down. Whether you are slowing with Crystal Slash or draging them with Impale when played right Skarner is one anoying champion to deal with.
Pros and Cons
This is the pros and cons more so for this build than for the champion as a whole.
High move speed (Around 500 with Crystalline Exoskeleton active)
Tanky enough to engage enemy team
Powerful enough to get solo kills on squishies
Skill Build Order
I always start with Crystal Slash, not only is it your most spamable move it costs just over 20 mana at level one which is a deal considering it can be used to get some easy kills early game. This is because of the 25% slow (at level one), and because you his passive Energizewhich reduces CD by either 1 second for striking a champion or 1/2 a second for striking a minion. Once you get the slow on your ememy, on the second cast of Crystal Slash, without boots its not likely your enemy will escape you.
Second I go Crystalline Exoskeleton, it gives you moment
speed, attack speed, and a shield... Ya, I don't know how thats not considered OP. This move is ridiculous when combined with Crystal Slash. It is what allows you to stick to the enemy champion, getting those crucial slows in providing you with the kill. This is why I grab it second because again it allows for those early game kills.
Third I grab Fracture. This is primarily for the heal it provides, as it does not do very much damage. It can aso be used to help you creep, push lane or as a rather ****py haress ;).After level 3 you should have one point in all of your abilities, minus your ult obiousily. From here you need to max out Crystal Slash, for the slow (it maxes out at 45%!!!). Once thats at five then you move on to Crystaline Exoskeleton, and max that out. PS Yes you should of gotten your ult Impaleat 6... dont be ******ed. Fracture will be last to hit 5, as it really doesn't do to much for you aside from some heals and creeping.
Runes and Masteries
I'm going to touch on this briefly here as you can plainly see both of these above. Let me just do a little explaining.
Firsts lets talk about runes, my rune page as you saw is Attack Damage, Armor, and Magic Resist. I should warn you that I don't have a rune page for every champion, I use this for my AD DPS, I like it because it gives good survivability early game,and a surprising amount of damage that can really catch people off guard in the early laning phase. You could however sub the damage out for something else like armor penetration, for more late game effectiveness, though I would keep the armor and magic resist.
For runes as you can see I go utility and defense, for the early game bonuses to survivability. The extra speed and cooldown given to you by utility are really nice because it helps you to stick to a target even better. It also gives you some mana and mana regen which is necessary for Skarner as he is pretty mana hungry early game. The defense is also nice as it gives you some additional armor, magic resist, and heath regen. Which just let you stay in lane for much longer periods.
For summoner spells I generally run with Exhaustand Flash. Now you may be sceptical but there is good reason for both of these, let me explain. First I chose Exaust, even though you have on of the best slows in the game it can be hard to double up Crystal Slash to invoke the slow before they get away. This becomes even more apearent if you were to try and pull someone into you tower with your ult. Generally you wont be able to get two crystal Slashes before there out of tower range. This is where exhaust comes in. Basically they will never escape :). Ive grabbed a cocky Shen in front of his whole team and killed him on the tower before he could escape, or his team could do anything about it. Second I run Flash, now besides the obivious use as an escape it works as a beautiful engage. Simply pop Crystalline Exoskeleton, flash out of bush, and Impale unsuspecting DPS and drag them back to your team. Warning, you can not, I repet NOT flash while Impaling someone, I know I was heartbroken too :(. There are some other spells the would be viable, like ghost or ignite, I really like Exhaust and Flash for the reasons provided above.
This item build is highly situational, meaning while it has some core items, what you buy and when you buy it depends on who yor faceing off against.
Early Game Build
I usually start a with a Dorens Shield, especially if I'm solo laneing top. With your heal at level 3, the extra health regen/armor from dorens you shouldn't ever have to leave your lane. Then I build Merc Treadsand a tear of the goddess in quick succession. The tear pretty much solves his mana issues and as soon as its built into a manamune, its all the damage you will need.
Mid game Build
So with your tear built in a Manamume and your Merc Treads and Dorens Shield. Your pretty tanky and always raising that damage with Manamune. From here on out his build becomes highly situational. From here I go with one of four items, all of which provide something different. If Im getting focused hard or find myself dieing alot I build a Guardian Angel, or a Sunfire Cape. If Ive getting hit by alot of magic damage grab a Force of Natureand their screwed. It gives you even more speed (with max Crystalline Exoskeleton you move at just over 500) and some nice magic resist. If you feel like you are doing ok and dont need any more tanky items at this point trinty forceis the next item up for you. remember you dont have to build all of the trinity at once, do always start with sheenthough as it doubles up nicely with Crystal Slash allowing you to do even more damage between slows.
Late Game Build
If you grabed one of the tanky items first go ahead and build that trinity force, again starting with sheen. If you built trinity I recommend grabbing Force of Nature at this point. While the other two tank items are good this one give you the most bang for your buck giving you that ever important speed. So at this point lets recap,you should have Merc Treads, Manamue, one of three tanky items, and Trinity Force. I didnt list Dorens because usually I've sold it off at this point, either to make room or for a couple extra gold. Ive built a varity of different items here, I like to build some sort of life steal at this point, whether its a Bloodthrister or a Starks frevor. I prefer Starks as it gives some good attack speed as well as life steal. Though the damage from Bloodthrister is also a really nice asset, because at full stacks you will sit at about 300 AD. If you want to go tankier still you could buy that Guardian Angel or Sunfire instead. Like Ive been saying this whole time, it really depends on your team situation and enemy team comp.
Laneing Phase is a pretty easy run for Skarner. With the tankiness youve acumulated from runes masteries and your dorens shield. Your really hard to kill or even send back. Alot of the time you can score an early kill when people underestimate Crystal slash's slow. You should stay laneing until you have your manamune and merc treads, then your free to roam and gank as you wish. Its ok gank before this point just remeber you wont do to much damage. Instead just slow the enemy alot, which is fine as long as you have someone to help you do damage.
Mid Game / Role in Teamfights
Mid game to late is where you shine. In team fights you become the undeniable instagater. Grab that ememy champion and drag them over to your team. 5 people finish a squishy DPS pretty fast, only grab a ememy tank if they are decently low and you think your team can kill them before the enemy team comes to support. If you did not start the team fight save your ult its likely you will need it later in the fight. Instead hope on their dps and start slashing. Your slow and shield make you terrifing to squishies. If they run dont be afraid to ult them if they try to run, just Impale and drag them back into the fray. Your ult also makes for a good save/channel breaker. You can drag xin away from your squishes, or even break kats ult, its up to you. You are one of the best chases in the game, chugging along at around 500 with your Crystalline Exoskeleton and Force of Nature your impossible to outrun, plus the slow your become downright unescapeable. This also makes you really hard to catch as your slow is a small aoe you dont have to hit the enemy chaseing you. Just keep running slowing them whenever they come into range.
You just stick with your team whenever a team fight looks iminate. Otherwise you make for a good lane pusher. Your Slash and Fracture makes for good creep killers, and your Crystalline Exoskeleton give you the attack needed to knock down towers and speed to run if they decide to chase.
In short if played correctly Skarner can become a terrifying engage, chase, and pusher. But like I stated at the begining he can be built into many different roles. For example, slap a Rylais on him, for an ap build and you will have to kill him to escape the slows. Thanks for your time and I hope you liked my build. Ive been told quite a few times now by both my team and enemy team that I am the only good Skarner player they've seen so far. Which from my expirences it would seem so lol, though he has only been out for very long. I've tried AP, Hybred, and Tanky, and I think this build Ive provided you with is by far the most effective Ive seem so far.