Skarner Build Guide by ninjabrain
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.
The Classic Build
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.
Welcome to my Skarner build! I have been playing Skarner for a while and have decided to make a build out of my experiences. Always when I face another Skarner, I totally own him, that's why I think my build should be posted so everyone could enjoy it!
Please try the build before voting.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here, and the awesome line dividers which you can see just above! She also made the Amazing banner!
Pros - Cons
+ AoE spam: Crystal Slash.
+ He is a Scorpion!
+ Can drag champions around with Impale!
+ Good chaser.
+ Healing spell: Fracture.
+ His passive: Energize makes AS into CDR!
+ Awesome runner.
- Low damage early game.
- Needs some movement speed, because he has no charge skill.
- Mana hungry early game.
I choose defense masteries for Skarner, he needs those masteries to be able to stand in the middle of the fight and spam his Crystal Slash without dying. Basically, all masteries i have chosen in this tree is good for Skarner.
Secondarily, I prefer Utility masteries for Skarner. Mostly because of the extra movement speed form Swiftness , Summoner Spell Cooldown Reduction from Mastermind and neutral monster buff duration from Runic Affinity . The Mana reg will also help you sustain in lane. Skarner is useless without mana.
These masteries are not a very good choice for Skarner. The only points i would spend here would be 4 points in Alacrity . but it is not worth taking this mastery instead of the ones mentioned in the Utility Tree.
You could spend a point in this if you like to use Exhaust, or if you want extra movement speed form Ghost.
Only one point in this mastery will reduce the damage from critical strikes by 10%. Some people prefer it, I don't. But if you do, you should get it.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Health
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
I choose Attack Speed runes rather than AD or Armor pen because of my passive, energize. Every time I hit a minion or monster with a basic attack, my cooldowns are reduced by 0.5 seconds, And reduced by 1 second when hitting an enemy champion! This is an excellent passive if you focus on Attack Speed. So don't build too much AD, then you are going to waste it.
These runes will give you a total of 12.69 armor. Otherwise, Skarner is a bit too squishy to be an offtank. These also gives you an early advantage against AD DPS champions like, Renekton, Urgot and Caitlyn.
As mentioned above, Skarner is actually a bit too squishy to be an offtank. these runes will give you Magic Resist per level (24.3 MR at level 18). I choose theese instead of flat MR runes because most AP Casters' damage is very big in lategame, such as Veigar, LeBlanc and Karthus.
These runes give you 26 HP each! That means you will get 52 extra HP at the start, and that provides a very big chance to get First Blood. Also, These runes are going to save your life often. I cant remember how many times I have had less than 52 HP left. These runes are a must!
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Skarner needs movment speed in order to get close to his victims and slow them with Crystal Slash. One of theese runes gives 1.5% boosted movment speed. Lets say you have 400 movment speed. Then you get an extra 6 movment speed. That doesn't sound much, but I promise, this rune gives you a good advantage, combined with Crystalline Exoskeleton.
Summoner Spells - Recommended and Less Viable
Flash is a very good spell combined with Ghost. if you need to run away from a teamfight, you can flash over the wall, use Crystalline Exoskeleton and Ghost if needed. Also good if your team are chasing someone. Flash over a wall, sting your prey with Impale, use Ghost and Crystalline Exoskeleton. your Movement Speed should be about 500 now, and you can easily drag the victim to your team!
As mentioned above, this spell is a very good combination with Flash. When you use this spell, doesn't matter if you are running or chasing, you should also use Crystalline Exoskeleton for best results!
This spell has a bigger range than Crystal Slash, you could use this to slow them, and when you are close enough, keep slowing him with Crystal Slash. You can use this spell in many ways. I suggest picking this spell if no-one in your team already has it.
Ignite is an awsome spell, but it doesn't really benefit Skarner. Let me explain why:
You are about to win a fight and the victim runs to his turret, with other champions, you would use Ignite now. But not on Skarner, Your slow from Crystal Slash is so critical that he is unable to escape. If he gets close to the turret, you just use Impale. However, This spell could also be used to counter healing and lifesteal. Again, pick this spell if no-one in your team has it, to counter Self-Healing champions like Sion and Dr. Mundo.
You're no support. But if you like it, im not stopping you. This spell has many uses.
Ability Sequence and Usage
Energize, the passive of Skarner. This is what we are focusing on in this build. It is an Amazing passive if you use it right. Doesn't matter if you go full AD, full AP or Hybrid, Skarner should buy Attack Speed because of it.
Crystal Slash is your main ability. You should ALWAYS spam it when you are fighting someone. This skill is very powerful in teamfights, but no-one realizes that! At level 5 it deals over 150 AoE damage, for only 30 mana! lets say you have enough Attack Speed to spam this skill once every second. If you stand in the middle of the teamfight and you hit 3 enemies with Crystal Slash, you are able to do over 700 damage per second (auto attacks + Crystal Slash).
This is your "W" skill. It gives you a shield that boost your Movement Speed and Attack Speed when it persists. Use this when chasing someone or running away from someone. The shield is also useful when harassing, because the shield absorbs some damage.
This spell is what restores your life between fights, without having to recall. When laning, try to hit as many minions as possible with this, then go in the middle of them and use one Crystal Slash. That will trigger all the marks, and heal you the fastest way possible. You can also use this in the jungle.
This is your ultimate. Here is when you should use it, ranked 1-5:
2. INITIATE A TEAMFIGHT!!
3. Suppress a fed carry in a teamfight, so your allies can attack him easy, and the carry cant do anything.
4. When an enemy runs away, drag him back to your team.
5. Saving a chased teammate by dragging his chaser away from him.
"Basic attacks lower the cooldowns of Skarner's abilities by 1 second against champions and 0.5 seconds against non-champions."
So, basically: Attack Speed = Cooldown Reduction.
I recommend you to check all alternative items, and maybe pick some if you like them! If you are an experienced LoL player, you should know to NOT follow the recommended build of your champion, following any build on MobaFire is the same. Every game is different and you need to build your champion to benefit your team and counter the enemy team.
Note to everyone following the "Classic Build": If you need to, you SHOULD swap warmog's with Zephyr or Iceborn Gauntlet if you feel too squishy. Then buy that swapped item later on.
Choose one of theese two options as starter items.
Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions are the starting items for many champions right now. When Regrowth Pendant got removed I basically thought that Rejuvenation Bead gave too little Health Regeneration to sustain me in lane. I thought of various tier 1 items that would later build into an item that I will be getting, but didnt find any good one except for Boots of Speed. However, these will make you harder to gank, able to assist better in ganks, roam around the map faster, and much more. The three health potions grants a decent amount of sustain too. Not bad.
These items will grant you much more sustain than Boots of Speed, but doesnt help you at all if you get ganked or if your jungler is ganking. Buying these does also unlock the ability to get a really early philosopher's stone.
Choose one of theese two options as starter items.
The Sapphire Crystal will give you a big, early Mana boost. It's important to have enough mana to heal yourself, shield yourself, and farm. 400g is also fairly cheap, making you able to buy two Health Potions. Starting with a Sapphire Crystal also gives access to a very early catalyst the protector.
HUGE early boost in Health. However, you won't be able to use your skills much. And with a cost of 475g, you cant buy any potions. But we want to rush that catalyst the protector. Buy the Crystal you need the most. Btw, any crystal is good on Skarner. He is made of them after all.
Exclusive for the "Classic Build".
This item builds for your regroth pendant. Now you will also have Mana Regeneration, and 5 Gold / 10 sec. It is essential to have this item to stay in lane as much as possible. Getting this early also makes the Gold / 10 sec more valueable. The only downside with this item could be that you are selling it later on, because we aren't building Eleisa's Miracle nor shurelya's reverie. Of course you can buy them if you want to. As mentioned earlier, buy what your team needs, and what makes the enemy weaker.
If you have this item in 40 minutes, the 5 Gold / 10 sec will give you 1200g.
Exclusive for the "Offtank Build".
Catalyst the Protector
This item is more expensive than Regrowth Pendant, but offers both Survivability and Sustainability. Let's compare this item with philosopher's stone!
Catalyst the Protector: 290 Health, 325 Mana and Its Passive:On leveling up, restores 250 Health and 200 Mana over 8 seconds.
philosopher's stone: 18 Health reg, 8 Mana reg and 5 Gold / 10 sec
I have figured out that if you level up faster than every 70 seconds, catalyst the protector provides more Health reg than philosopher's stone. And if you level up faster than every 125 seconds, catalyst the protector provides more Mana reg than philosopher's stone.SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE
The Catalyst is way better IMO. Not just because the fact that it builds into an item we are buying, but because of the good Mana reg from its passive and the extra Health and Mana. In some cases when you are not leveling up fast, philosopher's stone might be a better choise, e.g. if jungling or going bottom lane. (Support / AD Carry Skarner isn't recommended though..)
Your next item will be Sheen. This is a MUST on Skarner, when you got this you will boost your damage output a LOT. A Skarner without Sheen is like a Karthus without his ultimate Requiem, or a Rammus without his Thornmail. Sheen for Skarner is as important as Infinity Edge for AD Carries, trust me.
Head back to your base when you can afford Sheen, and philosopher's stone if you bought Regrowth Pendant at start.
Now it is time to buy our boots! I suggest you buy Mercury's Treads, because it will give you some MR and best of all.. Tenacity! Tenacity reduces the duration of all crowd control effects like: stuns, slows, blinds, and so on. Tenacity is very needed on Skarner.
This item is the most expensive in the game, so you will have to farm a lot. But it gives us everything we want! But most of all, we want its passives. The passive from Sheen is 50% better when we upgrade it to Trinity Force and also, we get the passive from Phage. This is a must on Skarner.
This item fits very well in our build. It builds from the Meki Pendant you maybe bought at the start. It gives what we are looking for: Attack Speed and Ability Power! Also some Mana regen, which is very good too! Another awesome thing about this item, is that it gives 25% Cooldown Reduction. That is an awesome passive, because Skarner's ultimate has about 100 sec cooldown! You will be able to use it more now. CDR is always good on every champion!
Now we will start build our sustain item. Hextech Gunblade gives you AD, AP, Lifesteal and Spellvamp, and a good active. Now you will be able to heal yourself more between the fights. Before you bought this item, the only way to heal yourself was by using Fracture. This will also give you a boost in AD and AP, which we need for our abilities and auto attacks.
When chasing someone, you should now use its active first to slow the target, because it has longer range than Crystal Slash. When you are close enough, you can slow them with Crystal Slash.
Quite some Armor, a little bit Mana and some NICE early Cooldown Reduction. It also builds into Frozen Heart which we will buy later on. Of course we are going to buy this awesome item! :D
An exclusive item for the Offtank Build is Wit's End! In this point of the game, we want to get some more Magic Resist, because the last MR item we bought was Mercury's Treads. We need Attack Speed too, so why not get it right now? The 42 extra Magic Damage when auto attacking works good against champions buying Armor. Also, by auto attacking we will now stack up some more Magic Resist for a short period of time, by up to 25 extra MR ( 55 MR from this item in total). A really cheap item too.
Now we are building some Health. The item that gives most flat HP in the game. Not much to say here except you will get more tanky with this item and the next item.
Now we will build a MR and Armor item, Guardian Angel! This is perfect for our build, we will get some more Armor than MR, but Armor is a bit more needed. Also revives you champion! An awesome item.
Our Armor item, Frozen Heart! Gives 99 Armor, 500 Mana, and a GREAT Passive!
"Reduces the attack speed of nearby enemies by 20%."
Also, we get some Cooldown Reduction to help us master The Art of Spamming.
Banshee's Veil is great, it build's from our catalyst the protector and gives us needed Health and Magic resistance. The passive of this item also makes initiating easier, especially combined with Mercury's Treads and a Ghost!
P.S. if you want to know when to buy Healt / Ar + MR, go check this out.
Only choose these boots if the enemy team lacks of crowd control effects, and if they only have 1-2 AP champions.
This may sound strange, because Skarner is no AP caster. But this gives you a big boost in AP. So if you don't get focused that much, or if your team lacks of AP Casters, you could actually buy this item if you want, but not very recommended.
Both an AP item and a Survivability item. Buy this item if you prefer Survivability instead of Sustainability.
Pretty similar to Rod of Ages, but gives less base stats. The good thing with this item is its passive that could be a replacement for the active of Hextech Gunblade. With this item, your Fracture and Impale will slow your target too!
This item was once in my Core Build, but I changed it with Hextech Gunblade because it gives you more Sustain.
This is a Very good item too. Gives 40% Attack Speed and 30 AD, but only gives 25 Armor. The problem is that it is so expensive, and doesn't give as much survivability as Warmog's Armor.
Buy this item if the enemy team have many tanks/offtanks, or if you don't need the extra health.
Gives less Health than Warmog's Armor, but gives some Armor and a good passive. It is also cheaper.
Buy it if you need more Armor.
A good Defense item. Gives a huge boost in Magic Resist, But doesn't give any Armor nor revives your champion. Not much more to explain.
Buy this if the enemy team has 4 Ap Champions.
Also a good Defense item. If the enemy team has a fed OP AD carry like Vayne or Tryndamere, AND has at least 2 OTHER AD champions. That will remove most of their lifesteal and probably bring them to their grave!
If you need MR and AP, buy Abyssal Scepter.
If you need Armor and AD, buy Atma's Impaler.
There are so many items to choose, that I cant write them all down. But I recommend you to buy a defensive item here.
Farming - Very Important!
Farming is a Very Important part of playing Skarner good. Without farming, you won't be able to do a thing in teamfights. If you farm good, and maybe jungle a bit, You can kill most champions 1v2 because of your AoE abilities! Yes it's true, many games I ask the enemies if they want to, but they answer "no" most times :P
The key is using Crystal Slash at the right moments.
Don't just spam it as you will do in teamfights, do it once to charge yourself, then use it to last hit minions. Crystal Slash doesn't have any channeling time or delay that auto attacks have, which means that it will deal damage instanty when activated.
Another good thing to last hit easier, is to combinate Auto Attacks with Crystal Slash.
when a minion is low on HP, do an Auto Attack and a Crystal Slash directly after it. Doing this should secure the last hit.
If you feel that you dont have enough minion kills, why dont clear the jungle 1 or 2 times? Some matches, ranged champions have stopped me from farming. I got so few minion kills I couldn't even kill a squishy champion! Then I jungled a few minutes, and got some gold! An enemy didn't realize what I had done, and attacked me. Soon after, he found himself dead!
But keep in mind, you can only do this if your team doesn't have a jungler, If you have one, ask him if it's ok if you take his jungle for a while.
Hall of Fame
Here is the Hall of Fame, a collection of scores that people have sent to me! If you want your score here, it is easy, just comment or PM me a picture of your score!
Not many pictures yet, but it is still something!
Here is me playing a game with my Classic Build in a ranked game:
And with the Offtank Build:
I Also Made a Little Montage Video on a SoloTop Game! Im Not Very Good at the Start, but I Get Really Fed Later on:
My friend Graob on EUNE got a PENTA KILL with my build!
Whisk3y playing on EUW
- Guide posted.
- Did a spellcheck and checked for coding mistakes.
- Changes in Core Build to add lifesteal, spellvamp and more Survivability:
- Made a more nice looking layout with help of jhoijhoi's Guide which you can find here.
- Added "Farming - Very Important!" section.
- Added a second build to the guide, The Offtank Build.
- Added some new stuff to the "Items" chapter.
- Completed the Offtank Build.
- Updated the "Items" chapter.
- Did some minor tweaks to the guide.
- Tweaked the Offtank Build, mainly to add more MR - Added Banshee's Veil.
- Added Banshee's Veil to the items chapter.
- More minor Tweaks.
- Added Hall of Fame.
- Updated both builds for Season 3.
- Changed a bunch of items to add some of the new powerful S3 items.
- Changes to the Offtank Build because the recipe for Ohmwrecker changed:
Thank you for reading my build! Please leave a comment and tell me what you think! ^^
You should also keep in mind that playing Skarner don't give you many kills, because you don't have any "last hit skill" that does insane damage instantly, for example: Olaf's Reckless Swing. So you will often end up with a huge amount of assists.
Feel free to change on my build and try new items!