Skarner Build Guide by XKillerMachineXx

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League of Legends Build Guide Author XKillerMachineXx

[WAITING FOR REWORK!!!!]Immortal Skarner

XKillerMachineXx Last updated on December 1, 2013
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Hi everyone, I´m XKillerMachineXx, and this is my new Skarner Guide. I worked a lot and tried to make this guide as in-depth as possible. Skarner has been my favourite champion for more than a year now and I played over 300 games with him. Since I have played about 1200 games this is about a quarter with just one champ.

Skarner is actually a very fun champion to play. He has a perma-slow, an ms/as steroid, (sadly) a useless heal and one of the greatest ultimates in the game. So without further ado, let´s get started.

1. Skarner
Pros / Cons, Abilities

2. Pre-Game
Masteries, Runes, Summoner Spells

3. Items
Core Items, Late Game Items, Situational Items, AP Items

4. Gameplay
Jungling, Warding, Gameplays

5. Epilogue


+ Fast jungle clear
+ Incredibly tanky
+ One of the fastest runners
+ Very much damage in his kit
+ One of the best ultimates in the game
+ Permaslow
+ Strong ganks
Skarner is a very great pick in both solo queue and team queue. If played correctly, he can carry every team to a win. His kit makes him an incredibly strong ganker and thanks to very much inbuilt damage he can build pure tank too. In team fights catching the right enemy can be game changing. And since he has one of the fastest jungle clears in the game he is one of the best junglers. Also he
doesn´t fall of late game.


- No gap-closer
- Kited easily
- Impale gets countered by Quicksilver Sash
- You can Flash out of Impale
- Can easily be out of position
- Fracture is kind of useless
As every champion, Skarner has also his weaknesses. Since he has no gap-closer, he has to run straight into the enemies to initiate. This has 2 disadvantages:
1. He can be kited easily
2. If your team doesn´t follow up, you are out of position and probably going to die.
His Impale is easily counter able, but the most opponents won’t be smart enough, just don’t use Impale on a champion who has Cleanse or Quicksilver Sash. And his Fracture is probably the most useless ability in the game.

When to take Skarner

energize Each basic attack reduces Skarner's ability cool downs by 0.5 seconds. The effect is doubled when attacking enemy champions. Attacking structures will not trigger Energize.

This makes attack speed a very viable (and necessary!) stat for Skarner.

Skarner deals physical damage to all enemies within range. If he hits any enemy, using Crystal Slash again within 5 seconds deals bonus magic damage and slows all enemies hit for 2 seconds.

This is Skarner’s perma-AOE slow. It's also his greatest damage tool.
- Spam this as much as possible.
- Use this when running away or chasing an enemy.
- If you manage to land some autoattacks, the cooldown will be at about just 1-2 seconds.
- It makes Sheen very effective.
- When ganking try to apply Crystal Slash on minions first if you walk through them.
- Don't waste your whole mana while using this.

Spoiler: Click to view

Skarner gains a shield that absorbs a certain amount of damage. The shield dissipates after 6 seconds if not already destroyed. While the shield is active, Skarner gains increased movement speed and attack speed.

This is our attack speed and movement speed steroid. It can be used for several situations:
- Chasing the enemy
- Getting chased
- Initiating
- Absorb damage
- Boost damage output
- Faster speed for roaming
- Use this as often as possible
- If you are in a fight, you can have it permanently up.
- Use this immediatly after using Impale.

Spoiler: Click to view

Skarner deals magic damage to all enemies in a line and marks them for 6 seconds.
If Skarner damages a marked target (consuming the mark) or Fracture kills an enemy, Skarner heals himself. Each heal after the first heals half of the previous trigger until Fracture is used again.

This isn't the best skill for jungle Skarner - however, it can be useful in some cases:
- When you are low on health use it on a minion wave to heal yourself up.
- Hit at least 3 targets - otherwise it isn't worth the mana spent!
- It is your only ranged skill so use it to finish off luckers.
- Just use it if needed.
- The heal is not much but whn you kill an enemy with it you gain some health.
- When the mark is on multiple enemies, you can use Crystal Slash to hit them all at once.

Why not level up Fracture earlier

Spoiler: Click to view

Skarner Skarner suppresses a target enemy champion for 1.75 seconds, dealing magic damage to the targeted champion. For the duration, Skarner can move freely and will drag his victim around with him. At the end of the suppression, the target takes the same damage again.

This is probably one of the best skills in the game. Impale is like a 1.75 second stun, but you can pull the enemies with you.
- You can't auto attack, but you can still use your other abilities while Impale.
- You can use a Thresh lantern to fly to him.
- It can be useful to Flash + Impale the adc and pull him with Shurelya's Reverie + Crystalline Exoskeleton
- If it is on cooldown, attack as many minions as possible to get it again.
- Don't attempt to Impale champions like Gangplank or Olaf, because they can deny it.
- Quicksilver Sash can break it too.

Spoiler: Click to view


Summoner's Resolve - Because it gives you 10 gold every time you use Smite. Since you will use Smite as often as possible this can give you some nice free gold.
Durability - +108 Health for just 4 mastery points. Skarner wants to be tanky.

Tough Skin - This really helps in the jungle.

Hardiness - Because every jungle monster deals physical damage and the extra armor is very useful.

Resistance - Because some early magic resistance can help you very much too.

Bladed Armor - This makes you jungle clear faster.

Relentless - Because this really helps against kiting.

Veteran's Scars - Some nice HP for just 1 point.

Tenacious - This helps even more against kiting like Relentless .

Juggernaut - 4% more max HP is pretty nice, since you want to be immortal.

Defender - This is 5 free mres and 5 free armor in a teamfight.

Honor Guard - 3% less overall damage is very good for just 1 point at should definitely be taken.

Don't take:

Perseverance - Because it is a worse pick in the jungle, since you don't rely to life regeneration and you couldn't take other (and better) masteries.

Unyielding - The 1/2 damage less taken is not really noticeable.

Safeguard - Because you generally don't want to turret dive in the early levels and in the late game it doesn't make any difference.

Block - Pretty much the same as Unyielding . Almost no difference.

Legendary Armor - It can be taken but gives you just 5 armor/mres per 100 armor/mres. Not too much.

Good Hands - Because you shouldn't die too much.

Reinforced Armor - Critical strikes come lategame -> you will have enough armor and HP so you won't really notice a difference.


Summoner's Insight - Because it reduces the cooldown of Flash by 15 seconds, which is very nice.

Wanderer - 2% free movement speed aren't too bad for Skarner.

Mastermind - 10% less cooldown on summoner spells. Synergizes well with Summoner's Insight . Flash and Smite benefit very well from that.

Artificer - Since I am getting shurelya's reverie and Randuin's Omen almost every game, the reduced cooldown on them is really beneficial.

Runic Affinity - 20% longer red and blue (not baron) buff is really helpful in the jungle.


Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

  • Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: These work very well with Skarner's high base movement speed. Also, they stack with Crystalline Exoskeleton and other movement speed items. Skarner needs to run very fast since he has no gap-closers and the faster you run, the wider your Impale can carry your enemy :)
  • Greater Mark of Attack Speed: I like these runes for almost every jungler. Skarner especially benefits from them. energize works very well with these and offers a great synergy. Skarner does almost no damage from auto attacks and really relies on his Crystal Slash. Thanks to these runes you can autoattack faster -> shorter cooldowns -> more damage.
  • Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: The glyphs should be for magic resistance. I use the scaling ones because you won't have very much magic damage in the early game so the late game is more useful. They offer you some great survivability in the lategame against AP.
  • Greater Seal of Armor: The seals should offer armour and this is essential for every jungler. All jungle creeps deal physical damage and the early 10 armour are making a big difference. Also when you gank lanes the minions will do less damage on you.

Smite: This is a must have for every jungler. It deals 1000 damage to monsters at level 18. You can secure buffs and objectives with it. Please refer to the objective control chapter to learn how to use Smite correctly.

Flash: I really love Flash for every champion. It has very many uses:

Ghost: I know there are some of you preferring Ghost over Flash and that’s OK. It is very viable on Skarner. You can boost you movement speed very much and it will help you at catching up, running away and draw enemies with Impale further.

Item Sequence

Ninja Tabi

Mercury's Treads

Aegis of the Legion


Nomad's Medallion

Spirit of the Ancient Golem

This is the standard start for almost every jungler. It gives you some magical damage on each minion hit - in addidion to 10% more damage on every neutral moster. It allows you to have a much faster jungle clear and it gives you the ability to buy 5 Health Potions. There is no other item that can offer you such a safe start.

These absorb an incredible amount of auto attack damage. Since Skarner is in the front lines he needs defensive boots.

They are very good if the enemy has very much CC and AP and you don't take Spirit of the Ancient Golem.

This gives your whole team a boost of survivability and tankyness and should be picked up every game. It really helps your team out a lot too so it is very strong in the current Meta.

This is your main damage item until the late game. Since Skarner's cool down on Crystal Slash is very low, this boost your damage into the air.

philosopher's stone It gives you a decent amount of gold and the mana regen is very important, especially in early game. It should help you dealing with mana problems.

Tenacity, CDR, HP, mana regen, what do you want more? It feels perfect for Skarner. CDR is always good, HP too and with its mana regen you really should have no mana problems. There are plenty of reasons why to take this over Spirit of the Elder Lizard. The Lizard elder should be bought if you are snowballing. But it costs 2000 gold. You should really consider buying Sheen instead. It costs just 1200 gold, while giving you a lategame transition, whilst you have to sell Spirit of the Elder Lizard if you are at 6 items. Spirit of the Ancient Golem is more useful in the lategame. Spirit of the Spectral Wraith isn't viable at all for Skarner and shouldn't even be considered.

Item Sequence

Iceborn Gauntlet

shurelya's reverie This item provides every stat needed for Skarner. HP, CDR, some hp and manareg. Also, the active effect is sick on him. Use the active when pulling an enemy so he is pulled very far with you.

This is probably the best upgrade for Sheen. It provides an additional AOE slow, some bonus damage and very much CDR, armour and mana. This CDR + the one from Spirit of the Ancient Golem and Shurelya's reverie is 30%. Along with a blue elixir in the late game this offers you full CDR.

Item Sequence

Randuin's Omen

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Trinity Force

Wit's End

Frozen Heart


Locket of the Iron Solari

It gives you hp, mana, mres and a spell shield. It is very good against teams with champions like Amumu, Thresh or Blitzcrank. The tankyness is always good but I especially like the spell shield, which can be really annoying.

This is something like the anti-ad part of Banshee's Veil. Make sure to take this up against Vayne. Since it gives you HP and armour, it gives you a boost of tankyness. Use it's active after an Impaled enemy comes free.

This may seem as a strange pick. But it is very viable on Skarner (not just because there is Crystal in its name ;)). It gives you HP and a decent amount of AP, which is pretty good on Skarner. But the passive is very good. The slow of Crystal Slash and Rylai's Crystal Scepter actually stacks! This makes you very scary.

This is actually a very good item for Skarner. It gives him every stat that he needs. Change Iceborn Gauntlet for this if you are ahead. It provides you a slow and movement speed, which are both great for Skarner - oh, and don't forget the attack speed.

This seems obvious. It gives you very much AS and some on-hit damage. The decent amount of mres is nice, but not deal braking.

Very much armor, CDR and mana. Pick this up against a very high AD based composition. Like against Vayne.

Highest amount of armour in one item in the game. Take it against 4/5 AD teams. It is highly situational so really just take this if the enemy doesn't have magic damage in their line-up.

This is the new Runic Bulwark. It isn't as great as it was but it is a decent replacement. It offers you some HP, armor, mres, some CDR and on top of that a shield for the whole team. I would suggest buying this as last item or to sell Aegis of the Legion for another item.

This item boosts your damage massively, while sacrificing early tankyness. You can buy it if you are snowballing and get a few kills. I almost never pick this item up, because I have a very tanky playstyle.

Item Sequence

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Liandry's Torment

Lich Bane

Nashor's Tooth

For some tankyness, mana and nice AP. Very nice to get early on since it scales into the later game.

This is a must have. Some tankyness and AP. Already explained it in the situational items.

This gives you again some HP. But the most interesting part is the passive. With every Crystal Slash, you remove 10% of the current health of the enemy. This will increase you damage by a HUGE amount.

Some movement speed combined with AP and mana. Also, it's passive is like Sheen, so it will give you very much bonus damage.

It gives you some AP, 20% CDR and very much attack speed! Also it's passive is quite interesting now: Every auto attack deals a bonus amount of 15+15% of maximum AP. Along with 355 AP this 68 damage. It doesn't sound that much but it is purchased primarily because of its other stats so some more damage is nice every time.

Jungling is Skarner’s main play style. Jungling means, that you run through the jungle, kill the creeps and get the buffs, secure dragons and barons, have global presence, gank lanes and go counterjungling - no worries, I’ll explain it all to you ;).

Jungling is probably the hardest role in the game. Since every game is different there isn´t the "right" play style. You have to get experience and with the time you´ll know where to gank, when to counter jungle and so on. I´ll give you all information about jungling, so you can stick to some tips.

1 - Blue Buff

Start of at Blue Buff, get a Leash and pop one of your Health Potions here. Just use Smite if you're not confident.

2 - Red Buff

Use Smite to secure the buff - not too early!

3 - Wraith Camp

Get the Wraiths and remember to take a Health Potion when necessary.

4 - Golem Camp

Kill them as fast as possible. Alternatively, you can do wolves, if you plan to gank the lane on that side.

These timers are very important. These are the times when the camps reappear after you cleared them. Remember when you killed the buffs so you know when they are spawning again. It is essential that you keep them in mind.

Let's get to the fun part, where you can finally kill your enemies :)

Gank Pathes

There are very many paths how to gank, but not every Route is good in every situation. I'll show you all paths and explain when and why you should use them. All these Paths assume, that you are on purple (upper) side.

Standard Routes

These are the routes to take when the enemies are overextended.
Do not take it when:
- The laner is farming in a safe position
- The laner has a stun/slow/snare and is able to kite you back.

Extended Routes

These routes are very effective because of more reasons:
+ When the laner sees you, you are already very close.
+ You are behind your enemy
+ You can bypass wrong placed wards
+ This should be taken if the lane can kite you easily

Advanced Routes

These are pretty advanced ganking routes and can be only pulled off, if your lane is pushed. They can also be used to setup a counter-gank, which I will explain later.

Objective Control is basically just getting dragon and baron nashor and don't let the enemies get them. But how do we do that?

First, you want to know when the dragon and when baron nashor spawn.

dragon : 2:30 / respawn 6:00
baron nashor : 15:00 / respawn 7:00

Burn these numbers in your brain! - They are probably the most important numbers in the game.

Second, look at the minimap

What does this mean?
This is pretty easy. E.G: You clear off the Wraiths camp. Note that before there is a mark where the Wraiths are:

After you have cleared them, the mark is gone:

After 50 Seconds, when the Wraiths are here again, the mark will reappear.

So what does this mean?

Whenever we see an "empty" camp, our Minimap realizes this and it will show us, when the camp is here again. This works for dragon and baron nashor too.

Third, buy wards!

Wards win games. Don't let the Support buy all the wards. Unless you're the adc, you should ALWAYS pick up a few wards. As Jungler, your Job is controlling the objectives - so don't blame your Support for not warding baron nashor - do it yourself! As it is your Job to secure them.

Fourth, use Smite correctly!

I know that sounds odd, but I don't know how often i was able to steal red/blue buff, dragon or even baron nashor just because the enemy jungler was unable to use Smite correctly! And I don't want to know how often the enemies were able to steal my objectives because i failed to use Smite properly.

We want to use Smite to finish off the buff and the objectives - nothing more!

So how do we, yeah... do this?

1. Know the damage of Smite

Here is the damage of Smite at all levels.
If you don't know it you can look it up in game in Smites tooltip.

2. Use the damage of Smite as threshhold

Constantly look at the HP of the monster you want to secure. When you see the damage is below the damage it deals --> Smite.

3. Don't waste Smite

This seems obvious but I see many junglers wasting Smite - I used to be one of them! I used Smite whenever it was available - so on wraiths, wolves and even on minions when I was ganking. But we don't want to do that. The ONLY monsters we normally Smite are: ancient golem , lizard elder , dragon and baron nashor . If you know no of these monsters spawn within the next minute, you can use Smite on whatever you want, since you get 10 free gold for it.

OK, now we learned how we can take objectives, but not WHEN.

There are some opportunities, where it's safe to go for dragon .

1. All lanes pushed

This is a scenario, where it CAN be safe to go, but it isn't always. If really all of your lanes are pushed and there is some ward coverage you can normally go for it.

2. Bot doublekill

This is a situation you MUST go for dragon - it's free. Along with your midlaner it should be a 4 v 3 in the worst situation.

3. After a push

When let's say you aced the enemy team, got 1 nice mid turret and every enemy is living in 5 seconds again - go for dragon . It will you help snowballing even more.

4. Solo dragon

This with some nice ward coverage is always nice for your team.

This one is tricky. It can cause your loose if done wrong. Or your win if done right. The most important thing is - baron nashor has a debuff which reduces all your armour and magic resist. And don't forget the high damage. So if the enemy team catches you out of position it is probably a thrown game. So here are some rules when to go and when not to go.

1. Warding

If your baron nashor isn't pinked and ward no ward coverage in the enemy jungle - don't even think about doing it. It will be your loss in 40% of the game (pretty high number).

2. Enemy death timers

If not at least 2 of your enemies are dead you should not try doing baron. If they are aced and you know you won't be able to get up the win - why not.

3. All enemies out of position

So if all are bot and you know baron nashor will be down fast then do it. But be careful and have ward coverage.

4. All enemies low health

This is also a very good opportunity to do baron nashor . Get it when you are high health.

Basically it means to go to the enemy jungle and steel creeps from them. This seems easy, but it can be your death if you don't do it properly.

Here are a few guidelines WHEN to go counterjungling.

+ When you have vision of the enemy jungler and you know he won't come to you.
+ When you know you can duel the enemy jungler.
+ When you know you are a faster jungler than he is.
+ When you have good map control - much vision and optimally pushed lanes.
+ When the enemy jungler is AFK

OK, now when know WHEN to counter jungle. But not how. Well... it isn't hard, it is like jungling in your own jungle! But don't try this if there are few or even none of the above listed points true. It can be very risky and cause more harm than good so look out!

This is a very big Topic. As I mentioned before, wards win games.

As jungler, your main goal of warding should be the objective control.

For any further information I would need to make another guide - but if you're interested in it, I recommend you reading Warding helper - More than your eyes can see.
As you can see it has a 96% vote - so don't ignore it!

Here comes my quick warding guide :D

These are the key spots to ward.

Bot coverage and dragon

This is very important, as it saves bot completely from ganks and secures dragon . This spot should be covered by your support.

Mid coverage

This gives you vision about all paths to mid and in combination with the top ward it covers your whole side. This should be covered by your mid.

Top coverage

This gives you in combination with the mid ward complete coverage about the top side. This should be covered by your top.

You and warding

OK, I told you, the different spots should be covered by the lanes. Well, they won't and can't always afford a ward. And they often don't know how to ward properly. If you come around and see there is no ward at these key spots, just drop one - please. It will be lifesaving in 90% of the games and your teammates won't be able to say: OMG noob jungler enemy jungler always babysits.

More coming soon!

recommended game settings

I am the Orianna covering in the #1 spot. I broke down laughing after seeing this :)

More coming soon

This was it! My Skarner guide. I put very much effort into this and I have many ideas what to put in it so stay tuned!

Also as you might notice, my native language isn't English so please feel free to correct me if I have mistakes in there!

Please leave comments below and vote the guide thank you :)

to do

- Guide going online[*]
- Some minor improvements on the guide
- Added Cubby1313's recommended game settings. Thanks for that!
- Added Locket of the Iron Solari to the situtional items
- Added a quick build
- Added the IMMORTAL MODE build.
- Added AP Skarner build.
- Added some more warding stuff
- Added Be A Better Player & Have More Fun section - enjoy!
- Added my first full Gameplay
- Added When to go for objectives section
- Added headers to all chapters, giving the guide a better look
- Completely rewritten Abilities section
- Removed some sections
- AP items explained
- Added my own ToC
- Did some spell checks
- Massive changes thanks to the review from jhoijhoi - thanks for that!
- Even more changes thanks to Meiyjhe!

Biiig thanks to

jhoijhois awesome Making A Guide
Cubby1313 for her recommended game settings chapter
PsiGuard for the great cheatsheet template!
xXFireFaithXx and Crasher17 for some nice photoshooting ;)