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Skarner Build Guide by Larkana_

Top [12.10] | Skarner Diversity Builds & Guide (TOP)

Top [12.10] | Skarner Diversity Builds & Guide (TOP)

Updated on May 25, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Larkana_ Build Guide By Larkana_ 44 8 88,267 Views 6 Comments
44 8 88,267 Views 6 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Larkana_ Skarner Build Guide By Larkana_ Updated on May 25, 2022
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Runes: Conqueror + Sorcery (Scaling)

1 2 3 4
Precision
Conqueror
Triumph
Legend: Tenacity
Coup de Grace

Sorcery
Nimbus Cloak
Waterwalking
Bonus:

+8 ability haste
+8 Magic Resist
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)

Spells:

1 2 3 4
Flash + Ghost (Recommended)
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost

Ghost

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

PRECISION BUILDS

The extra AD from Conqueror can be quite helpful as its gonna buff your auto and Q Crystal Slash damage as well as your Muramana damage if you built it. Considering how much you spam all three of these the damage can add up.
Lethal Tempo can be a real menace in lane, if you successfuly stack it its gonna provide you with a lot of attack speed and some AA range allowing you to spam Q Crystal Slash in lane potentially giving you kill pressure.
Triumph's takedown healing can come in clutch in many situations making it superior to the other two runes especially as we get little to no benefit from them. Other than that in bloody games the bonus gold can stack up.
Legend: Tenacity should always be our option out of the three legend runes as we mostly build Ionian Boots of Lucidity meaning we get 0 tenacity in our build, this rune makes up for it quite nicely.
Coup de Grace or Last Stand is debatable but with all the burst your combat initiation has you're usually gonna get them low enough to proc this rune much earlier than you'd proc Last Stand.
Nimbus Cloak alone can be a deciding factor in many situations: escapes, kills, clutch flash + ults and so on, no rune in the Sorcery tree can compare to Nimbus Cloak.
Waterwalking doesn't make a lot of sense for Skarner to take it to toplane but it gives you 25 movement speed and some AD while in the river where most fights happen post 10 - 15 mins.

SORCERY BUILDS

Taking Phase Rush cripples your damage by quite a bit hence we use Phase Rush for the Everfrost build which is more of a cc bot playstyle. It's really easy to proc Phase Rush with Fracture > Impale > Crystal Slash which then will give you incredible movement speed allowing you to pull your enemy much further away from their own team or during lane under the turret.
Nimbus Cloak alone can be a deciding factor in many situations: escapes, kills, clutch flash + ults and so on, no rune in the Sorcery tree can compare to Nimbus Cloak.
Transcendence might seem like a decent rune for Skarner as he wants Ability Haste, however it's not as it's only 10 AH and if you score a takedown a 20% reduction on your already spammable abilities.
As stated above Waterwalking's bonus MS and AD is very useful in the later stages of the game.
Since you don't want to be taking kills with this build Triumph's bonus gold can be useful as you're still quite item dependent. You'll also be diving their carries 99% of the times so the healing is useful as well.
As previously stated you want to run up to their carries as fast as possible making Legend: Tenacity a must have almost in every case.

RESOLVE BUILDS

Grasp of the Undying gives quite a bit of trading power and sustain in the early game. Since you'll build a lot of HP from items and runes the damage from it will stack up. With Skarner it's very easy to constantly proc this rune every time your E Fracture is off CD since they can't really fight back.
Your W Crystalline Exoskeleton becomes a spammable ability at some point in the game so Shield Bash is worth taking for some extra damage as well as resistances while we have a shield.
As Skarner has a weak laning phase Second Wind or Bone Plating may seem appealing but he has a way of dealing with both poke and all ins making them unnecessary. This rune synergizes very well with Gargoyle Stoneplate, it's gonna give you around 17 - 20 bonus resistances later in the game.
Extra HP is always welcome, we don't need Unflinching because we already get tenacity as well as slow resist from Sunfire Aegis.
By not having to get early boots you can rush Tear of the Goddess together with potentially Ruby Crystal to get your mythic faster. You also gain free 10 movement speed once you acquire the boots.
With the absence of Nimbus Cloak it becomes a lot harder to catch up to targets, this rune makes up for it quite nicely. It's also useful during lane for your turret lockdown combo.

High Damage Build Path

950G
Skarner loooves ability haste and when I say loves I absolutely mean it. This champ simply doesn't work without it especially the bruiser build as it revolves around him CC locking his target while DPSing at the same time. There might be some rare cases where you'd want other boots but I myself never bought any other.
3300G
Skarner is a great sheen user as he can proc it every time it's off cooldown, its mythic passive gives mixed penetrations with synergizes perfectly with Skarner since practically his entire kit deals mixed damage. Also you get some in combat healing which makes up for the lack of sustain in case you run Lethal Tempo.
2900G
Muramana is insanely strong on Skarner because he is the only champ currently in the game that can perma proc its passive within a short period of time. This allows him to have both good burst and DPS if he ever gets to his target.
2500G
Anathema's Chains will make you incredibly tanky especially during the mid game, building this as the 3rd item is especially valuable if you built Muramana 2nd since you've little to no bonus HP. It will also make your Crystalline Exoskeleton somewhat stronger. To top it off it's also gonna make either your laner or the enemy carry a lot weaker against you depending on whoever is the bigger threat.
3100G
Death's Dance's buffs in 12.3 allowed it to turn both damage types to bleed effect. With all the resistances you have paired with this item you will be nearly immortal, it will give you enough time to catch up to somebody, burst the :) out of them and cleanse the bleed effect as well as get a heal equal to 175% of your bonus AD.
2900G
Ever since the buffs this item became pretty decent on champs that want speed such as Skarner. Not just that it has a 20% magic damage reduction once stacked (it's stacked very easily) which synergizes really well with Death's Dance and Anathema's Chains, it also gives a lot of movement speed as base stats and passive which Skarner desperately needs.

NOTE: Buy Force of Nature before Death's Dance if the enemy team has dangerous AP carries or a lot of AP in general.


Utility Build Path

950G
What can I say he really likes them
3300G
Adding a 1.5 second root to your combo will allow you to essentially cc lock somebody for up to 5.75 seconds which is insane. The cc is distributed to 4 different instances making qss ineffective. Make sure you use the combo correctly tho (E > R > AA > Pause > Everfrost > Pause > E > AA).
2900G
Despite Fimbulwinter's nerfs in 12.17 it will still be a strong item on Skarner. It's a must buy on Everfrost build as you don't want to build any damage. Once you get Fimbulwinter you completed your core and can start dominating the game especially if your team was even. Look for picks on anyone and try to get your carries fed.
3000G
We don't need the HP from Anathema's Chains as we bought Fimbulwinter second. Death's Dance will negate 30% of damage taken and turn it into a bleed effect over 3 seconds, once you score a takedown you will cleanse the bleed effect and heal. This is perfect for Everfrost playstyle since you will most of the times run into the enemy team and then score a takedown from your ult.
3100G
Just as for the high damage build it will help you to shrug of AP carry insane damage as well as give you extra movement speed to counter kiting.
2500G
Another thing about Anathema's Chains is that it reduces your nemesis' Tenacity by 20% which buffs your cc obviously.

Full Tank Build Path

950G
yes
3300G
Sunfire Aegis gives tons of damage, tankiness, and tenacity which we desperately need. Once you get it your dueling power will increase massively.
2500G
During earlier stages of the game you should put this on your lane opponent to give you even more dueling power. This item becomes extra useful if they tried to counter you by buying Mercury's Treads as it shreds their tenacity while they're near you.
3200G
Gargoyle Stoneplate provides a massive amount of mixed resistances as well as a big shield to absorb a high threat ability or when you go in for an ult deeper into the enemy team. This item also synergizes very well with Conditioning.
3300G
Titanic Hydra will provide you with at least some late game damage as Sunfire Aegis won't always be enough, it gives plenty of HP as well making it an effective buy for full tank Skarner.
2700G
Fimbulwinter should be bought last because when building tank other tank items are much more useful for the early stages, Tear of the Goddess is bought early to solve Skarner's mana issues.

Situational Options

2700G
If their team is full of AD and especially crit champs this item should replace Force of Nature.
2900G
If you think having Randuin's Omen is gonna give you trouble in terms of kiting you can opt for this item instead.
2700G
I'd recommend not going for this item unless absolutely necessary. Skarner spikes with every completed item and this cripples his strength by quite a bit.
2900G
In rare cases where the enemy team is full of AP champs you should avoid Death's Dance and opt for this option instead.
2700G
If you have AP carries this item overpowers Spirit Visage as you essentially give them 20 free magic pen.

Abilities

This is a pretty degenerate playstyle theme for a champ to have in the current league but that doesn't mean that it's not cool, strong and unique. They might be useless in the laning phase but in the later stages of the game you should consider them as your win condition because you become twice as dangerous to the enemy team if they fight you within the spires.
The most underwhelming ability ever for the early game however it makes up for it with its mid to late game power, well not really alone but when paired with Muramana you'll be having the most DPS out of any juggernaut.
A small shield to help you with poke and a movement speed boost why not? Not the best shield I'd say but the movement speed helps quite a bit especially once maxed.
This ability assembles your kit together, a slow, a stun and some bonus damage on the next auto. The thing about this ability is if you stun somebody with it you're gonna get attack speed buff from the spires which then proceeds to continuously reduce your Crystal Slash's cooldown with every auto to 0 once you get ability haste. Now you know what this all means when you finally get that sweet Muramana.
This ability is what most people know Skarner for and with a good reason it's impact is huge at all stages of the game. You can pull somebody under your turret, eliminate targets before a fight even starts and many more uses - all of that with a low CD. Quicksilver Sash is supposed to be it's counter but if you landed your Fracture beforehand they'll get stunned right after they use Quicksilver Sash.

Pros & Cons

+ Strong mid to late game
+ High DPS paired with tankiness
+ High amount of low CD CC
+ Huge 2 item powerspike
+ Easy to pick up
+ Rarely ever banned
+ People forget what your kit does
+ Is a big *** scorpion
- Terrible early game
- Skillshot reliant (Almost like Illaoi's Test of Spirit)
- Struggles against kite heavy comps (with no engage only)
- Harder to master than he seems
- Practically no passive before mid game
- Off-Meta pick
- Your junglers have potential to cause more harm than good

Early Game

This is your weakest point in the game, you should try your best to get as much CS as possible and if your opponent is too dangerous to approach try to stay in the XP range. This is the hardest part about mastering Skarner top you'll have to learn to manage your CS under the turret: you can manipulate which minions come first by slowing others with Fracture. Skarner also has terrible base damage making CSing difficult as hell. Learning to use AA and Crystal Slash at the same time to cancel your AA animation is important to learn, learning its damage is also important (I recommend practicing this in customs a lot). Your early game short trades are alright at least so as long as you're against a champion that has a hard time extending the trade you can win lane from early on.

Mid Game

This is where the build starts to show its true potential, you should try getting to an objective before the enemy to capture the spire, without it you're gonna be a lot weaker however you shouldn't worry about it as much since you're still very strong. If your team is behind try to look for duels to try and get fed as you most likely can win them.

Late Game

You play this relatively the same to mid game with an exception to your positioning. Still try your best to capture spires around objectives and determine wether you want to play as peel for your carries or you want to head on walk up to everybody and cause massacre.

Tips & Tricks

#1

Skarner isn't great early game but your short bursty trades are (E > AA > Q) and you should try and trade if your opponent has a hard time extending the trade.

#2

You can cancel your AA animation if you use Crystal Slash right after the auto lands, this is crucial to learn for CSing in the early game.

#3

Using Fracture before you use Impale is important to do and you should make it a habit, without landing your Fracture first people are more likely to escape after your ult's duration expires.

#4

Be wary of your Fracture's cooldown because it gets reduced equal to the amount of time they're CC'd for (ex. your ult lasts 1.75s, if your E has 4s remaining by the time your ult finishes it will be 0.5s), you keeping the track of it's cooldown by heart will naturally come as you play more games with Skarner.

#5

Ping off your jungler if the wave is too big and your opponent is somebody like Sett, Darius etc. It can completely screw your lane over.
The End of The Guide
That was pretty much all I had to say. I hope you enjoyed reading my guide, this is my first guide ever so obviously not the best by far.

I will try to update the guide as soon as possible every patch if there is something new significant enough to change the build/runes (Bigger patches may take a few days).

NOTE: I am aware of the upcoming Skarner VGU however it will most likely take Riot over a year to be done with it so I was just thinking why not make this
Changelog
12.10
Added a new build path (durability changes)

12.9
Moved items and runes around a bit
Fixed some typos

12.7
Added a new build path (Runes, Items)

12.6
Fixed the unintended gap between guide sections
Added Situational Options to Item section
Changed the item order

12.4
Added Fimbulwinter after playing around with it more
Added Warmog's Armor after playing around with it more

12.3
Completely reworked guide visuals (Banners, coding, formatting)
Added a new main build due to 12.3 changes
Added new guide sections (Game Phases, Tips & Tricks)

12.2
Added Lethal Tempo after playing around with it more
Added a new ability order
Polished threats and synergies

12.1
Added Force of Nature due to its buffs

11.23
FULL GUIDE RELEASE
League of Legends Build Guide Author Larkana_
Larkana_ Skarner Guide
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[12.10] | Skarner Diversity Builds & Guide (TOP)

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