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Skarner Build Guide by Larkana_

Top [12.15] | Skarner Diversity Builds & Guide (TOP)

Top [12.15] | Skarner Diversity Builds & Guide (TOP)

Updated on August 10, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Larkana_ Build Guide By Larkana_ 64 10 117,034 Views 8 Comments
64 10 117,034 Views 8 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Larkana_ Skarner Build Guide By Larkana_ Updated on August 10, 2022
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Runes: Consistency, High Damage Build (Scaling)

1 2 3 4 5 6
Legend: Tenacity
Coup de Grace

Nimbus Cloak

+8 ability haste
+6 Armor
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)


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


LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost


Ability Order Classic Damage + Utility

Threats & Synergies

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


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.
Skarner can utilize this keystone like a god in many situations such as chasing somebody down or pulling somebody under the turret from a further distance. You will deal less damage but unless it's the Everfrost build the other builds don't need more damage as they're good on their own. An easy combo for activating Phase Rush is E Fracture > R Impale > Q Crystal Slash.
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.


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.
How can you say no to extra Ability Haste? This rune is amazing for Skarner and in some builds it's a must take.
A little bit of bonus AD/AP can never hurt, this row doesn't have amazing options but not the worst.
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 is gonna give you around 13 - 16 bonus resistances later in the game.
Extra HP is always welcome, mid to late game it will provide you with around 300 HP which makes your shield decently stronger.
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 - Midgame Carry

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 - Low Damage with Heavy CC

What can I say he really likes them
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).
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.
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.
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.
Another thing about Anathema's Chains is that it reduces your nemesis' Tenacity by 20% which buffs your cc obviously.

Full Tank Build Path - Midgame Tank

Sunfire Aegis gives tons of damage, tankiness, and tenacity which we desperately need. Once you get it your dueling power will increase massively.
Fimbulwinter is the perfect item for Tank Skarner, gives plenty of HP, mana which Skarner desperately needs and a nice shield which works well with your W.
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.
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.
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.

Consistency Build Path - Midgame carry wth Better Lategame

don't even
Sunfire Aegis With its buffs in 12.11 this item became amazing together with this build. Consistency build path is best for scaling and general skirmishing and is the best current build, however it does lack in sustain and has lackluster tower damage.
Together with sunfire once you stack your Manamune you can start taking over the mid game and duels like a madman. Just like with every build that has Muramana this is an insane powerspike.
Black Cleaver provides every stat Skarner wants: Attack Damage, Health, Ability Haste, Movement speed, Armor pen. It's a perfect item for him and fits nicely as a 3rd item. With the lack of Divine Sunderer this item provides you with tank shred instead.
Another item that got buffed in 12.11, it provides no haste but you don't need any more of it. Instead it will help you tank frontlines and at this stage of the game it will provide you with a decent amount of AD.
This is mostly a situation item either Force of Nature if you have trouble against an AP carry or just Randuin's Omen for the slow and armor which got buffed in 12.11. Anathema's Chains are also an option.

AP Hybrid Build Path - Lategame God

Just like the other builds Sunfire Aegis provides you with decent tankiness and damage and later as you pair it with other items this build has both tankiness and considerable AP damage.
Sunfire Aegis + Demonic Embrace = microwave. It is a very neat combo, Skarner scales well with AP as it will buff his Crystalline Exoskeleton by a lot (80% AP scaling). You can also kill people with all the burn damage, one weakness of this build is your 2nd item lacks ability haste so you may want to take Transcendence instead.
Provides you with a lot of HP meaning it's a great synergy with our first two items. All 3 provide decent durability making you, once again, unkillable.
An amazing item especially for its price of 2500 gold. It provides you with a bunch of armor, ability haste, mana and some utility with its passive.
It will massively buff your shield from W Crystalline Exoskeleton making you nearly unkillable with such a low CD for a big shield. You can take this before Frozen Heart if you're facing AP champions.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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
Small update to Runes section

Added AP Hybrid
Fixed some mistakes in item sequence

Added a new build path (durability changes)

Moved items and runes around a bit
Fixed some typos

Added a new build path (Runes, Items)

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

Added Fimbulwinter to builds
Added Warmog's Armor to builds

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)

Added Lethal Tempo to runes
Added a new ability order
Polished threats and synergies

Added Force of Nature due to its buffs

League of Legends Build Guide Author Larkana_
Larkana_ Skarner Guide
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[12.15] | Skarner Diversity Builds & Guide (TOP)

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