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Skarner Build Guide by Larkana_

Top [12.22] | Skarner Diversity Builds & Guide, Season 13

Top [12.22] | Skarner Diversity Builds & Guide, Season 13

Updated on December 5, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Larkana_ Build Guide By Larkana_ 85 11 164,643 Views 10 Comments
85 11 164,643 Views 10 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author Larkana_ Skarner Build Guide By Larkana_ Updated on December 5, 2022
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Runes: Conqeuror

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

Sorcery
Nimbus Cloak
Transcendence
Bonus:

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

Spells:

1 2 3 4
Ghost + Teleport (Personal Favorite)
LoL Summoner Spell: Ghost

Ghost

LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport

Teleport

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
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

KEYSTONES

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 a lot less damage but get the ability to play hit and run perfectly. 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.

RUNES

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.

FULL BUILD EXAMPLES

NOTE: Items with a border are core items, others are flex items and can be replaced with any item mentioned in the guide.

MIX & MATCH: With how versatile Skarner is don't be afraid to experiment and mix items from different builds together.

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AD BRUISER


All rounder mix of tankiness and physical damage that you cannot go wrong with. Every item spikes hard especially once you finish your core which will massively boost your damage.

RECOMMENDED RUNES:

Conqueror, Lethal Tempo, Phase Rush

AD TANK


Muramana's damage alone is enough to be a threat to everyone so that's all this build is focused around. Last in a fight for as long as possible to constantly dish out DPS from Muramana.

RECOMMENDED RUNES:

Conqueror, Lethal Tempo, Grasp of the Undying, Phase Rush

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FULL AD


One E one shots squishy champions and chunks tanks hard. Trading tankiness for maximum damage isn't the worst idea if they don't have champions that can blow you up.

RECOMMENDED RUNES:

Conqueror, Lethal Tempo, Phase Rush

AP TANK


Focusing on W shields and infinite burn damage can allow you to constantly stun everyone in a teamfight while chipping them with magic damage. In the late game with enough ability haste your W will be on a ~5.5 cooldown with 700 HP shields (lasts for 6 seconds).

RECOMMENDED RUNES:

Grasp of the Undying

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MAGIC DAMAGE


Focusing on magic/true damage can be good if your team is AD heavy. Riftmaker provides additional sustain and shield strength as well.

RECOMMENDED RUNES:

Conqueror, Lethal Tempo, Grasp of the Undying, Phase Rush

MIXED DAMAGE


Riftmaker is the first step to making mixed damage builds work on Skarner. With the true damage and mixed damage it will be impossible to build against you. With a lot of scaling power the early game is rather weak especially while buying the components for Riftmaker and is squishier than some other builds.

RECOMMENDED RUNES:

Conqueror, Lethal Tempo, Grasp of the Undying, Phase Rush

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MYTHIC ITEMS


3000G
Skarner's old favorite, after this item's return it's with no doubt that it will be one of his best options. Skarner is a great Sheen user and loves tank stats making this item perfect. It scales with your base AD and Skarner has one of the highest, it also provides you with a premanent slow as long as you can stick on top of your target.

3000G
Rather weak in the early game compared to Iceborn Gauntlet when it comes to damage but the tankiness you gain is insane especially later on. With Jak'Sho, The Protean and a high damage item you can easily take over teamfights and skirmishes.

3200G
This item can be fun to use but it's pretty underwhelming compared to other tank mythics. It's easy to counter with any kind of % HP damage. Against teams with 0 anti-tank it can be somewhat good.

3300G
Similar to Iceborn Gauntlet but bruiser version. Skarner has 0 healing in his kit and this item can provide you with decent in combat healing. The mythic passive synergizes perfectly with Skarner's hybrid damage. The moment you get the item you'll get a massive power spike and can start dueling a lot of toplaners.

3333G
More often than not it is overshadowed by Divine Sunderer but you don't want to underestimate the burst this item has against squishy comps. The tower taking capabilities of this item are also insane which Skarner usually lacks. Be careful, it might be good against squishies but you'll also be rather squishy for a champion with 0 dashes.

3200G
This item provides a massive damage boost and decent sustain in extended fights, it scales well but has to be used in specific damage oriented builds otherwise it will be pretty lackluster. It is squishy but scales a lot better compared to other damage mythics.

DAMAGE

2900G
This is Skarner's best in slot damage item and it is so easily stacked. Early Tear of the Goddess pretty much solves all your mana problems in the toplane. The only drawback is you're spending 400 gold on nothing but mana early on which can make it harder to survive sometimes. It is a scaling item giving you a crazy good 2 item powerspike regardless of your mythic.
3300G
Even if you do hybrid damage most of it is AD when you build a lot of AD items and specifically Muramana. Not just the 30% armor reduction but all the base stats are amazing on Skarner and is a solid stat stick item. It's great with the new Iceborn Gauntlet + Muramana.
3400G
The reworked version of Spear of Shojin works really well with Skarner and his AD builds. It shouldn't be purchases early on tho due to its price tag and passive that scales with bonus AD. 3rd or 4th item slot and you can round out your build. It can be a risky sometimes buy but it's a fun to use item.
3300G
Skarner auto attacks a lot and likes HP so in certain builds it's amazing as a mix of offense and defensive. On top of all it provides great waveclear. Since it deals only physical damage Black Cleaver has good synergy.
3300G
This is perfect for heavy AD comps especially the ones relying on burst a lot, the healing in teamfights is great and is overall a solid well rounded purchase. It fits well with full AD builds.
3000G
The main focus of the shield build. The burn damage adds up cuz you'll stay in combat for extended periods of time. In the late game the item's passive gives a bunch of AP and Skarner's W Crystalline Exoskeleton has a 80% AP scaling.
3100G
This can be used as a nice damage/MR boost, the attack speed feels really smooth and gives you some extra hybrid damage. Overall a good anti mage item that you can pair with nearly every build.
3100G
Skarner's base AD is one of the highest in the game making this item very efficient when built later into the game. Recent buffs to this item made it even better for survivability so you can consider getting this in many builds that already have haste.

TANK

2600G
The tank version for Tear of the Goddess. Similarly to Muramana it's also amazing for the mana it provides but the real reason you want this item is the shield you can get every 8 seconds. It becomes pretty big especially if you have multiple enemies around. Pairs perfectly with runes such as Shield Bash.
3000G
Shreds enemy magic resist which can be useful for builds with Demonic Embrace or magic damage in general. It's also good against magic damage as well as it can give you up to 85 MR (5 enemey champions around you).
2700G
Against attack speed reliant champions and especially against ones buying Blade of the Ruined King this item shuts them down with ease. It gives juicy 20 ability haste which is great.
3000G
Similar to Frozen Heart but it gives no haste which can make it harder to fit into some builds. Haste aside it's the best anti crit item so consider it against crit carries like Aphelios, Jinx, Yone etc.
2900G
With a 25% increase in shielding/healing it'll always be a great item for Skarner especially the shield focused builds and the ones with sustain.
2900G
You'd only really need this against heavy magic damage comps and it's really good against mages with sustained dps (ex. Zyra or Heimerdinger). 0 Haste makes it hard to build this item so it is situational.
3200G
This is AMAZING with the new tank items specifically Jak'Sho, The Protean. The sheer amount of resistances you can stack up is just insane. Can be paired with nearly every build.
2700G
Terrible item, try to avoid it when possible. If you have an enchanter ask them to build Chemtech Putrifier which is actually a pretty good item right now.


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

+ High item and build diverstiy

+ Relatively safe laning phase

+ Strong scaling

+ Great gank setup

+ Great at both dueling and teamfighting

+ Late game 1v2 potential

+ Impactful ult (always keeps you relevant)

+ Fast Baron/Drake

+ Scorpion

- Spires.

- Item dependant

- Low kill pressure early game

- Weak vs control

- Low AA range

- Tilts enemies too often

- Mana hungry without tear

- Bad early waveclear

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
12.22
Item section formatting updated
New items added
Runes updated
Builds updated
Pros & Cons section updated
Small rune section adjustments
Small spell adjustments

12.14
Small update to Runes section

12.13
Added AP Hybrid
Fixed some mistakes in item sequence

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 to builds
Added Warmog's Armor to builds

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 to runes
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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[12.22] | Skarner Diversity Builds & Guide, Season 13

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