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Skarner Build Guide by ioprocessing

Jungle [12.4] Skarner Tank/Bruiser Builds & Runes

Jungle [12.4] Skarner Tank/Bruiser Builds & Runes

Updated on March 7, 2022
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League of Legends Build Guide Author ioprocessing Build Guide By ioprocessing 6 0 11,094 Views 0 Comments
6 0 11,094 Views 0 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author ioprocessing Skarner Build Guide By ioprocessing Updated on March 7, 2022
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Runes: Bruiser/Tank - Phase Rush

1 2 3
Phase Rush
Nimbus Cloak

Future's Market
Cosmic Insight

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+15-140 HP (lvls 1-18)


1 2
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Smite


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
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Champion Build Guide

[12.4] Skarner Tank/Bruiser Builds & Runes

By ioprocessing
Hello, my name is ioprocessing, and I have decided to make a guide showcasing some of Skarner's possible build paths and rune choices. I've always like characters that can benefit from flexible builds (like Teemo), so I made this guide to lay out some of his many options that you can run, especially because the lack of good Skarner guides peeves me. This guide won't have any gameplay tips, but I've tried to go in-depth in regards to what items and runes you should be running, as well as some of Skarner's tough matchups and synergies. As far as credence goes, I am only a lowly Gold II player who has only been playing since Season 11, but I do have good stats on Skarner in ranked (I just don't play ranked that much...), so take that how you will. I'm open to criticism as I don't know everything about Skarner, so make sure to let me know if I get something wrong or if there's something I should include.
Playstyle & Runes
Skarner has some of the best lockdown in the game. Whether you use this lockdown to pick off the enemy ADC or to make sure the enemy bruiser can't use any of his abilities, someone on the enemy team will not be having fun if you know what you're doing. Skarner can serve a variety of roles in a teamfight, from being your team's engage, to securing a pick, to providing a large amount of DPS and shredding the enemy team. The way you play should be defined by the enemy team comp, and your runes should reflect that playstyle as well.

I have three different sets of runes listed, which each serve one of the listed roles that I mentioned before. If you take Predator, you will have an easy time engaging the enemy and starting a fight, and you can easily lock down the most important member of their team with your chase. This strong engage playstyle is important if your team lacks engage or if your team has good followup to your Predator + ult. If you take Phase Rush, you will have very strong disengage, which allows you to catch your target and kidnap them, dragging them towards your team with your Phase Rush speed. This disengage play style is good into enemy teams with strong lockdown, as it prevents you from getting focused and killed right after ulting. Phase Rush also serves to let you stick to targets and escape slows as well, so it has a lot of utility. Conquerer is the strongest DPS keystone for Skarner, and should be taken if your team already has a tank and you want to serve as more of a fighter, as Skarner can have really high DPS with Conquerer and the right items.
Before the match begins, you should have already decided whether you want to go tank or bruiser, and should be reflected in your runes. Below are the situations in which certain items are strong, but you should ideally get used to making those decisions on your own so you don't have to rely on a guide.

Tank Items:

Force of Nature: They 3+ enemy AP champs or strong AP carry. The additional speed you get helps you chase opponents as well

Thornmail: Strong healing on the enemy team. If the healing comes from auto-attackers, sit on Bramble Vest. If they have a lot of healing from enchanters and/or they won't be focusing you, you can full build Thornmail to force the GW

Anathema's Chains: They have a strong hyper-carry that is providing most of their DPS

Sterak's Gage: They have a lot of burst damage and/or you want to provide more damage (take if you are strong)

Randuin's Omen: They have 2+ crit carry characters

Warmog's Armor: They have a lot of poke (i.e. Corki + Zoe). Generally, I don't see many team comps that this is worth taking into, but it is a possible option

Gargoyle Stoneplate: You need mixed resistances and will be in the midst of the fighting (good if your primary goal is to absorb damage)

Fimbulwinter: The fights will be long and drawn out and you have enough resistances

Bruiser Damage:

Wit's End: They have an AP threat but you also want more DPS

Titanic Hydra: They have several bruisers/tanks. Also just a generally good item on bruiser Skarner

Muramana: High DPS item. This item gives no defensive stats, but it gives an extremely large boost to Skarner's damage

Black Cleaver: They have lots of armor on their team, and/or you have several AD threats

Demonic Embrace: Sort of a meme item on Skarner, but it can be good if you have a lot of bonus health (i.e. Fimbulwinter & Titanic Hydra)

Bruiser Survivability:

Sterak's Gage: After changes, it's still a good item. Lifeline shield is still good, and the AD it gives is good late game. It has been changed to give efficient stats when you're at a higher level due to base AD scaling, but that just means you should buy it 3rd/4th/5th instead of rushing it second. Skarner is 7th out of all the champions in terms of lvl 18 base AD (8th if you count Mega Gnar), so he gets a lot of AD from it; additionally, since Trinity Force increases base AD, so it synergizes with this item. You should take this item most games

Maw of Malmortius: Niche option into heavy AP comps. I say niche because you can't run this item with Sterak's Gage, and the shield won't protect you from AD champs, so usually you should just take Sterak's Gage instead

Silvermere Dawn: Useful if the enemy team has a lot of lockdown and you find yourself being targeted while frontlining. Ideally you should have enough tenacity from Mercury's Treads and runes into a CC heavy comp, but if that isn't enough, you can consider running this item. If you are facing a Mordekaiser, you can just buy QSS and sit on it, as building the full item won't be worth the 40% tenacity after use

Death's Dance: Really strong after the changes, only gives armor but absorbs magic damage through the passive. This item doesn't give HP, but it's a generically good item if you don't need anything specific for the enemy team comp. Strong especially into fed assassins, as it gives you a chance to return damage or CC them before their damage comes through

Dead Man's Plate: A good defensive item that also provides a lot of speed, good to take if they have a lot of AD and/or you need more speed
League of Legends Build Guide Author ioprocessing
ioprocessing Skarner Guide
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[12.4] Skarner Tank/Bruiser Builds & Runes

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