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Skarner Build Guide by ElephantPoops

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ElephantPoops

Dont Get Too Close, a Jungle Skarner Guide by ElephantPoops

ElephantPoops Last updated on July 2, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

Not Updated For Current Season

The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.



Offense: 0

Honor Guard

Defense: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hello all, my name is ElephantPoops and welcome to my Skarner guide here on MobaFire!

Before we go on allow me to tell you a bit about myself. I am fairly new to the League of Legends community, but I seem to have picked the game up very quickly. I main Skarner jungle and occasionally play Soraka mid on the NA servers.

Well, lets get on with the guide!

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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons


+Very Tanky
+Good Damage and Perma-slow with Crystal Slash
+Great Initiate / Counter-initiate with Impale
+Is a Scorpion
+Fast jungle clear



-Susceptible to counter-jungling early game
-A bit mana hungry early game
-Ganks can be slightly weak before level six

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Mastery Explanations

Defense Tree
Tier 1: summoner's reslove for the smite gold, YAY! Tough Skin so you take less damage from jungle camps and for Bladed Armor further down in the tree.

Tier 2: Durability for more health throughout the game. These four points are much more useful then the little amount of health regeneration you get from Vigor

Tier 3: Indomitable for even LESS damage from jungle camps. Veteran Scars for even MORE health. And Bladed Armor to clear jungle camps faster. Don't put points into Evasion because you'll mostly be fighting jungle mobs, which don't do AoE damage.

Tier 4: I take Initiator because Skarner benefits greatly from movement speed. Also, Enlightenment is great for more Crystal Slash spam.

Tier 5: I don't take points here because nothing really benefits Skarner in this tier as much as the other points I've already spent.

Tier 6: Juggernaut is just a very good point to spend since as Skarner you should be the one taking the damage, the one in the front, so that a point in that will increase your survivability greatly.

Utility Tree
Tier 1: I take [expanded mind] for more mana per level, which Skarner greatly benefits from, since as the jungler you should be handing your blue buff off to your mid-laner. I put the extra point into Improved Recall simply because I like going home faster. Feel free to change that.
Tier 2: I put one point into Swiftness to buff my movement speed even more and three more points into Meditation because you will need the mana regen since you probably wont get the blue buffs and you need it in long sustained fights where you cant go back to base.
Tier 3: I take Runic Affinity to make my first round of buffs last as long as possible.

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Greater Mark of Attack Speed

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

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Summoner Spells

Viable Summoner Spells

Flash: I use this in order to get the surprise Impale combo when somebody GETS TOO CLOSE

Smite: Smite is imperative on all junglers, even Nunu and Cho'Gath because you do not want to get your buffs stolen: baron , dragon , and the like.
Exhaust: You can bring this on Skarner but I don't feel it is necessary due to the fact that you already have a perma-slow via Crystal Slash. Take this if you feel you are going to be ganking a lot before level 6

Not So Viable Summoner Spells

Ignite: It is not your job to pick up kills and get fed. You should always try to give the kills to your laners unless you absolutely have to take the kill.
Teleport: As the jungler it is your job to have map control/dominance, but it is not necessary for you to take this spell. If you absolutely need a TP, have the top laner take it.
Ghost: I find that this is not as useful as Flash since you already have your crystalline exoskelton to get away from sticky situations. Take it if you really want to be a fast scorpion :P

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Skill Explanations

Skill Explanation


  • energize Energize: A very good passive, free CDR! Yay!

  • crystal slash (Q): Your main damage ability. Good AoE damage and amazing perma-slow. Allows you to clear camps speedily and perform lower level ganks. One trick I can tell you guys with this skill is always spam it when taking down a tower, since it increases attack speed. Other than that all of Skarner's skills are very straightforward
  • crystalline exoskeleton (W): Your main steroid ability, this gives you a move speed and attack speed buff and a nice shield.
  • fracture (E): Your only sustain ability. It's an okay spell but I don't put any points in this skill til later on in the game. Explained below.

  • impale (R): Your ultimate ability, one of my favorites in the whole game. It allows you to suppress targeted enemy for 1.75 seconds and drag them around while they sit helplessly at your will. Very good for destroying enemy carries and counter-initiating.

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Skill Sequence

Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >

Now let me explain my skill sequence. I take my ult, Impale whenever possible, then I max Q Crystal Slash because it is my main damage ability, thirdly, I max W Crystalline Exoskeleton because of the steroid it gives and the shield. Lastly I max E Fracture but I don't put ANY points into this skill until my other two normal abilities are ranked to level five. Why? Explained Below

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Crystalline Exoskeleton (W) Vs. Fracture (E)

Why don't I put any points into Fracture and put all points into Crystalline Exoskeleton? Well let's take a look at what each skill does at levels 1 and 5.

Crystalline Exoskeleton

Level 1: Gives you a 70 HP shield, not to mention the huge steroid, for 60 mana.

Level 5: Gives you a 250 HP shield, plus an EVEN BIGGER steroid, all for the same cost of 60 MANA.

Level 1: Does 80 damage and heals you for 30 hp which splits in half for every subsequent target you hit. So lets take this into perspective: you go to wraiths and hit all four with this skill. You will gain 30+15+7.5+4.75 HP which equals 57.25 HP. Plus you do a little bit of damage. All that for 50 mana. Well that isn't even close to the shield you get at level 1 Crystalline Exoskeleton and the 80 damage is very small compared to the DPS increase as well.

Level 5: Deals 240 damage and the first mark consumed will heal 90 hp. Same situation at wraiths. You will gain a MERE 176 HP and the damage isn't even enough to kill one SMALL WRAITH plus, did I mention that it costs 70 MANA?!?!?!?!? I really don't think it is worth it putting any points in this skill unless you get into an early skirmish and level up in the middle of said fight and need this to finish a kill.

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Items For Build 1 (AKA Supreme Tank Skarner)

  • : Usually the boots I find myself getting most games. DO NOT get these boots every single game. Be AWARE, analyze your situation. If the enemy has a lot of auto-attackers/AD based champs, get Ninja Tabi. Get your boots after your two gold items.

  • : A very strong hybrid defense item, plus an amazing aura. Replace this item with Glacial Shroud into Frozen Heart if there are not a lot of sources of magic damage on the other team. As I stated before, be AWARE.

  • shurelya's reverie: Your initiation tool. The only reason you don't get this directly after your boots is because you want to milk your gold items, because, unlike Alistar says, you CAN milk those.

  • : An amazing item, allows you to get in the middle of a teamfight and disrupt like crazy while still being completely safe from harm.

  • : This item plus Randuin's Omen are what make you the supreme tank as Skarner. Not only does this item give you a ton of magic resist and health regen, it gives you MOVE SPEED. Great for running into the middle of the enemy team and getting straight on their carry and dragging him into your own team.

  • : Amazing damage/utility item, this gives you everything you want: HP, Mana, Attack speed, Move Speed, a little bit of AD and AP plus two great item passives.

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Items For Build 2 (AKA This Scorpion's Back Hurts)

Ok, before I get on with the item explanations I want to provide a little disclaimer: DO NOT use this build unless you have 1 of these three four things things:
1. A large amount of confidence in your ability to carry.

2. A team that is on team speak with you that is okay with you sacrificing your early game tanking ability for a great amount of damage.

3. A very strong tank on your team (i.e. Shen Dr. Mundo and the like)

4. A really strong back :D

Now, on with the item explanations.

  • : Allows you to clear camps very quickly, which allows you to gank more often. Only get the Madred's Razors if you have enough saved up to buy the whole thing. If not, just buy a Vampiric Scepter and move on.
  • : FINALLY! NORMAL CDR! Yes it's true. I will explain why I think these boots are more efficient then Berserker's Greaves at providing CDR below.
  • : Same reason as stated above, except this time you should use this to destroy the enemy team with all the damage this item gives you :)
  • : A very undervalued item on Skarner, this item is actually rather strong on our scorpion buddy. People say it takes too long to stack but with a little bit of attack speed and Ionian Boots of Lucidity Q spam plus basic attacks will stack it up quickly.
  • / : Get ONE of these items, not both. Remember, BE SMART with your choices ;)
  • : This item will make you absolutely UNSTOPPABLE. Your ability to dive into teamfights while doing a ton of damage and having no fear of death will be greatly enhanced once you get this item. If the enemy team let you get this far, GG :D No, just kidding. All jokes aside, this a very strong item on anybody and with just the Guinsoo's Rageblade / Trinity Force combo this will make you a huge huge threat to the enemy team.

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Offensive Boot Choices: Berserker's Greaves Vs. Ionian Boots of Lucidity

A very simple explanation, I believe Ionian Boots of Lucidity are much better because in order for the "CDR" from Berserker's Greaves to actually kick in, you need to be hitting something. Ionian Boots of Lucidity give you CDR no matter what.

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Other Item Choices/Explanations

This section will be explaining other possible choices for items on Skarner. Adapt these into your builds as you please.

  • : A good item on Skarner it gives you tons of armor, mana, and, (you guessed it) CDR! Buy this if there is heavy AD damage on enemy team.
  • : I've tried it, it's okay but I think the perma-slow from Crystal Slash is already more than enough.
  • : A very very strong item on any hybrid champion (i.e. Jax or Akali) Skarner benefits greatly from this. Sell your Wriggle's Lantern for this item in Build 2 if the game goes reallllyyyyyyyy long.
  • : Great item, don't think a jungler should get this... feels more support oriented.
  • : I guess you could get this, if you really are that desperate for mana :\
  • : A funny item to get, I rarely ever get this item unless my team is very very VERY far ahead because it doesn't really give Skarner anything great. Use at your own discretion.
  • : Could see it working, haven't actually tried it myself.
  • : Another item I haven't used yet, but maybe this could fit somewhere if you want to sustain really hard and plan on getting some points in Fracture.
  • : A good item, the only reason I don't use it is because my AP carry gets fed and the enemy team buys magic resist, which renders this item's passive useless unless you buy magic penetration or an Abyssal Mask, which I don't.
  • : I see this more like a Panic Item. I rarely pick this up unless that Graves or similar AD oriented champ is fed.
  • : A good item on Skarner but I feel you sacrifice to much in resistances for a huge chunk in health. The reason I say that is because you want to get this early-mid game so you can stack it up. But Skarner isn't great at soaking damage since he has no built-in sustain besides his Fracture.
  • : Good item on any jungler, makes you slightly tanky and greatly increases your DPS
  • zeke's herald: Good aura, nice sustain, CDR, and health. Get if your team has a lot of ADs / Auto-attackers that can benefit from the aura.

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Jungling/Basic Jungle Routes

With Skarner you typically have a very fast clear and can outrun a lot of the slower junglers, so abuse that as much as possible. So lets go with a few basic routes.



  • Start at your wolves. Spam Q while receiving help from your laners.
  • Move on to Blue Buff. Get a leash from your lanes and spam Q more. Use Smite when the main golem gets around 450 HP. Hit level two and pick up a point in W.
  • Move on to your wraiths. Pick these up then head to either gank, get red buff, or clear small golems. From here on, rinse and repeat.


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Skarner's roles in a teamfight (listed by priority):

  • Initiate a fight.
  • Ult one of the enemy carries to their demise.
  • Peel for your own carries. (get enemies of your carries with your disruption tools)
  • Perma-slow everything so your team can clean up the whole enemy team.

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This Chapter will be used for anybody who sends me a screen shot of a good score they got or a winning streak they got using my Skarner build. I will keep my own streak here for the whole amount of time I have this guide here, and will constantly add more pictures. (If you're wondering about my sometimes large amounts of deaths, blame that on the guys I play with. They use me as a sacrificial lamb :P)

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And it all comes to a close.....

So that's my Skarner guide. I hope all you fellow league players can use put this guide to use and have success :) Feel free to leave comments and rate what you feel this deserves. As I said before this is my first guide and this was actually produced in less than 24 hours so if something in this guide displeases you, feel free to tell me about it and I will look into it. I will constantly be updating this guide as I will always be playing Skarner unless they nerf him to death (R.I.P Evelynn) so please feel free to tell me about something I can change or improve and I will happily work it in if I have the time and/or energy.


I would like to give a big shout-out to all my friends that I play with on league, their constant guidance is what got me here today.

I would like to thank anybody who has produced a top-rated guide for being my inspiring me on my road to producing my very own.

I would like to thank jhoijhoi personally, for teaching me the basics of BBCode and being a huge inspiration!

Credits to jhoijhoi (again) for the template, which you can find here.

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Change Log

7/2/12 Guide released on MobaFire!