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Skarner Build Guide by TaintedDarkSoul

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League of Legends Build Guide Author TaintedDarkSoul

Every day I'm dragging 'em (now with jungle build)

TaintedDarkSoul Last updated on February 6, 2012
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Team 1

LeagueSpy Logo
Jungle Role
Ranked #19 in
Jungle Role
Win 51%
Get More Stats

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: 24

Honor Guard

Defense: 6

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Serious revamping must be made. This use to be my lane Skarner, need to see if its even viable anymore. Need to test out how the newly nerfed Skarner handles in the jungle. Expect changes in the near future...

EDIT 1: Tried him in jungle after nerf, he is still godly. Made build. However, I fear that a lane build is too hard (due to mana costs of spamming "q").

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Hello summoners. Look at the other Skarner builds, now back to mine, now back to the others, now back to mine. Sadly those others aren't mine, but if you stop reading theirs and switch to reading mine, you'll finally learn the secrets of how to play Skarner like me.

At first glance, it looks complicated, but its worth it. Skarner's power lies in how fast you can use Crystal Slash to activate Trinity Force and auto attack your enemy all at the same time slowing them down.

If you like the build, please up-vote it. If not, please tell me why.

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Pros / Cons

Why pay 6300 IP or 975 RP for Skarner?


  • Very high HP sustain in lane, thanks to Fracture
  • Very good pusher/jungler
  • Fast movement speed, thanks to Crystalline Exoskeleton
  • Best slow and attack combo skill yet
  • A ultimate that can turn the tide of a teamfight
  • Pretty much should win every 1v1

  • Mana starved in early game
  • Can't pop Crystal Slash fast enough early game
  • Low damage output early game
  • See a trend?

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(Innate): Using autoattacks against champions lowers the cooldowns of Skarner's abilities by 1 second and by 0.5 seconds when used against non-champion units. Autoattacks on towers won't reduce cooldowns at all.

Crystal Slash
(Active): Skarner lashes out, dealing physical damage to all enemies in a small area around him. He charges himself with Crystal Energy for 5 seconds if a unit is struck.

If he casts Crystal Slash again while empowered by Crystal Energy, the ability deals bonus magic damage and slows all targets hit for 2 seconds.

    Cooldown: 3.5 seconds
    Radius of AoE: 350
    Cost: 15 mana
    Physical Damage: 25 / 40 / 55 / 70 / 85 (+0.8 per bonus attack damage)
    Magic Damage: 24 / 36 / 48 / 60 / 72 (+0.4 per ability power)
    Slow: 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 %

Crystalline Exoskeleton
(Active): Skarner receives a shield for up to 6 seconds. While the shield is still active his movement speed and attack speed are boosted.
    Cost: 60 mana
    Cooldown: 14 seconds
    Shield Strength: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+0.6 per ability power)
    Attack Speed Boost: 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50 %
    Movement Speed Boost: 15 / 17 / 19 / 21 / 23 %

(Active): Skarner summons a blast of crystalline energy in a line which deals magic damage to enemies struck and marks them for 6 seconds. If any marked targets receive further damage from Skarner, or if they die when struck by Fracture, Skarner will consume the mark to heal himself. Subsequent marks consumed and unit kills will heal for 50% of the last.
    Cooldown: 10 seconds
    Range: 600
    Missile Speed: 1800
    Cost: 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana
    Magic Damage: 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+0.7 per ability power)
    Heal: 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 (+0.3 per ability power)

(Active): Skarner suppresses an enemy champion for 1.75 seconds and deals magic damage to it. During this time, Skarner can move freely and will drag his victim around with him. When the effect ends, Skarner's target will be dealt the same amount of magic damage again.
    Range 350
    Cooldown: 110 / 100 / 90 seconds
    Cost: 100 / 125 / 150 mana
    Magic Damage: 100 / 150 / 200 (+0.5 per ability power)

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Skill Sequence

At level 1 get Crystal Slash. This is your primary attack spell, it sucks now, but its Skarner's bread and butter.

At level 2 get Fracture. Helps with HP sustain in lane and skill shooting.

At level 3 get Crystalline Exoskeleton. To close the gap or escape when needed.

Level up Impale in levels 6, 11 and 16. This is obvious, level your ultimate whenever you can.

From levels 4-5, 7 and 9, max out Crystal Slash.
From levels 8, 10 and 12-13, max out Fracture.
From levels 14-15 and 17-18, max out Crystalline Exoskeleton.

Note: If things are looking bad in lane, level the following:
From levels 8, 10 and 12-13, max out Crystalline Exoskeleton.
From levels 14-15 and 17-18, max out Fracture.

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Your Marks ( Greater Mark of Desolation) and Quintessences ( Greater Quintessence of Desolation) should be armor penetration. This will help early game, combined with your masteries, you should have a total of 31 armor penetration at level 1. So any mage champ will be easy pickings.

Your Seals should be flat armor runes ( Greater Seal of Armor). This will help with early jungling and early lane sustain.

Your Glyphs should be magic resistance per level runes ( Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist). These will shine in late game.

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I go 11-19-0 for Skarner. I put 11 points in offense. I chose to max out Alacrity rather then putting points into Sorcery and Archaic Knowledge . The reason is that Sorcery gives you a 3% cool-down reduction. With both Nashor's Tooth and Ionian Boots of Lucidity, you'll have 40% cool-down reduction (which is the maximum you can have). So that 3% bonus will be wasted. Instead, you will benefit from the bonus attack speed.

19 points in defense. Pretty much a standard tank build minus Tenacity (points went into Alacrity instead. Skarner is NOT a tank, but tanking some damage is always a good idea).

And finally 0 points in utility.

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Summoner Spells

I choose Exhaust and Flash.

Exhaust to shut down pesky enemy AD carries. Also easy way to pick up a kill or escape.

Flash to close a gap to get a kill or to run away.

Need I say more?

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Core Items

--> --> -->

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In the beginning buy a Meki Pendant and 2 Health Potions. The reason I start with a MP regeneration item is for early lane sustain. You'll notice very quickly (even after the flat 15 MP cost for Crystal Slash patch) that your out of mana fairly quickly. With a Meki Pendant, it'll help you stay in lane and farm up some gold before going back.

On your first trip back get Boots of Speed and an Amplifying Tome (for movement speed and more AP for that extra damage).

On your third trip back, upgrade those Boots of Speed for Ionian Boots of Lucidity. If you are short on gold, get Fiendish Codex instead. Either way you will be able to reap the benefits of some much needed cooldown reduction (-15% or -10% respectivly).

Fourth trip's objective should the the opposite item from the one you selected above (so you now have -25% cooldown reduction) and a Sapphire Crystal. Wait, why did we stop building Nashor's Tooth halfway? The answer is for more mana and physical damage output. The Sheen will pay off faster then rushing Nashor's Tooth. The reason is that it provides that extra push of damage in early game. It also catches enemies unaware and by the time they realize they can't 1v1 you, its too late.

So, on your fifth trip back, upgrade the Sapphire Crystal for a Sheen and get ready to melt some faces. Literally.

Sixth and seventh trips will be to build the Stinger and Nashor's Tooth respectively. I usually buy 2 Daggers and then buy the Stinger and Nashor's Tooth in one shot. Congrats, your cooldown reduction is now at maximun (-40%). Now that we've completed Nashor's Tooth (a almost 3000 gold item) first, why? The answer is that this item synergies with Skarner perfectly: +50% attack speed, +55 AP, 10 mana/5 sec and -25% cooldown reduction. All things Skarner needs in one item, there isn't a item any better then this for the same price and that takes up only one item slot. Just like the Sheen before, this item also catches people unaware because of its massive attack speed boost and cooldown reduction. That will give you an edge and seal so easy kills.

Now let focus our time on building the Trinity Force. Pick up a Long Sword, then upgrade it to a Phage (for the movement speed slow chance). Next is yet another Dagger, then upgrade it to a Zeal (for more attack speed). Finally, buy yourself the Trinity Force. This item further boosts Skarners attack speed, AD, AP and every spell cast makes your next basic attack's base damage +150% more.

Oh, your still reading? Didn't the game finish yet? No? Damn, they don't know they've lost yet huh. Ok, lets continue.

Since your enemy team is either naive about Skarner ability or they are hard to kill, we need some lifesteal and spell vamp. One thing you've notice by now is that Skarner is whooping a ton of damage now, and can spam Crystal Slash every 2.1 seconds (in reality its every 1.5 sec against minions and every 1.0 sec against enemy champions thanks to Energize). This can be put to work by getting a Hextech Gunblade. Even post-nerf, its still a good item to use (even if it use to be better). Its your call on weather to build the Bilgewater Cutlass or Hextech Revolver first (also depends on how much gold you have saved). Regardless, it'll turn into a Hextech Gunblade eventually.

Your last two item slots have a few options. I prefer to get Guinsoo's Rageblade and The Bloodthirster for more AD, AP, attack speed and lifesteal. However, if you need armor or magic resist, these items are two you can do without. So:

Enemy has too much armor/HP. No problem. Get:

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How to: Lane

Against a Single Champ:
In the beginning, use Crystal Slash to poke damage and not to make them too comfortable. Once you get Fracture and Crystalline Exoskeleton you will have more of a presence. Always start with Crystal Slash, as soon as its ready, pop it again for the slow when your around your target. Use Crystalline Exoskeleton to get some temporary HP, movement and attack speed. Whenever Crystal Slash is on cooldown, use Fracture for more DSP output. Rinse and repeat. If they are faster then you, you may want to use Impale to drag them back a bit to seal the kill.

Against Minions:
In the early game, you don't have enough mana, AD or attack speed to kill minions with ease. Use Crystal Slash to last hit if you can't auto-attack last hit. Once you hit level 3, you can farm better. Normally open up with Fracture to damage as many minions you can reach when they are walking towards you in a row. Re-position yourself to use Crystal Slash to hit all the marked minions to absorb HP (no doubt that your missing some from enemy champs) then finish them off with auto-attacks and another Crystal Slash.

In Jungle:
Same idea as minions. Spam Crystal Slash as much as you can against red or blue buffers.

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How to: Teamfight

As Skarner, you are NOT a tank. Most people forget this. So, whenever engaging in a team fight, you can start it off by using Crystalline Exoskeleton to rush to them, then use Impale and drag your target back to your team. At this point pop Crystal Slash as much as you can against your dragged target and together with your team you should of killed your first enemy. Rush towards whose left and keep on using Crystal Slash to slow them down, do some area of effect damage around yourself and charge Trinity Force for addition damage.

However, this does not always work. You can instead use Impale if a enemy champ starts to harass one of your weaker allies (like your mage). Ult them and drag them back a wee ways with Crystalline Exoskeleton and watch the rest of your team kill them. Althernativly, you can use Crystal Slash to slow them down and kill them with your team all at the same time saving your Impale for a stronger enemy (perhaps one with heavy CC spells).

Remember: Always Be Attacking Something (ABAS). Skarners passive sets him up nicely to spam everything in teamfights. As long as your auto attacking champs, all your skills cooldown timers get reduced by 1 second every basic attack. This translates to increased spam on every spell and being able to use your ultimate faster.

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Thats about it. Good luck and have fun.

Version 1.3.5

Change Log:
1.0.1 - Fixed title from "Every single day I'm dragging 'em" to "Every day I'm dragging 'em."
1.0.2 - Changed chapter 9 and 10's names.
1.1 - Completed Item and added Core Items chapter. Enjoy.
1.2 - Finished the last two chapters (finally), might need some editing to make them perfect.
1.3 - Added new masteries, more small fixes coming.
1.3.1 - Added warning at the beginning of build.
1.3.2 - Updated warning chapter, added jungle build