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Skarner Build Guide by nerdkilla

Not Updated For Current Season

This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author nerdkilla

General Skarner Guide

nerdkilla Last updated on June 15, 2013
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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


Utility: 9

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To start out with, this is my first guide on Mobafire. I have seen some really amazing guides on this site and would like to contribute with some of my own. Please keep in mind since this is my first guide I might have some problems. Please do not follow this guide word for word because sometimes you will need to change items for different situations (Ex: if the enemy team has a fed Vayne you could replace your Mercurial Scimitar with a Thornmail).

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energizeEnergize - Great passive, turns attack speed into CDR. Gives your two stats for the price of one, what more would you want?
Crystal Slash - Great for clearing and ganking, try not to spam it in lane too much at early levels because it will cause you to push and run out of mana FAST. Great slow for ganking. Max this first for. Max this first for everything but the AP build, max it second then.
Crystalline Exoskeleton - Very nice skill, it is basically 3 skills in one. A shield, movement speed, and attack speed. Great for pushing and jungling. Max this second in most situations but last in the AP build.
Fracture - Great sustain at early levels jungling, also has decent damage for clearing faster. Max this first for the AP build, this just makes your sustain OP and gives you great damage/harass, otherwise put a point in at lvl 3 but then max it last.
Impale - AMAZING skill. Grab the MVP of the match and then proceed to carry them to your team and tear them up. This skill is absolutely vital to Skarner's kit. Skarner would not be Skarner without this skill.

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Pros / Cons


+ Good damage even if building full tank.
+ Hybrid damage.
+ Good throughout the game.
+ Great chaser.
+ Okay ganks pre-six.
+ Easy to learn.

- Easily kited.
- Not and amazing escape mechanism.
- Expensive build.
- Hard to master.
- Vulnerable to hard CC.

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Relatively basic runes. If you are needing to go tanky use tankier runes. Otherwise, In my opinion these are the best runes for Skarner.

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A typical utility jungle tree for a jungler. Some people will have masteries for clearing jungle camps fasterbut I find it a bit useless since Skarner is already a fast jungler and does not require armor/ magic penetration to do massive damage. Tough skin and Bladed armor help you clear faster and take less damage from minions. Durability and Veterans Scars will give you even more innate tankiness. Summoners Resolve will give you some extra gold when using smite, this will add up. Good hands will help if you are being seiged and need to defend towers faster and generally spend less time dead. Tenacious gives you more tenacity, nuff said. Juggernaut just makes you even more tanky. Defender makes you better in team fights. And honor guards damage reduction is great. In the utility tree Wanderer gets you in between lanes faster. Mastermind lets you use smite more frequently, more gold for you from Summoners Resolve and lets you use ghost/exhaust/smite more often. Improved Recall has saved me several times from enemies charging towards me when I am recalling in a warded bush. Runic Affinity is great for just getting out of your buffs.

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I typically go for hybrid items such as Hextech Gunblade and Trinity Force. He also benefits a lot from tank items because he has to go right into the middle of the fight to ult the AD carry. For boots it is really up to you. My favorite boots are Mercury Treads, because you will be cc'd when you go into the middle of the fight, the magic resistance is also nice. Alternatively you can go Ninja Tabi if they do a lot of physical damage or if their AD Carry is getting fed. Get the items in whichever order needed for your situation. These builds are not set in stone! They are just very good items on Skarner. Assess your situation and build what you need when you need!

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Skill Sequence

Skarner's Q should always be maxed first, because of the damage and the permanent slow when ganking. W Should be maxed second for its great stats. The movement speed will help you chase someone to suppress them or run away. The attack speed is useful for general damage, and makes you a split pushing machine. The shield is also useful for just absorbing some damage. E should usually have a point in lvl 3 for the sustain and damage that it gives, many people don't even bother leveling it until they have to but I disagree for the reasons I just explained. His ultimate is game changing. You should always use it on an important enemy champion (EX: Use it on a Vayne or Cassiopeia instead of an Alistar). It is also good when an enemy is committed to a fight and wants to kill you, but you can just pull this out at the last second to finish them off. Try to bait their escape before you use this spell.

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Smite: //You should add a bit more explanation here, and it will look gooooood.

Ghost: //You should add a bit more explanation here, and it will look gooooood.

Flash: //Here you can talk about why you don't think Flash is all to great on Skarner as opposed to Ghost. Obviously Ghost is the better choice because you can't Flash when using Impale. Mention that somewhere.

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Unique Skills

His ultimate is an amazing one. It is basically a free kill if you gank and enemy and use your ultimate. His q is amazing for chasing ans helps you clear the jungle very fast.

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Pre level 6 you should try to use your q on a nearby minion while heading towards the enemy champion (if possible). Try best as you can to keep up with them and use your q in between auto attacks and to keep the perma slow up. Use exhaust if you need to and w/ghost if they are getting away and you can secure the kill. After level 6 it is much of the same, but much easier. If done right it is a guaranteed kill. Try to gank from the side or from the tri bush, it would be best to get behind them. Try to bait their escape mechanism before using your ult, but if they are super low just use it and hope for the best. If you are ganking someone with cleanse and one of your teammates have a hard cc (stuns, roots, etc...) try to wait until after they have used it and then use your ultimate, because it is more likely better than your teammates.

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When you are laning try to focus on farming. You can clear very fast with your aoe damage and IBG/Hydra if you bought it. Try not to push early because it will leave you open for a gank. For your starting items try to assess the lane matchup and go from that (skillshot champs get boots, harass get cloth armor/pots or health pendant/mana pendant/pots, if they have a scary jungler try to fit a ward in there). You are also a great duelist 1v1, not many champions can beat you in that regard. Again wait until they are committed to use your ultimate, because they can just run away if you use it at the beginning. You can go AP mid/top or AD/Hybrid too.

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In a nutshell Skarner is really a great champion that is very flexible. He is one of the most underrated and underplayed champions in the game and I really hope he does get some more attention. He has been my favorite champion for a while and I hope to keep learning more tricks with him. He can also play top and mid quite sufficiently. If you have any thoughts/advice please share your thoughts in the guide discussion.

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Some great help

Many thanks to PinSeventy for helping me with general things and visual appeal/BB Code of this guide.