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Skarner Build Guide by Diceslice

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Diceslice

Giant Scorpion of the Jungle

Diceslice Last updated on December 29, 2011
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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! My summoner name is jÄmää and this is my Jungle Skarner guide.

I play mostly Junglers and Skarner I have to say is one of my favourites. He's a strong jungler with few weaknesses and a lot of strengths. Skarner can obviously be played solo-top aswell, this guide will focus on jungling though.

Here's a list of some pros and cons with Skarner:


* AoE-jungler - fast reliable jungle clear.
* Not very rune dependant - He can clear very fast with pretty much any setup which opens up a lot of rune choices and makes it easy to optimize for late-game.
* Not very mastery dependant - A lot of Junglers require offensive masteries to clear the jungle at a decent speed, Defensive masteries however is preferable due to superior stats (this is the case for most junglers anyway, for tryndamera etc. offensive masteries are obviously better).
* Good sustain - With the shield from W and the heal from E Skarner sustains really well in the jungle aslong as he's got the mana to support it.
* Strong ganks all game through - While his ganks are good pre-level 6 they become godlike when he gets his ultimate.
* Deals a lot of damage while building tanky.
* Many path options - Skarner can basically start anywhere in the jungle and he is able to gank early without messing up his skill-order.
* Strong invader and duellist - Skarner can duel pretty much any other jungler and come out on top due to natural tankyness and high damage, he's also very good at stealing enemy jungle camps due to being high a damage AoE-champion.


* Somewhat farm-dependant - Skarner needs to be right in their and needs to be tanky, without items he may have a hard time doing his job.
* No Gap-closer - He has to rely on movementspeed alone to get into range of his enemies, popping his shield obviously cripples his ability to get into the mix.
* No range poke - All melee with a short ranged skill shot, not exactly a strong choice for all random all mid haha :D

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Skarner is very versatile when it comes to runes. This is obviously a good trait since it mean that you can run pretty much what you got at hand.
I will give you some examples and idea on how to rune Skarner:

9x Attackspeed red - This is best in slot for skarner imo. It decreases his jungle clear time while also synergizing with his passive, more autohits means more autoattack damage and not only that, for every autoattack you decrease the cooldown on all your other abilitys which basically mean that you will do more Q damage aswell. Attackspeed therefor increases abilitys damage indirectly, or rather ability DPS. Penetration marks on red is an alternate choice altough I feel that they won't help him as much as the attackspeed ones. Flat attackdamage is also a possibility but still not as good as AS.

9x Flat armor yellow - Best choice for almost every jungle, decreases damage taken from jungle creeps and also helps against other physical damage based champions. It is by far the most allround chioce for Skarner in the Seal slot. Other options would be attackspeed or scaling health but this will leave you sore after a round of jungling, possibly unable to gank early.

9x scaling magic resist blues - This is a good choice since it gets you a free Null-Magic Mantle at level 18. Another chioce would be Attackspeed but the effects of AS blues are very minor and if you compare ~24 MR to ~6% AS you will find that bying 24 MR costs 400g while 6% AS would have a value of 168g. You might wanna go flat MR if you're up against fiddle in the jungle, this would be a very rare occasion tough and it's hardly worth making another runepage for. The last possible chioce for blue runes would be CDR but I still think MR will do you more good.

For quints I like to run Movespeed, I think these are very helpful considering the fact that Skarner hasn't got a real gapcloser, they are pretty expensive though so other solid choices would be Attackspeed or Health for example.

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Skarner is often the initiator and he really needs to be in there to be effective, thus I think defense masteries benefits him much more then offensive ones. Skarner doesn't scale greatly on AD or AP so the best things he could get from the offensive tree really is the AS, CDR and penetration talents. If you wish you could pick up the one that you prefer (either Spellpen/CDR or AS/armorpen). Another chioce is to pick up increased buff duration, manaregen and movespeed in utility, this will make you less reliant on blue buff and while you actually have it it will last much longer.

The chioces you have in the defensive tree is to start either magicresist, armor or less creep-damage taken. I choose armor and a point in MR, I just don't feel like reduced creep-damage is worth it, you will do fine anyway. Next up I like to take scaling health and healthregen, the mini-thorns-aura isn't really needed since you have so much constant AoE damage anyway, it's a talent better suited for Rammus tec who's got good synergy with that particular talent ;) The healthregen can be swapped for for soem points in Initiator and Magicresist etc.

Talents to stay away from are probably Mercenary and Siege Commander, I feel that these talents won't do you much good at all to be honest and it's not worth giving up reduced damage taken and CDR for these.

Notice that with both Shurelya's and Frozen Heart plus 3 points in the CDR mastery you will go slightly over the 50% CDR cap, you might wanna remove one point to get exactly 40% but since you're not usually going to have both items until very late I find that 3 points is very useful throughout the game.

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Skill Sequence

The order of skilling up is very simple, R>Q>W>E.
The only real option here is if you want and early point in Fracture or not.
While it is a good skill for laning it isn't that necesarry in the jungle, a small nuke can be good mid combat and the tiny heal might save you at some point, I like to take this at level 4 but I suggest you try it out yourself and see what you like more.

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Skill Explanation

Energize Energize: This is a great passive tbh. It reduces the cooldown of all your skills by 1 second if autoattacking a hero and half a second if attacking creeps. This means that you will be able to easily stick on a target since your Q spell will have a CD shorter then 2 seconds if you are constantly attacking. Obviously this goes for your W spell too meaning that you are able to crawl around at high speeds making it very hard for anyone to outrun you. The best part of this is that it works with your ultimate aswell, basically gank a lane, farm a couple of camps and your ulti will be ready again. This gives a very nice flow to Skarner and I personally love this passive.

Crystal Slash: This is your main damage ability. It allows you to clear the jungle as fast as Phoenix-Udyr and perma-slow your enemies, making sure no one will get away from your stinger. Coupled with your passive and Sheen/Triforce this skill (despite it's low base values) will deal alot of damage. If attacking an enemy hero this skill will have a very short cooldown and will help you to constantly proc the Sheen effect, drastically increasing your DPS.

Tips on using this while ganking would be to cast it on creeps while moving towards enemy heroes, this will make sure that you get off the slow effect on them right away. Notice that this skill can be used while ulting someone and it doesn't delay you movement in any way.
Also, use this combined with Sheen to deal extra damage to turrets.

Crystalline Exoskeleton: This is an excellent skill that gives you surviveability and tankyness comparable to what gives Udyr. But that's not all, it also increases your movement speed while active aswell as your attackspeed.

When ganking always try to avoid breaking it by taking unnecessary damage. This skill coupled with Shurelia and Flash/Ghost makes for some great surprise initiations when coming from a brush or fog of war. Also, use this while pushing turrets for extra attackspeed.

Fracture: This skill can feel lackluster compared to the other amazing skill of Skarner. But that's mostly just because they are that, really amazing. While this skill is last in prio it has it's uses, decent sustain and an avarage AoE nuke with longer range then the rest of his kit. Sometimes I've finished of enemies with this when they were just about to get away to safety. Since this is more of lane-Skarner skill you can choose to skip it until late-game, personally I like to have one point for good measure, you enver know when you might need ~100 extra damage or a small heal.

Impale: This is an amazing ulti with a much shorter CD then you might think, due to Skarners passive you will be able to use this almost as often as you need it.
Basically this is a Warwick ulti with the added benefit of being able to move both you and your victim while performing it. This skill makes Skarner one of the most dangerous gankers in the game. Before using this skill try to boost you movement speed as much as you can with your W and Shurelia's even ghost if you didnt pick flash. Flash btw is not useable while ulting so it's a better idea to use flash to get someone into your ulti. Also if you are able to ulti someone through a wall you can drag them to your side.

Impale can be removed by GP's , Alistar's , Olaf's and , Cleanse will not remove it though.

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Summoner Spells

These are the viable spells for a jungling Skarner in order of significance:

Smite: Must have for any jungler, doesn't matter if you claim that you can do without, it's a necessity for clear speed, invading and buff control. It's almost impossible to steal a buff without Smite unless you are Nunu or Cho'gath, which you aren't ;)

Flash: This is what I prefer as a second Summoner Spell. It provides so much utility, the ability to flash over wall either to escape or cashe, flash just out of danger, flash to steal Baron/Dragon and last but not least, flash+ulti combo. When utilized correctly flash is both a guardian angel and lethal weapon. Even with the nerf to CD and range I still feel that Flash is the best chioce for Skarner and it synergizes well with him, since he doesn't have a gap closer and relies on movespeed to both chase and flee.

Ghost: This is the first option to flash, I don't think it's needed because Skarner certainly doesn't lack movespeed and is better off with the more unpredictable Flash, if you haven't reached level 12 though, this is your best choice.

Ignite: Not worth giving upFlash for, that's how simple it really is. Can be good for lane-Skarner though.

Exhaust: Same as Ignite basically.

Heal: While this skill had a nice buff recently and could be useful I file it under subpar Summoner spells for jungling Skarner.

Every other spell is basically useless for jungle Skarner and probably even lane-Skarner and should not be considered tbh.

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Here follow an explanation on items that Skarner will be able to make decent use of and some reasonable build examples, AP builds or pure damage builds will not be brought up since I feel that you shouldn't be able to pull those off against decent opponents. It will simply make you too squishy.

To start with you have the option of buying either and x5, or and x3.

These are the two chioces I would recommend, cloth and 5 pots for safe sustain or boots and pots for super early ganking and aggresiveness. Both are solid choices and it comes down to how gankable enemy lanes will be and your own playstyle.

Another option could be and , this will get you some semi decent sustain while also giving you the option to get a super early Philosopher Stone.

Early-Mid game goals:

For damage and mana, this is basically you core item when it comes to damage.

This is in my opinion a must have for Skarner in order to not get CC'd and slowed to much, the magic resist is a great bonus too. is a viable option is the enemy team has an extreme lack of CC.

Cheap magic protection, that's all really, finishing any item that includes this is very expensive and usually doesn't provide that much more when it comes to pure MR so you might wanna stick around with this for a while.

I really love this item, it can solve your mana problems while giving you armor and CDR, perfect for Skarner!

Philosopher's Stone More income while providing you with decent sustain, also builds into Shurleya's Reverie which is an excellent item that synergizes greatly with Skarner.

Late Game goals depending on your needs:


For me this is the number one DPS item for Skarner, great synergy with Crystal Slash while providing a whole bunch of stats, all useful to Skarner, excellent. The movespeed and Sheen effect is probably my favourite parts of it.

Attackspeed MR and a nice On-hit effect, cheap yet effective. It gives a whopping 50 MR when fully stacked.

This is a luxury version of Wit's End but with some minor AD and Armor instead of Magic resist, imo it's too expensive to fit into your build but you can certainly buy it in a 70 minute game.

Defense Armor:

I love this item on Skarner, massive armor, mana and CDR, all in one, all useful stats aswell. The passive effect is great to have on Skarner since he's sure to be in the midst of battle able to reduce the AS of the scary carries.

Very Solid chioce tbh, nice HP and mitigation both from the high armor and the passive that lets you catch up to enemy carried even easier then before. The active effect can slow for hideous amounts coupled with your Q spell.

A balanced item giving you a little bit of both Armor and MR with a very nice passive. It's not every one who can make their escape or stay in the fight after being ressurected with only 600ish health, Skarner's kit allows him too and that's why I like this on him.

Defense Magic Resist:

This is great, high MR and a nice MS boost, very nice boost to health regen aswell, especially if coupled with a Warmog.

Health and mana plus some decent magic resist, but the best part is really the Spell Shield, it let's you initiate on the enemy and not the other way around etc.

Decent choice considering how cheap it is, Health CDR and minor MR are all good, you might not have that much use of the passive ability though.

Utility and Health items:

Shurelya's Reverie This item gives you some nice flat health and mana with additional regen, the best part is the movespeed auto, it let's you team initiate or flee and is especially useful wehn you're trying to ulti someone.

If heavy CC like Sion, WW, Taric or Malzahar etc. is troubling you, go ahead and get one of these it can be very helpful occasionally and it's even better then Bansee if used correctly tbh.

While I prefer resistances as my primary defense sometimes you just need some extra health, that's where Warmog does it's job best, alone it's not too good tbh, coupled with some defense, especially Force of Nature it will make you absurdly robust.
And while you're at it, a classic Warmog Atma combo has never hurt anyone (honestly, seen Atmog's Lux do decent even o,O).

This is an Excellent choice that benefits the whole team, definately get one if your support doesn't have one.

Lastly you might wonder why I haven't mentioned .
Well personally I don't think you need this, you clear camps fast enough with Q and Sheen, it also doesn't give Skarner much of anything that he really wants, low armro some AD and lifesteal is very good on some more physical oriented junglers like Trundle or Nocturne but for Skarner, autoattacking is really more of a complement to his Q. He doesn't really need the sustain like Noc and Trundle does anyway, it basically just delays your itembuild.

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Early game and Jungling

The standard jungle path path int eh new revamped jungle is to start Wolves, kill them quickyl before Blue spawns at 1.55 get a pull from your mid and eventually help from top/bottom depending on which side you are then proceed with Wrath camp, back to Wolves down to Double Golems take Red and kill Wraith camp, this will get you level 4 as fast as possible.

Alternate routes would be, Wolves>Blue (just like standard) then go into the enemy jungle to steal either double golem or Wraiths, beware that if you're going for Wraiths you should be ready to fight the other jungler, depending on their speed, Nocturne, Udyr, Amumu etc will have made it there about the same time as you. Against these guys you might wanna go for Double golems and Smite the big one.

More options include early level 2 gank at top or bot depending on who is closest to blue, mid can also be ganked at level 2 or 3. The good thing with Skarner is that he is easily able to recover from failed ganks and can usually just jungle on due to his strong AoE damage.

If the enemy has a weak duellist as their jungler you might want to try and pick a fight with him, actually Skarner can pick a fight with almost anyone and come out ahead, and if you are in risk of dying you W and Q will usually get you to safety.

A tip is to go home if your health drops too low, some guys like Shaco with Ignite Udyr or Trundle can surprise you with their speed and burst damage if you're not careful. Usually Skarner comes out on top in most jungle duels, just be careful for Box-nests or surpirses from the brush near the Buff Camps.

When attempting to steal enemy buff camps make sure you know where the enemy jungler are, either do this when you know they've just ganked a lane far from you or when your support has spotted them with CV or a ward.

Red buff can be pulled to the brush behind it, if doen correctly it always works, you might want to kill the small lizards though or that will blow your cover. Most enemy junglers will only check the brush right beside Lizard and walk away disappointed while you are right underneath/above them killing their Red.

After stealing the enemys buffs a ward placed in the bush next to the buff camp will easily let you steal it time and time again. With a ward you can watch the enemy killing the buff and Smite it at the last moment right over the wall, if he's weaker then you you could even attempt to kill him at this point.

When it comes to ganking mid-lane is probably the easiest to gank since both sides are covered in brush, beware of wards though. If the enemy hasn't warded and you have the oppertunity to camp a few seconds in their brush try to tell your teammate to bait out certain CC abilitys or Riftwalk/ Arcane Shift to make sure your gank is as successful as possible. Don't waste too much time doing this, if your gank fails it would've been better to spend your time farming the jungle.

An early Oracles can be very helpful if you get some extra gold and will enable you greater Dragon control and easier ganking.

Give blue to your mid as soon as possible if he actually needs it, keep a look at their blue and if you're close by when their mid is getting his blue buff try to call for CV and steal with Smite if possible.

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Mid Game

So what is midgame exactly? From my knowledge there isn't any exact defination, but when most people have their ultimas but are mostly hanging in their lanes with the occasional ganks, then I guess you could say it's mid-game. One of the most important factors is now dragon control. It is your supports job to keep dragon warded but feel free to help doing that aswell. If you manage to make a successful gank on bot lane killing one or both of the opponents down there you will have a great oppertunity to take the dragon, ask your botlane for help, you can't know if the enemy jungler will show up, also alert your mid incase their mid comes down to help, last but not least beware if their toplane teleports down. If the enemy gets in the same situation and even brings down their toplaner, try to make the best out of it and push a tower etc meanwhile.

At this stage you should try to grab all the farm you can without pushing any lane and making it vulnerable. Keep stealing enemy buff and gank while you get the oppertunity to, don't gank pushed lanes, it's almost always impossible.

A tip is to look at the map while jungling, since you're probably just autoattacking and spamming Q you might aswell check which lanes that are overextended or which lanes that might need help or where the enemy jungler might be.

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Late Game and Teamfighting

Late game is basically when laningphase is over and Baron/pushing towers becomes the main objective. At this stage you can probably take any farm you can, you should try to push towers whenever you get the oppertunity, Skarner is a pretty strong pusher that clears minionwaves fast and kill towers pretty quickly aswell. Always keep a ward at Baron if your support doesn't.

In teamfight you are a great initiator, if you are able to grab an enemy carry with your ulti without getting yourself killed go ahead, picking out and enemy AD or AP carry can mean alot, don't hesitate to grab their bruisers if you believe that you and your team are able to kill them quickly. Don't hesitate to 1v1 fight people if you have a decent inventory, with your ultimate up (might not be needed if you're fighting a poor 1v1er) you can probably kill just about anyoneat this stage of the game.

In teamfights you should try to kill their carrys but don't put yourself at too much of a risk, Skarner is very good at peeling enemies off of your own carry with his slow and ultimate, so staying near your carries distrupting and slowing enemy bruisers can be quite effective.

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So this is it, the end of my first LoL guide, I hope you liked it and if you didn't please leave some constructive feedback (I appreciate if you point out mistakes so that I am able to correct them :P). Obviously leave a comment if you liked it aswell.
If enough people demand it I will make some basic tutorial and commentaries on how to jungle and fight with Skarner.

Skarner is a very strong jungler and pretty simple without much rune/mastery requirement in comparison to other junglers so I would recommend beginners in the Jungle to try Skarner and follow whatever steps in this guide that they are able to.

Finally thank you for reading and I hope I've managed to help someone with this.

Cheers jÄmää