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Skarner Build Guide by riandrake

Not Updated For Current Season

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League of Legends Build Guide Author riandrake

I MISS MY KIND - Jungle Tank Skarner.

riandrake Last updated on February 16, 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: 10

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 20

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Hey all, this is my Skarner build for normal games.. I expect a lot of downvotes, but I'll do my best to explain what I'm doing and how it works. You will be tanky, you will be fast. You won't be dealing out burst damage, and you won't be getting a lot of kills.

But you will be capitalising on your CC, survivability, mobility, initiation, and your ability to secure easy kills/assists/escapes for your team. Cause that's what it's all about. Your team.

Essentially, you can call this a Jungle Tank Support CC Skarner Build.

This is a work in progress. I plan to but icons in for easier reading later. Comments with any downvotes please.

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Attack Speed Marks - Plainly put, auto-attacks = cooldown reduction for Skarner. You want to maximise that passive with some nice attack speed for early game ganks. Mid-late game your team will be relying on you to initiate with your ult, and the easiest way to keep that pressure on the enemy team is to keep your cooldowns low. ArP/AD runes won't help you much, because your slow/suppress is much more important for securing those kills for your carry than taking the kill yourself.

Flat Armor Seals - For Jungling. Simply to help with your sustain.

Magic Resist/Level Glyphs - You shouldn't be focused much at all late-game, but this will definitely help vs a lot of those AoE abilities in teamfights,

Movement Speed Quintessences - Again it's all about capitalising on your CC's and keeping up with the enemy long enough for your teammates to shut them down. Also invaluable for faster jungling, easier ganks and safer escapes.

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These masteries are more focused on a simple early-mid game to get the ball rolling.

10 points in defensive tree for the essentials that every tanky jungler needs. Your jungle will mostly be composed of spamming Q, so the extra health and the bladed armor makes AoE farming that much easier. Keep smite on cooldown to maximise the gold gain.

In the utility tree we have movement speed further buffed by an extra 2% on top of the 4.5% provided by your quints - this really makes landing your ult that much easier/successful. your job is to move to and frm the enemy backline and draw them out.

Gold gain is also focused as you need all the gold you can get to really push your build and scare the enemy into retreating from your rather large health pool. As you're mostly support, the majority of your gold gain you'll get is from assists (unless you're cheeky with your Q) so you'll need this!

The 2 XP gain masteries are mostly to get you to your optimal ganking level as soon as possible, as well as making up for the lack of kills/excess of assists you'll get.

The buff duration mastery isn't important, except for a nice blue duration early game, and even a possible baron extension late game. Red is nice early-mid game If you've got mana issues/no blue - but most of the time it's better to pass it along to your carry.

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Regrowth + Pot - Assuming you're getting a leash. Pop the potion during blue and you should be fine until level 4-5. This is preferred over Armor + 5 Pots as it's The most economic route.. and the Regrowth goes towards your early Philosopher's Stone/Shurelyia's Reverie. Fantastic.

Beserker's Treads - Attack Speed, Cooldown Reduction. Enough said.

Philosopher's Stone/Heart of Gold - Gold per 5. Crucial.

Shurelyia's Reverie - Beautiful regen/sustain, some nice cdr.. And most importantly - an immense speed boost to ensure that you land that ult and you drag them right into your teammates. Every Skarner needs one.

Aegis of the Legion - Balanced, cheap defensive item that your whole team benefits from. Of course, if the enemy team is largely biased towards AD or AP.l then of course, choose something else, situation dependant.

Warmog's - It's your best friend and probably the one thing stopping the enemy team from focusing you when they should while you CC them into the ground. The earlier you get this the better.. Though it can be very expensive mid-game.

Randuin's Omen - As if the enemy team needed any other reasons not to focus you. Make sure you pop the active in every teamfight to give your teammates that crucial advantage, to chase down those last stragglers, or to make a desperate escape.

Force of Nature - By now your health should be sitting around 4k, which means this item will give you some pretty decent health regen, as well as an amazing movement speed increase and one of the best MR items you can buy. Not often in normal do you see someone buy a Madred's for you, but this will definitely ease the pressure.

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Skill Sequence

Your main rotation pre-6 will be to dash in with W and spam your Q. This is the most mana-sustainable way to jungle, as the health per mana from your E is kind of stupid early-mid game. By leaving your E out of the picture, you're boosti your Q and W for maximum CC and mobility.

Your E won't chase anyone down, it'll probably just make their escape easier. Just. Don't. No points in E until you have to. Trust me.

Balance your Q and W.

Your Q is your main source of damage (haha) as well as your best tool for the ultimate gank. What else can I say?

Your W boosts your movement speed and nice attack speed for the duration of the shield, so it makes sense to put more points in it early.. Otherwise you'll find the shield just gets broken too quickly. This is also your main turret-taking ability, as well as your CDR farm for more ults in ganking.

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Summoner Spells

Smite - Most people say that smite is unnecessary for jungling these days, and they're right. But I still recommend if for obvious reasons. Skarner farms AoE style, so Red/Blue/Dragon doesn't go down fast for him. The less time/mana you spend in the jungle, the better.

Safeguards you from buff steals, as well as giving you a tool to steal buffs. I like to think of my Skarner jungle more as.. A means to let someone solo farm top and carry, rather than giving myself the whole jungle. Honestly, your farm in the jungle along won't net you a win. You need to gank. This is all about making the game work for your teammates as well as you.

Exhaust - Just out of range for ult? Getting away? Exhaust and follow up with a suppress for the kilo. Just ultra them, but afraid they'll escape? Exhaust them as soon as the suppress ends. As main CC/tank it's your job to watch out for the right opportunities to CC an opponent.. And your team with thank you when you've secured that ace by exhausting their carry.

The reason why I pick Exhaust over Flash/Ghost is that with this Skarner build, you should have enough ******** movement speed already, and if you need to flash to secure it, maybe it's too risky to try in the first place. Play it safe. Also exhaust just has so much more usefulness from a team perspective. In comparison, Flash/Ghost are rather selfish summoner abilities. To be fair.

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Jungle Route

If leashed:


If countered:


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You are a tank.

You support your team with your CC and your great initiation.

Your main priority is to pull the squishies from the enemy backline into yours.

By building tanky, you're encouraging your enemy not to focus you, making it that much easier to slow them down.

Your Q is a method of both preventing an enemy's escape, as well as aiding your teammate's escape.

Leave no man behind.

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Pros / Cons


Indefinite slow
Great ultimate for initiating
Cooldowns drastically reduced with attack speed
Chance to lead/direct your team
Not likely to be focused
Easy ganking


No burst damage
Won't get many kills
Reliant on getting a lot of assists

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Your job is to tank and slow your opponents long enough for a teammate to pick up the kill, or for you to easily finish them off with a Q spam. Build right, and they'll be guaranteed to take their chances and run away rather than face you like they should.

Your priority is to make sure no one escapes your team, or to help your allies escape from pursuing enemies, Use your movement speed to your advantage to catch up to an enemy before Q spamming him to the ground.

To keep your slow on them effectively, Q - then run ahead of them, auto attack and Q again. Rinse and repeat.

Your ult is good for picking them off and making the enemy team scatter.. Or at least have doubts about a team fight. You can also use it like exhaust to save an ally from near death.

If you can, save your movement speed boosts until after you've landed your ult to maximise the distance you can drag them.

Q just before the suppress ends to make sure they're already slowed before they can even try to escape.