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Skarner Build Guide by anivia_irl

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League of Legends Build Guide Author anivia_irl

Maximizing Skarner's Abilities

anivia_irl Last updated on August 13, 2011
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Jungle Role
Ranked #22 in
Jungle Role
Win 50%
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 21

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 0

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Skarner Pros / Cons

1. Surprisingly, Has Naturally Fast Movement Speed
2. Great Farmer with Guinsoo's Rageblade and Nashor's Tooth
3. Great Lane Pusher
3. Great Ganker

1. Mana Heavy Early Game
2. Not the Strongest Champion Early Game
3. Needs Certain Items to Shine

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Runes Explanation

Greater Mark of Desolation To Synergize with Trinity Force
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration Because He Constantly Uses Mana
Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration He Needs More!
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed He is Already Fast Enough! Why Get!? I'll Explain in the Items Explanation Chapter Below

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Masteries Explanation


Because Skarner is a close-combat melee champion, he will need some defense. Problem solved with masteries. However, he is always mana hungry. Therefore, I solved his mana problem with Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration and Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration. Though his AP scaling seems to be simply 'meh', it is better to take some extra cooldown reduction and magic pen over 1 point in armor pierce and the 4% attack speed he won't even need due to Guinsoo's Rageblade, Nashor's Tooth, and Crystalline Exoskeleton. Since most of his skills are AP anyway, it is a wiser choice to take magic pen.

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Skill Sequence Explanation and How to Use 'Em

Max Crystal Slash first. Even though Fracture may initially do pretty good burst damage, it only scales with AP and your main damaging ability should be Crystal Slash. Max Crystalline Exoskeleton next, because it increases your movement speed and attack speed as well as giving you a shield. More movement speed will synergize with Boots of Swiftness and Trinity Force, and more attack speed will synergize with Guinsoo's Rageblade and Nashor's Tooth. Max Fracture last, but you MUST NOT neglect this skill. When you engage in teamfights, you should be using every skill whenever it's up.

How to Use 'Em!
Knowing how to use Impale will depend on how much you practice. As for other skills, you must use every single one of them whenever they're up like I mentioned. There is no such a thing as a rotation. Use Crystalline Exoskeleton to escape, catch up to an enemy, or soak up a harmful spell. Use this skill to gank, use it right before you Impale so you can make them run more. Use Fracture to kill an enemy champion who's about to get away with 1 health! Use it to heal yourself. You will mostly be using Crystal Slash in teamfights, so make sure you spam that spell. Use it to slow, use it while an enemy champion is Impaled so you can slow him/her right after Impale ends.

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Summoner Spells Explanation

Ignite and Flash for obvious reasons.

Ignite will help you out early game as well as giving you some extra dps late game. Flash is just always convenient.

You don't need Ghost, because with Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, Boots of Swiftness, Trinity Force, and Crystalline Exoskeleton, you will have over 510 move speed!! Even if you were to use Ghost, there would be a diminishing return on your move speed increment, meaning you wouldn't notice any difference even if you used Ghost.

You don't need Exhaust, because you have so much move speed to catch up to your victim and slow them with your Crystal Slash. Having trouble slowing enemies with Crystal Slash right after Impale ends? Practice, practice, and practice!! Know how long your Impale lasts, and have your Crystal Slash already charged up before using it after Impale.

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Items Explanation

Previously, I mentioned that with Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed, Boots of Swiftness, Trinity Force, and Crystalline Exoskeleton, you will have over 510 move speed. Ok, why do you need that much movespeed?

Impale is a positioning tool that can win a teamfight. The more move speed you have, the faster you can bring back a victim with Impale for your greedy teammates, and it'll take longer for that victim to get away. And for many other reasons, move speed can be very convenient, but the main reason I get Boots of Swiftness and Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed is to synergize with his naturally fast movement speed and to make his ultimate even stronger.

Trinity Force not only increases your movement speed, but is a good burst dps item in general. And what's really scary about Trinity Force is it's Unique 25% Proc. To activate that proc more often, I get Guinsoo's Rageblade and Nashor's Tooth. As you can see, most of his abilities are AP, and by getting those two items, you'll do quite a lot of damage as well as constantly slowing enemies with Crystal Slash. With 8 stacks of Guinsoo's Rageblade, Nashor's Tooth, and Crystalline Exoskeleton, you'll have roughly about 1800 attack speed, which is crazy!! Oh, and did I mention that Nashor's Tooth also gives you mana regen and with mana regen runes you don't have to worry about your mana?

Hextech Gunblade is just overall great to have for a hybrid champion. Life steal and spell vamp will get your health back sooner than you realize. Don't forget to use the item!

Banshee's Veil for some extra magic resist. You'll already be doing a lot of damage by the time you're done getting Hextech Gunblade, and because you went 9/21/0 in masteries, you won't need many defensive items. Without Banshee's Veil, you have less magic resist than armor, so getting Banshee's Veil is the right choice.

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Previously Asked Questions

1. Why don't you get Exhaust over Ignite?

- They are both viable. It really depends on your preference. I like ignite because I have no trouble slowing down enemies at any time. Do you see yourself letting go of your enemies after Impale? Practice using your Crystal Slash while you're casting Impale so you're ready to slow right after. Ignite will not only cover for your lack of damage in early game, but it gets even more useful later in the game.

2. What about Rylai's Crystal Scepter?

- For the same reason above. Due to faster spamming of Crystal Slash, I haven't had problem slowing down enemies at all. Trust me, you'll be slowing them down constantly.

3. Why not Mercury's Treads.

- I get Boots of Swiftness to maximize his naturally fast movement speed as I've mentioned above. However, if you find yourself getting into team fights with lots of CC's and AOE's, then I suggest you should get Mercury's Treads. I wouldn't want to give up his beautiful movement speed, though.

4. Why not Ghost?

- Diminishing return!! Refer to the 'Summoner Spells Explanation' Chapter.