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Skarner Build Guide by Merthos1123

Top diamond

Number #1 Skarner NA - Challenger Skarner Top Guide

By Merthos1123 | Updated on January 8, 2020
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Runes: Grasp Standard

1 2 3 4
Grasp of the Undying
Shield Bash
Bone Plating

Magical Footwear
Cosmic Insight

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


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Jungle Role
Ranked #9 in
Jungle Role
Win 55%
Get More Stats

Ability Order E into W Max

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
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Hey, my name is Merthos and I main Skarner Top and have managed to peak Challenger 734 LP, I have over 6000 Skarner games and I have played him almost exclusively top in season 9. I think playing Skarner top is more effective than in the jungle because your jungle slot is not wasted on a champion that has to wait until level 6 to be effective, as playing jungle Skarner is reliant on the enemy team to misposition. Overall Skarner is a champion that excels at crowd controlling enemies with his massive amounts of cc at capped cdr.
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Skarner is a juggernaut that excels at crowd controlling his target for a insane amount of time. Skarner's most iconic ability for crowd control is Impale, Skarner rears his stinger and suppresses his target for 1.75 seconds. With Impale Skarner can setup free kills for his teammates. Overall Skarner is a champion that can be used to effectively shut a person out of a fight and potentially make it a 4v5.
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+ Strong when ahead
+ Easy roams with Crystal Spires
+ Great setup for junglers
+ Good pick potential with Flash Impale
+ Tanky
Skarner is a tanky juggernaut that excels at locking down champions with insane crowd control. Skarner has a rough early game but if he gets going he is a very snowbally champion. Roaming with Skarner is also very effective due to his Crystal Spires giving him over 70 movement speed throughout most of the river and jungle quadrants. Skarner's strongest when he is able to setup his junglers with his insane cc allowing for essentially free kills.


- Weak early game
- No Crystal Spires in lane
- Low mobility
- Crystal Spires can be captured by enemy team
Skarner has an extremely weak early game usually having mana issues and has a hard time surviving against strong early game opponents. Crystal Spires do not spawn in lane so you basically have no passive aside from your e proc or r duration. Skarner has no mobility aside from his W speed up, making him vulnerable to ganks. Skarner's passive Crystal Spires can be captured by the enemy team making you have essentially no passive if the enemy controls the map.
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Flash and Teleport should always be taken as Skarner relies on his Flash Impale to pick off high priority targets. Teleport is also required as Skarner's early game is incredibly weak and will most likely be shoved out of lane very early.
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Inspiration Tree

The inspiration tree allows you Skarner to take many beneficial runes as it gives all keystones through Prototype: Omnistone, movement speed through Magical Footwear, health and mana sustain through Biscuit Delivery, and Cosmic Insight for 5% extra cdr.

Prototype: Omnistone is a great keystone on Skarner, offering versatility in having all keystones available because Skarner can work well with almost all keystones.

Magical Footwear is a great pickup on Skarner because it allows him to not pay 300 gold for boots and gain an extra 10 movement. This is great for Skarner because he already has low movement speed and Skarner needs items to scale effectively, plus saving gold anywhere we can is a must.

Biscuit Delivery is effective on Skarner because he has almost no sustain outside of his Crystalline Exoskeleton at level 1, and he needs as much sustain as possible to survive the early game.

Cosmic Insight is one of the most important runes for Skarner as it gives him tons of benefits. It allows him to have Flash up a lot more for the Flash Impale combo and gives him the ability to stun repeatedly with his Fracture having as low cdr as possible.

Standard Inspiration Runepage

Resolve Tree

The resolve tree gives a lot of great defensive options to Skarner, such as Grasp of the Undying for strong trades and hp, Shield Bash for extra resist and damage while shielding, Bone Plating for damage reduction for early game powerhouses, and Overgrowth for extra health.

Grasp of the Undying is good on Skarner because it gives him trading power and health every time he procs it. Since Skarner's shield also scales with health, this is a very effective keystone on him.

Shield Bash is a nice defensive and offensive buff for Skarner as it gives him resists while he is shielded and extra damage on-hit.

Bone Plating is a good early game defensive rune for Skarner as it gives him damage reduction for the next few seconds from incoming damage and that allows him to survive against early game lane bullies like Renekton.

Overgrowth is effective on Skarner because it gives him health, which in turn increases the amount of shielding he gets.

Standard Resolve Runepage
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Iceborn Gauntlet Core
Sheen is the most important item on Skarner because it works incredibly well with the Fracture auto attack proc, acting like a Sheen hit and amplifying his trade power by a insane amount.

Ionian Boots of Lucidity is a core item on Skarner because with the Cosmic Insight rune we can have Flash on the shortest possible cooldown. Skarner's flash Impale combo is the best way to get priority targets, and having Flash up more often is extremely valuable.

Glacial Shroud is an excellent pick up for the extreme early game as it gives Skarner a good amount of mana and most importantly 10% cdr.

Kindlegem is an effective item for Skarner because it gives him health and cdr, two of his most important stats.

Iceborn Gauntlet should be finished after all your cdr components to max out your cdr as fast as possible. Iceborn Gauntlet is amazing on Skarner as it gives him a slow on his auto attacks and allows him to chase down targets with ease.

Trinity Force Core
Stinger instead of glacial shroud we take stinger in order to build into our trinity force without wasting gold. Stinger is great on Skarner in that it allows you to proc your e auto much faster.

Trinity Force is the core item in this path and allows you to have better combat capabilities than Iceborn Gauntlet. The main point of this item is the increased sheen damage, and phage movement speed passive, which makes Skarner incredibly fast.

Secondary Items
Spirit Visage is a good item on Skarner if you are using the Grasp of the Undying rune page as it gives you amplified healing and magic resist for mages.

Shurelya's Reverie is very effective on Skarner because it gives him somewhat of a Righteous Glory, in that it gives you movement speed; however, instead of having to run at an enemy to gain movement, you can just use it to gain a temporary speed boost, helping you to catch mobile targets. A secondary benefit of Shurelya's Reverie is that it gives you shield power, which is very powerful on Skarner.

Liandry's Torment is a offensive choice for Skarner that gives him increased combat power and tank killing capabilities. The power of this item comes from the fact that Skarner's Crystalline Exoskeleton scales off hp and has a 80% ability power ratio. This item makes Skarner tanky on top of having more offensive power

Wit's End is great on Skarner due to the fact that it gives 5% increased movement speed, and gives Skarner sustain.

Defensive Items
Adaptive Helm is a great way in dealing with heavy ability power threats as Skarner because it gives you more resist the more you get hit by magic damage.

Abyssal Mask is a amazing item on Skarner due to the fact that it increases your health, magic resist and offensive power all in one. This item has a great synergy with Liandry's Torment as your magic damage is amplified by 15% against enemy champions.

Thornmail is effective at dealing with a lot of champions that use Conqueror to heal themselves. It also gives Skarner a 15% attack speed reduction on people who auto attack him, making it very strong against marksmen.

Randuin's Omen is a must buy against heavy physical damage compositions with a lot of critical strike damage. It also benefits Skarner as it gives him another slow to pile on his already insane crowd control.

Warmog's Armor gives Skarner the bulk he needs to make him incredibly tanky. Combined with other health items this makes Skarner into a unkillable tank. Since health increases your shield power this item is insane on Skarner.
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Crystal Spires is Skarner's passive. Skarner spawns a 1600 radius zone on both sides of the river and all jungle quadrants. In these zones you gain 70-120 movement speed, 43-160% attack speed, and restoring 2% of his maximum mana per second. This is great on Skarner if you can effectively use it to roam and get to places in the map extremely quickly.

Crystal Slash is Skarner's Q. Skarner attacks with his claws, dealing 0.33/0.36/0.39/0.42/0.45% physical damage in a radius. This ability also becomes empowered if a unit is struck, dealing bonus magic damage equal to 0.33/0.36/0.39/0.42/0.45% physical damage with 20% ability power scaling. It also resets its cool down by 0.25 seconds when hitting any unit and by 1 second when hitting an enemy champion. This is useful on Skarner as it can be used as a Sheen proc and add extra damage in between other abilities.

Crystalline Exoskeleton is Skarner's W. Skarner summons a shield for 6 seconds, shielding him for 10/11/12/13/14% of his maximum health and scaling off 80% of your ability power. While the shield persists Skarner gains 16/20/24/28/32% movement speed. This is good on Skarner for combat to block burst damage and skill shots. It is also effective as a escape tool due to the movement speed ramp up.

Fracture is Skarner's E. Skarner summons a blast of crystalline energy that deals 40/65/90/115/140 magic damage in a line, scaling with 40% ability power. When a unit or enemy champion is struck they are slowed by 30/35/40/45/50% and are afflicted with crystal venom for 5 seconds. When Skarner basic attacks a unit or champion that is afflicted with crystal venom he deals 30/50/70/90/110 additional physical damage, stunning them for 1.25 seconds, with its cool-down reducing by 1 second. Additionally when Skarner basic attacks a unit or champion he gains crystal charge for the duration of the stun, gaining his Crystal Spires bonus. This skill is the most important ability on Skarner because it is his way of short trading with a Sheen proc and gaining a nice burst of speed thanks to crystal charge.

Impale is Skarner's ultimate. Skarner rears his stinger and suppresses his target for 1.75 seconds, dealing 60% of his total attack damage and 20/60/100 magic damage, scaling with 50% of his ability power. For the entire duration of the suppression Skarner can drag his victim around with him. After the effect ends they are dealt the same damage, effectively making it have 100% ability power scaling. This ability is good on Skarner as it is his main tool in picking off priority targets such as marksmen or mages.
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Thank you for reading my Skarner top lane guide!
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League of Legends Build Guide Author Merthos1123
Merthos1123 Skarner Guide
Number #1 Skarner NA - Challenger Skarner Top Guide