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Skarner Build Guide by DooDooSlayer

Top ProtoSkarner - Jungle/Top (Middle?) Build [11.21]

Top ProtoSkarner - Jungle/Top (Middle?) Build [11.21]

Updated on October 31, 2021
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League of Legends Build Guide Author DooDooSlayer Build Guide By DooDooSlayer 15 3 26,388 Views 2 Comments
15 3 26,388 Views 2 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author DooDooSlayer Skarner Build Guide By DooDooSlayer Updated on October 31, 2021
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Runes: Standard Top/Mid

1 2 3
Shield Bash
Second Wind

Gathering Storm

+8 Ability Haste
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor


1 2 3
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash


LoL Summoner Spell: Teleport


Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
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None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

ProtoSkarner - Jungle/Top (Middle?) Build [11.21]

By DooDooSlayer
The Notes
Please remember to Read the Notes under each area, since that's where most of the information about the build is stored.
About me!
What's up! I'm DooDooSlayer, I have been playing League for just under 2 years and in that time I've acquired 400,000 points with Skarner.

I fell in love with the Champion when I played a One for All game and forced my mates to all play Skarner by troll picking him. Ever since then I've bought every skin, read every bit of lore, learned all his tricks and played every build that's out there to try on the Crystal Vanguard.

While I don't take this game very seriously in the competitive aspect, seeing that the highest I've gotten to is Gold, that doesn't mean my wisdom in Brackern builds is any less credible than the ones you see done by the big leagues (if there are even "big leagues" for Skarner mains).

I find Skarner to be a really special champion with his Passive, Q and Ultimate all being unique to him and so it bothered me to see him on such a low pick rate for how good he is. So hopefully, with a bit of convincing and explaining, I'll be able to bribe you and many others into picking up this forgotten champion and bringing him back into the spotlight.
Why the name "ProtoSkarner"?
So this has a story behind it, so get comfortable.

Back at the start of the season, with the introduction of the new items, I was looking to try something new. I got sick of the speed builds that were from previous seasons and I wasn't looking for a repeat of it with Turbo Chemtank, so I looked towards other items. I tried a few items like Riftmaker, Eclipse, Goredrinker and even the new Trinity Force!

Unfortunately, these all had some sort of lacking side effect that made the item synergize poorly with Skarner (For example, the old Trinity Force had its mythic passive as "10% bonus attack speed", which Skarner had no need for, that's changed now however). With me testing all these different items, eventually 11.4 came out which introduced a new passive for Cosmic Drive which stated that if you had 160 AP, you would gain Ability Haste and scaling Move Speed.

This pretty much set my path for what kind of build I wanted, which was a "Hybrid Damage Bruiser". Next, I needed a Sheen item and also to find either hybrid damage or hybrid shred, you know what item gives double armour pen and has a Sheen in it? That's right, Divine Sunderer. The rest of the build sort of fell into place, %HP burn item that gives AP and HP? Demonic Embrace. Armour shred item with HP? Black Cleaver. For the most part, the build was complete, the only thing left was boots and a 6th item, which became Ionian Boots of Lucidity and Muramana, both being for their respective stats and for Muramana in particular, the ridiculous amounts of damage adds onto the build. Skarner's best damage item has always been Muramana so adding it here was a no-brainer.

Now the only thing that was left was the runes. Prototype: Omnistone stood out to me at the start, seeing that since it was a hybrid build, a hybrid rune set could compliment it. It worked in the beginning, a few problems did arise in terms of sustaining in a fight as well as some of the runes letting you down in various situations.

While Skarner can use all of the runes in the game decently well, due to the inconsistancy of Prototype: Omnistone, I felt that people might not use the build as much. Conqueror became my new starting point in terms of a main rune. It gave everything the build wanted, from Adaptive Force, to gaining "Omnivamp" (Not really Omnivamp) after gaining max stacks, which Skarner could do in ~1 second. This became the Final Build, however due to the roots of Prototype: Omnistone and seeing that it was one of the reasons that I made this build, I kept the name (and even the rune set of you check the 3rd option for rune sets).
Explanation for Runes
Why Aftershock in Top and Conqueror in Jungle? The simple answer is sustain.

In Top lane you will be put into a lot of champs that have a strong lead on you in the early game, Darius, Sett and Irelia to name a few. This is why we take Aftershock, it gives you armour, magic resist and a small burst of damage (at least in the early game). This allows for you to trade very easily, seeing that in 9/10 situations, you will activate your CC first and land the first hit.

As for Conqueror, this one is much better for the Jungle since you will almost never be taking short trades and your power in the Threads of Vibration allows you to have the advantage in a fight. Most Jungle fights are either between you and the enemy Jungler or whatever fight a gank happens to bring and so Conqueror brings the extra power you might need to win, as well as allowing you to have room for things like Triumph and Last Stand which will boost you even more so.
Jungle Clear
Short and sweet. Red start: Red > Raptors > Wolves > Gromp > Blue > Scuttle. Blue start: Blue > Gromp > Wolves > Raptors > Red > Scuttle.

You almost never want to take Krugs at the start of the game since your early game power is incredibly strong and you want to abuse that lead by being at scuttle before your opponent. You can always go back to take the Krugs after you have gotten the Scuttle Crab.

Note that if you start Red, you'll be in River at 3:10, if Blue then 3:05 (If you clear perfectly).
How to play The Crystal Vanguard
This isn't going to be your in-depth guide on how to play Skarner to his maximum potential, however, I feel like I will cover enough about him that it's all you will need.

Combos: Skarner's combos are nothing special, but they're very strong.

E > AA > Q >> AA.
Very simple combo, your opponent will be stunned for the entire duration of this, so it allows some good burst damage after which you can simply run away from since you will have your spires buff active, from E proc.

E >> Flash >> R >> AA.
This is the go-to "**** that one person in particular" combo, just grab the poor sod you E'd and let you or your teammates go to town.

E > R > Q > AA > E > Q > AA.
This seems complicated, but trust me it's not. The main point is that you'll want to land your E, if you don't land your E don't even bother fighting as you have lost a big source of initiate damage. This combo is pretty much the end all be all of Skarner combos and allows for some pretty insane damage and CC chain (you hold your opponent down for 4.25s).

Early game laning.
In the early game you are weak, no other way to say it. You will not win most all in trades with most of your opponents and so here's how you play around it.

Let the wave push to you. E > AA > Q to harass in the lane, while also using the E's you put on minions to clear them, get back your E faster and gain back a decent amount of mana (You may also want to use W, but use it sparingly as it is EXTREMELY mana intensive in the early game). You never want to all-in unless either your opponent is low enough that you can successfully kill them in an E Combo or if you are being ganked by your Jungler. Once you hit 6 you can play a bit more aggressive but don't push the wave back as you want your opponent to stay close to the tower to allow a surprise E >> R (Drag under the tower) >> AA >> Etc. combo. Only do this if your opponent oversteps or refuses to respect your power while near a tower.

Also, while this combo is strong, it's obviously only strong if your opponent is the one being targeted by the tower, do whatever you can to get aggro on them (attack while no minions are under tower, do it while ignited/ Bami's Cinder, etc).

Early game jungling.

The jungle clear is explained above but for the most part in the early game, you are looking to either farm, get the drag or gank overextended lanes, as until 6 you will be unable to gank a lane that's sitting even. Once you are 6 though, go to town on ganks.

You are able to fight the enemy Jungler in most situations, especially if you have Sheen, but do it quickly as things may turn south if enemy laners start showing up.

Every opportunity your Impale is up, you are looking to use it. Whether it be in an actual gank, during an Obj (The enemy cannot Smite while suppressed) or in a big team fight, you are looking to take out the most dangerous person in the situation.

Late game.

Late game Skarner is pretty much the same for both roles as you will have a large impact in both Obj's and fights (the only difference is whether you'll smite or not).

Farm -> Fight -> Push -> Clear Objectives.

There is no point in the game where you shouldn't be doing one of these things. Until you are full build you shouldn't stop farming, you are extremely important when it comes to fights due to your frontline capabilities and picking power, your tower damage is quite powerful once you have your sheen item and your importance during an objective fight is immeasurable.

Remember to abuse your speed during fights and your ability to swerve in and out of combat effectively, no other champion is able to stay moving at 500 MS in a fight as well as Skarner is (except maybe Udyr but like, ??? He's getting his rework soon so who cares).

Note: Always keep eyes on your carries when your Impale is up, they get dived on? Give them a "get out of grey screen" card by grabbing the enemy off them.

Some additional tips/notes.

- W takes time to build up, remember this when using it to chase down or pull back opponents

- Impale has a 0.25s Root during the cast time of the ult, which means that any and all spell shields (Excluding Morgana's) will be broken by this Root and then the suppress will activate, performing as usual. Abuse this knowledge.

- Coming from the above tip: This cast time root also allows for some really weird interactions with enemy knockback abilities (Like Lee Sin, Tristana and Azir). If you can time it correctly and see when your opponent casts their push back ability, you can Impale them and take them with you. If you do this too early it will cancel the opponent's cast, too late and Impale simply won't go off.

- Q can be cast simultaneously with an AA, allowing a weird burst of damage that most enemies wouldn't expect, just right-click to start up the AA and press Q at the same time, it's quite weird to activate but it doesn't take much to get the hang of.

- E has a cast time that halts Skarner. This means that if you're chasing someone, you have to remember that you will stop abruptly for a very short amount of time, which may allow them to escape the range even if they were in it previously.

- The 2nd hit of Q will not stack Black Cleaver as it is not Physical damage, even though it has an AD Scaling.
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League of Legends Build Guide Author DooDooSlayer
DooDooSlayer Skarner Guide
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ProtoSkarner - Jungle/Top (Middle?) Build [11.21]

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