Skarner Build Guide by Guntermench
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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.
This is how I play Skarner. He is a very fun champion to play in my opinion, and has a decent ability to do damage and be fairly tanky at the same time. Just to be clear, I don't jungle. I've never been any good at it and it doesn't really appeal to me, so I play him solo top. With his Q you can have decent cheap harass and ensure you get every last hit possible, which is always good. The only problem is that occasionally you will push your lane, but thanks to his W you can escape ganks fairly easily. This is an offtank guide, giving him both good damage and good survivability. You'll most likely tank 95+% of your opponents cooldowns and survive with very little health, which is fine because you will still be in the fight and doing damage and even if you die, well, you were probably your teams tank anyways so focusing you doesn't get them anywhere. On the other hand if they don't focus you...dead squishies are dead...
*This is still a work in progress.*
Just a rune page I already had, it seems to work fairly well, I haven't really tried anything else. Feel free to experiment. Will probably add more to this section as I try new things.
Skarner is squishy, even more so when you run Dodge seals on a guy with like 18 base armor. You need every defensive stat you can lay your grubby little hands on, and thankfully you can do this without sacrificing damage output. For the Utility tree I grab all the mana regen I can, you won't be getting many buffs (unless you steal blue, which I love doing) and other than your Q your spells still cost quite a bit of mana, and if you run out you're pretty much dead.
Skarner is another one of those champions that can spam a skill to proc Sheen/Trinity Force so often it'll make your head spin, and his passive cool-down reduction makes it even easier. Really, Sheen alone can last you a decent amount of time, so I tend to grab armor or magic resist to counter whoever I'm laning against right after I get it. This lets me continue to farm without worry and also lets me kill them without much of a hassle. If they are AD it's even better, because with a chain vest you can dive someone to pull them out with your ult and take basically no damage thanks to the armor and your W. After I grab the basic resistances I'll either finish Trinity Force or make me a Rageblade, it really depends what the team needs. If we need me to be more tanky I'll make a Phage and then finish Trinity, if we can get away with me making straight damage then it's full steam ahead with Rageblade.
After getting my Trinity Force and/or Rageblade I begin upgrading my defense. If they are an AD heavy team I start with Frozen heart, otherwise I grab an Abyssal Scepter first. The Frozen Heart gives me mana, Coold-down reduction and the slow aura of course. Abyssal is also good for Skarner, giving him its awesome aura and some AP.
This skill order is to make the most of your Q early, giving you more kills (...or assists...) and since this is your main damage ability and is really spammable I think it's best to level it early. Next I go W, because this is an amazing buff, but I grab a point at level 2 so that I can escape, or initiate, ganks, or simply to secure a kill. Be careful though, this can eat your mana early. It's really good for initiating fights since it gives both movespeed and a shield, the attack speed buff is just a bonus for pushing turrets really, and this really helps your survivability, which is what you will want to be working on at this point. Lastly I level E. It's really good for pushing lanes late game, and it isn't a terrible line nuke (giving you quite a bit of health if used right) for team fights. I grab a point at level 3/4 to up my sustain in lane, because there will probably be times when your Philo stone just isn't enough, or when they flash out of range of your Q and make it to their turret, this can sometimes grab you a kill with minimal damage (conversely it can keep you alive a little longer if they dive you).
Of course I grab a point in my R whenever I can, because that skill is amazing on so many levels.