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Skarner Build Guide by Adaneth

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Adaneth

Skarner - Out of the jungle!

Adaneth Last updated on March 8, 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: 21

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 9

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Hey guys,

i would claim, that Skarner is one of the best junglers in LoL and i'd like to show the way of playing him as an awesome jungler, that can support his team at his best, gank like a boss, take a lot of damage and - nevertheless - deal some decent damage. Skarner really is a beast!

I hope you like the way i play Skarner and would be greatful if you would give me some nice ratings.

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Pros / Cons

1. Fast and easy to jungle.
2. Good farmer due to "Crystal Slash"
3. Epic gank competence due to "Crystal Slash" and "Crystalline Exoskelleton"
4. Awesome and teamfight-deciding ulti, if used in the right moment on the right person.

1. All skills have a small range.
2. Kinda low damage output until you get "Sheen".
3. You can screw your whole team up, if you get in bad situations or use your utli the wrong way.
4. He is ugly!

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About Jungeling (in general)

Jungeling sometimes is like getting the **** at the end of a stick. If you are Solo-Queueing, it depends primarily on how your mates doing. Is your TOP warding and not pushing like hell or feeding? Is your support grabbing a Pink to kill the enemy ward(s) BOT or consciously pushing to prepare a sneaky gank? Can your mid sustain his lane and maybe support a side lane gank or a jungle invade? Exspecially if your side lanes are sucking, you are most of the time doomed to suck as well, cause you can't do **** if the enemies get fed or hug their towers all the times. Additionally, if the enemy jungler is able to gank successfully (cause your lanes aren't careful) you will get flamed for not ganking or ganking not successfully.

It is also a question of timing. You are not able to be everywhere at any time. Choose well, when to try a gank or when to do another round of creeping in the jungle. Be always aware about what your mates are doing, how they are positioned and how you could help them in this moment. Don't waste time with senseless waiting in a bush, better rush for another gank on another lane or for getting Level 6. Sometimes this timing thing won't work at all (e.g. if you try to babysitt all lanes at once, cause they do bad), then hope for better times.

If necessary (and in most of the games it is), refer your mates to prepare a gank on the required way. And One of the most important things: buy wards!!! Many! Don't flame the support: "Wtf, dragon isn't warded!", ward it on your own. Protect your Blue/Red and help the lanes to get vision if they can't afford wards at this moment. It is so worth it!!!

Every player of a team has a responsibility for what he is doing. As a jungler, you got some additonal response, cause you can decide the game in its early stadium, for the better or for the worse. If you won't take this affliction, do your team the favor and don't jungle!

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The most Skarner-Guides recommend to take a mix of Attack-Speed, Armor and Armor-Penetration. I think, that Skarner dont need the Armor-Penetration, cause he's not supposed to be a damagedealing scorpion but a supportive tank, and he's dealing still some nice damage even without those Armor-Penetration-Runes.

So here is the Rune-Build i suggest:

Marks: Greater Mark of Alacrity (+1,7% attack speed)

One of Skarners strengths is his Attack-Speed, he gets boosted by his "Crystalline Exoskelleton" and an awesome reciprocity with his passive "Energize". This is the reason why players think: "Wtf, why does this guy such a damage and why can he spam his skills so fast?!" In combination with "Crystal Slash" and your advantageous Movement-Speed, you can ensure to stay close to your enemies and to poke them with your Autoattacks and skills. In mid game - if you got Sheen - this will be an awesome and annoying combination. The runes will improve this and help you to start an easy jungeling at Level 1.

Seals: Greater Seal of Resilience (+1,41 armor)

Helps you jungeling and taking some hits while jungeling or ganking (it's a well-known effect, that laners mostly attack the ganker first, cause he "triggers" the threat through initiating the gank).

Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Alacrity (+0,64% attack speed)

Some more attack speed (s.a.)

Quintessences: Greater Quintessence of Swiftness (+1,5% movement speed)

This is the key to my Skarer build. Through taking those speed burst (additionally to the 4 Points in "Swiftness" in the Utility-Tree) you are able:
1. To jungle faster.
2. To gank effectively, cause you got the highest early-game movement speed (Quintessences + "Swiftness" + "Crystalline Exoskelleton") in most of the games and additionally an awesome and almost ongoing slow!!!
3. To move faster from lane to lane and support your team.
4. To chase faster.
5. To escape faster.
6. To invade the enemy jungle without a great danger of getting catched!

You don't need to deal f***ing more damage with some Armor-Penetration-Glyphs (would you really?), you are supposed to stay near to your victim and to cater for slowing him with "Crystal Slash", so your mates can kill it.

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Summoner Spells

Take Flash and Smite, nothing else!!! If you think you must take something else so bad, take Ghost. And after you did this, change Ghost to Flash again. Cause you should take Flash and Smite, nothing else (think i mentioned this already).

Reason: You will need Smite for jungeling and finishing Dragon/Baron or stealing enemy buffs. Not really subject for a discussion. The Flash is your key for intiating teamfights or to finalize ganks successfully. Flash allows you to instantly get close enough to the enemy carry, to ulti him and take him out instantly, so you got a 5v4-Situation without a carry on the other side. If you would take ghost (don't think about it), the carry (or anybody else) will flash away and you are in deep doo-doo. Use your reactions and surprise the enemies with a flash-ulti-combo to bring your team in a superior situation.

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I prefer 0/21/9-masteries with skarner.

Take the additional armor ("Hardiness") and "Tough Skin" in Tier 1 for easier jungleing, followed by "Durability" and "Veteran's Scar" for more survability in Tier 2/3.

Now you can choose between either 1/2 points in "Indomitable" or instead another 2 points in the Tier-2-Skill "Vigor" for some more HP-Regeneration. Spend another point on "Bladed Armor", if you like to jungle way faster.

On Tier 4, take 3 Points in "Enlightenment" for some CD-Reduction and the leftover points until 17 in "Initiatior".

3 Points in "Honor Guard" for less damage and the 21th point in "Juggernaut" will top off the defense tree.

In the Utility-Tree, take 1 point in "Improved Recall" for faster returns to the base and in this way back to the jungle. 1 Point in "Summoner's Insight" for CD-Reduction on Flash, and another 2 points in "Good Hands" to get back into battle faster.

Highly recommended in Tier 2: Spend 4 points on "Swiftness" so you get additional movement speed. See in the runes-section for reasons.

The last point should either be spent on "Runic Affinity" (early game boost) or - cause you should yield the second blue and red to your mid and top - on "Good Hands", "Initiator" or anything else useful you feel comfortable with.

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I always start with "Regrowth Pendant" and 1 "Health Potion". Since the new jungle with Season 2 you don't need the armor item and subsequently the latern any more. You can grab this item, but then you will "waste" the money for 4 additional Health Potions instead rushing the "Philosopher Stone" for gold over time.

1. Back:

So this is your first return to base:

Finish the "Philosopher Stone" and grab "Boots of Speed" for your first ganks. Additionaly, spend your left money on wards, either to protect your buffs/dragon and/or to support top/mid with it.

2. Back:

Get "Heart of Gold" before you finish your boots either to "Mercury's Treads" (MR) or "Ninja Tabi" (Armor), depending on the enemy team. I recommend Mercury's Treads for every standard-lineup-game.

Mid/Late Game:

Now try to finish "Sheen" as soon as possible for some damage boost and additional mana, then follow the Item Purchase list at the top, depending on the enemy team's damage output (AD or AP). Behold which enemy deals the most damage, who is fed and dangerous and choose your items.

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Skill Sequence

This is not a big deal at all. Start with "Crystal Slash" for a successful start in the jungle. Spend the Level 2 point in "Crystalline Exoskelleton" to get some walk speed for faster jungeling and protection for less health loss. The 3. point goes to "Fracture" so that you don't have to spend more money on Health Potions.

Then go R > Q > W > E

> > >

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Creeping / Jungling

You can take diffrent routes, but the fastest i checked out is:

1. Wolves (pull on your own, but ask your mates for some autohits)
2. Blue (get a leash and finish it with smite)
3. Wraith
4. Wolves again
5. Red (Smite is available again)
6. Gank or Golems
7. Gank or Wraith
8. Gank ot Wolves
9. Gank or 1. Back

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Team Work / Play Style

Early Game:
Watch out for good opportunities to gank, but never loose to much time. Ask your BOT supporter to buy a pink ward and to clear the river from enemy wards so you can gank. Otherwise ask them to push their lane a bit, so you can walk in at the very bottom and help them with a sneaky gank. Yield the 2nd Blue to your MID and the 2nd Red to your TOP or AD Carry, cause you got your "Q" for slow.

Mid/Late Game:
Lead your team. Invade the enemy jungle with some help to steal buffs or to gank the other jungler. At this time, the open game stadium already started, cause 1 tower is gone at least.
Watch the timers for the little dragon, red & blue and try to get map and buff control.
If you get in teamfight, be sure that your team is in good position and initate with "W", "Q", "R" or with "Flash" + "R". Use your ulti wisely, you can decide whole teamfights with it.

Be sure not to utli champs like Sivir or Gangplank, before! they used their Shield or Scurvy. Prompt those skills through some aggressive but thoughtful playstyle, then ulti and pull them into your mates for finishing them off. Otherwise they will laugh on you and you can loose this teamfight. Focus on squishy champs with high damage output! Never ulti tanks or supports, except they are (whyever) some kind of carry for their team. But actually, tanks are never a good choice, cause your victim has to die while utlied.
(e.g. this evil scenario: ulti Amumu, pull him in your team, don't kill him while he is ultied, eat his ulti and get aced... (saw this once ;)).