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Skarner Build Guide by Eithyr

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This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Eithyr

Skarner, the AP Crystalline BAMF

Eithyr Last updated on February 1, 2013
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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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 0


Utility: 9

AP Skarner Mid



Please read this guide and try it out before commenting or voting. This guide is in no way, shape, or form meant to be a troll build. It is simply to allow you a new perspective on a possible way to play Skarner other than the traditional Jungling role that he has.

His AP ratios are actually pretty high. His Impale is a 1:1 AP ratio, Fracture is a .7:1 AP ratio (for the damage) and .3:1 AP ratio (for the heal), Crystalline Exoskeleton is a .6:1 AP ratio, and Crystal Slash is a .4:1 AP Ratio. He is able to dish out a ton of damage if built AP.

SPECIAL THANKS: Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.

Pros / Cons


+ High Early Game Sustain with Fracture
+ Very Bursty with his Fracture and his Impale
+ Amazing Shield Ability
+ Extremely Spammable Abilities Due to Energize (Also fills up Tear of the Goddess/ Archangel's Staff really easily)
+ Impale is one of the best single target ultimates in the game.
+ Fracture helps you farm very easily if built AP.

- Melee, so you can be harassed fairly easily early game.
- Hard to escape if your Crystalline Exoskeleton gets bursted down.
- Gets focused due to being in the front lines most of the time.
- Impale requires you to run directly to the target in order to use. May be hard to use on the enemy carries if they are positioned well enough.



These are my standard AP Masteries. I personally go 21/0/9, but if needed you can go 21/9/0. I scale into the utility tree for Meditation and Expanded Mind because Skarner is very mana hungry early game as you're going to be using your Fracture a lot to sustain, last hit, and harass. In addition, the extra movement speed bonus from Wanderer allows you to run faster in order to get your Impale off.



Greater Mark of Magic Penetration

Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration

Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Greater Quintessence of Ability Power

Summoner Spells

Flash: One of the best utility summoner spells in the game. It can be used for initiating (especially because you need to get close to use your Impale), to escape when you're in a sticky situation, or to flash in for that extra range for a Fracture. Do note that you cannot use flash while you are Impaleing someone.

Ignite: This summoner spell helps you net those one-more-hit-but-just-barely-out-of-range kills. If they're getting low and you know they have the capacity to escape, just pop this on them and nuke them down and they won't be able to escape the burn damage. Also, you can use this on champions that rely on sustain (such as Dr. Mundo or Volibear) and you'll be able to out-damage their sustain abilities.

Ghost: This is also another utility summoner spell you might want to consider. Ghost allows you to stick to your enemies and constantly slow them if they're a tad bit too fast for you to catch up. In addition, ghost allows you to engage extremely fast for a quick ultimate. The difference from this and flash when it comes to your ultimate is that Ghost lasts over a duration, meaning that ghost allows you to increase the possible distance you can pull the enemy. It is possible to pull an enemy with ghost and Crystalline Exoskeleton from their Tier 1 Turret all the way across the river and possibly further.

Ability Explanation


  • Energize Energize: Reducing your cooldowns by half a second might not be that much, but remember that it activates with each attack. On champions, it reduces by a full second, meaning that your 110 second cooldown Impale can possibly be reduced to around 60-70 seconds if you're constantly attacking.
  • Crystal Slash (Q): On another build, this would be one of your best abilities in your toolkit. However, it is not your main weapon on an AP Skarner build. Its utility is for proccing your Fracture stacks and slowing enemies in order to get more autoattacks and thus lower your cooldowns more. Late game, your crystal slashes can reach a surprising amount of damage, even with a .3:1 AP Ratio
  • Crystalline Exoskeleton (W): Your steroid spell. This allows you to catch up to enemies to Impale, slow with Crystal Slash, or simply run away. It's attack speed buff is extremely important as it helps to lower the cooldowns of your abilities to the point where they're extremely spammable. The shield is also amazing, as it has a .6:1 AP Ratio. You can also stack this shield with Seraph's Embrace, sometimes giving you up to 1000-1500 damage shields.
  • Fracture (E): One. Of. The. Most. Important. Skills. In. Your. Toolkit. It has a .7:1 AP Ratio. Do not underestimate this ability. It HURTS with an AP Skarner build. It's also a quick heal/sustain rivaling that of Cho'Gath. With Rylai's Crystal Scepter, you can use this as a slow to help you catch up to Impale or start your Crystal Slash spam.
  • Impale (R): 1.75 second duration disable that allows you to displace enemies into your team. It also has a whopping 1:1 AP Ratio (well, .5:1 AP ratio that deals damage on cast and on finish, so pretty much 1:1 ratio?), so it can really nuke an enemy down. Also note that you cannot use any targetting abilities while using Impale, such as Flash or Fracture. However, non-targetting abilities, such as Ghost, Crystal Slash, and Crystalline Exoskeleton, work.

Ability Sequence Order

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

> > >
Impale is one of the best single-target ultimates in the game and should be skilled whenever possible. Fracture is your wonder-skill that allows you to harass/last-hit/sustain, so max this as soon as possible. Leveling Crystalline Exoskeleton increases both the movement speed bonus (needed to land your Impale and Crystal Slashes) as well as your attack speed bonus (needed to proc Energize so you can spam your abilities). I max Crystal Slash last because I really use it for proccing the Fracture stacks on minions/champions in order to heal. You'll mostly be harassing from afar with your Fracture and going in for the kill with your Impale which needs the movement speed from Crystalline Exoskeleton.

You can vary investing a skill point in Crystal Slash at level 2 or level 4, depending on the situation. If you're getting harassed, put a skill point into Crystalline Exoskeleton at level 2. If you're winning the lane, put a skill point into Crystal Slash. If you need the utility of both, level up all of your abilities by level 3.


Item Sequence

Abyssal Mask

Rabadon's Deathcap

Rylai's Crystal Scepter

Seraph's Embrace

Lich Bane

Sorcerer's Shoes

Early game items. In mid-lane, you're going to need the movement speed to avoid sustained harassment from the enemy AP Carries. In addition, if you're engaging, you need the extra movement speed bonus to actually get close enough to autoattack (for the Energize procs) or Crystal Slash (for the slow). You may also need to use your Crystal Slash to activate the Fracture stacks on the enemy minions, so movement speed will help you get in and get out quicker.

Unless you have a full mastery and rune page of mana/mana regeneration, you are going to be extremely mana-hungry due to the fact that your sustain ability costs mana and needs to be spammed. I rush this as soon as possible to start charging up its bonus maximum mana so I can get my Seraph's Embrace earlier.

If you're doing well and the enemy team doesn't have that many crowd control abilities, I'd recommend Sorcerer's Shoes to increase your damage output. If your enemy AP Carry is getting fed/farmed and is dealing a large portion of the damage in teamfights/ganks and your enemy team has a substantial amount of crowd control abilities, invest in Mercury's Treads instead. It'll allow you to get out of stuns/snares/fears/etc. quicker so that you can run in and land your Impale

This item might seem a bit controversial for you. Well, the mana provided from Archangel's/Seraphs practically solves all your mana problems. Seraph's Embrace also stacks with the shield from Crystalline Exoskeleton, helping you tank a large amount of damage. The amount that the shield absorbs can easily reach over a third of your total health, giving you the extra time to kill and/or escape.

Almost mandatory on any AP Carry. Besides the 120 AP that it already gives, it boosts your total AP by 25%. Easily gives an extra 100-200 with that 25%.

You're a melee nuker. This item is situational in the sense that you should get it if the enemy AP Carry is doing well. However, almost all the time, your abilities will be in range of the magic resist debuff aura, so it's also a good item to have as an offensive item as well.

Your Crystal Slash is a sustained spell damage ability. However, I wouldn't recommend getting this item unless the enemy team is building a large amount of health.

Stacks another 15% slow on top of your Crystal Slash. In addition, it allows you to slow with Fracture, giving you the extra boost to help you catch up with an enemy that you want to Impale. Should be bought in the scenario where you are getting focused and need to build tankier.

Impale's effect ends if you die, so if you are getting focused down extremely hard to the point that your Impale lasts for less than half a second, this item will allow you to run in, Impale someone and turn invulnerable as the rest of your team whacks the target.

Your Crystal Slash has an extremely low cooldown, allowing you to get your Lich Bane attack bonus easily. The movement speed bonus from this item also allows you to get your Impale off easier as well.

Useful against enemies with a lot of health. The magic damage amplification also steroids the damage on your spells.


In teamfights, you should try to harass/poke as much as possible with your Fracture. If you are chasing, stick close to the enemies and Crystal Slash to slow. Use your judgement and focus the most dangerous person on their team. If you can do it with minimal risk, run in and Impale the enemy carries and displace them from their team. Your initial nuke from your Impale is already extremely high, and your team should be focus firing the target you choose (unless you choose the wrong person/their health is too low to fight). Make sure to use your Crystalline Exoskeleton whenever possible and autoattack when there is little risk to help get your cooldowns back up using Energize's effect.

Hall of Fame

A couple games with AP Skarner:


Skarner, although mostly played as a jungler, is also a viable and fun to play middle AP carry. Before commenting/making judgments regarding this guide, you should actually try this build out, as it might just be able to surprise you.

If you enjoyed this guide, please give it a thumbs up! If you truly feel that this guide should be downvoted, please tell me why and what to improve (besides "Skarner is a horrible AP").