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Skarner Build Guide by Dr. Ironbuddah

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Dr. Ironbuddah

Skarner: The Crystal Vanguard (Laning AP Hybrid Build)

Dr. Ironbuddah Last updated on September 21, 2011
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Jungle Role
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Jungle Role
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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.


Brute Force
Improved Rally

Offense: 9

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 0

Expanded Mind
Blink of an Eye
Mystical Vision
Presence of the Master

Utility: 21

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Hello. This is a guide for a hybrid/ap focus laning Skarner. I've used to to great effect and I absolutely love playing as Skarner. This build is finished aside from tips, and core item builds and why. I plan on this being one of the most detailed and extensive guides possible. On laning at least. I don't really jungle with him, so I'm not in the position to right a guide for it. I hope you enjoy the guide..

I will be periodically updating it throughout the day/week as I do more research and learn more about him.

If you like the build leave a comment. Tell me what you like or don't like, and don't forget to vote. Appreciate it.

August 8, 2011 - Started guide, posting most of the information about Skarner as well as runes, masteries, etc.

August 9, 2011 - Added a ton of new information as well as icons, pics, and even more items.

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+Good Jungler.
+Amazing creep farm.
+Great in team fights.
+Can be good at harassing in lane.
+Can tank tower hits once his shield is powerful enough.
+Properly built is a force to be reckoned with.
+If played/timed right, great at ganking.
+Knocks towers down and cleans the minions off it with ease.

-Extremely squishy, especially early game.
-Eats through mana.
-Often times focused.
-Poor range on abilities (Aside from his E).
-Horrible scaling.
-Takes a bit to get up and running.

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3v3 and 5v5:

In short. I highly advise sticking to 5v5 with Skarner. In 3v3 if they focus you, which often times they will, You are screwed. You will feed their team, and you will be left gimped as Skarner needs some time to get built up. Stick to 5v5's. Skarner excels at team fighting and 5v5 is where he works best.

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Naked Stats Per Level:

Health Per Level:


Mana Per Level:

Attack Per Level:

Armor Per Level:

Magic Resist Per Level:

Note: This was done with an empty mastery page, rune page, as well as no items purchased, up to level 18.

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Weak Against:

From what I've noticed in early game is that really tanky/high health champions can really put you to the test. Especially ones that can slow/heal will give you a ton of trouble.

Skarner's biggest weaknesses are his range/damage/easily cc'd. Any cc, especially ranged cc can essentially shut him down early game if the player is too aggressive, or the lane comp is bad. He can do a surprisingly large amount of damage, but it takes him awhile to build up to it.


Nunu: Nunu is a pain because he's very tanky, hits pretty hard, and has a reliable chase/heal. He can give you trouble if you over-extend. Especially with his slow.

Cho'Gath: Cho'Gath can soak damage like crazy and he's all about high health. Early game with his heal he can make your damage negligible. Not to mention his knock-up/silence can do a real number on you. Especially when he's partnered with a reliable slow/cc.

Miss Fortune: Miss Fortune is not a huge problem, but her range, plus her slows can lock you down quick if your not careful. Especially when paired with a good partner.

Taric: Taric is a HUGE pain as he is kinda tanky, and he can heal not only himself, but his allies as well. Couple that with a stun and a shield, and you find yourself running out of mana and health as his regens.

Ashe: Ashe is a super easy to use ranged carry, and she can slow. A good Ashe can lock you down easily.

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Team Work/Lane Partners:


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I find that Skarner is a surprisingly strong caster despite being a fighter. His E hits like a truck and when you get a good bit of AP on him Fracture and Crystal Slash hit insanely hard. Not to mention his shield and heals become more powerful. With these runes I find I surprise players and often times get an early lead due to them not expecting my E to eat their health.

He's quite squishy and often times focused due to his susceptibility to CC so I like to go Armor Yellows and Magic Resist Blues to help him with his early squishiness. I go Magic Penetration Reds for early game damage. I go flat AP Quints to increase my my damage, healing, and damage reduction early on.

Feel free to play around with the rune pages, as this is how I like to play Skarner and I've tried a ton of different combinations.

Stats From Runes:
8.55(9) Magic Penetration
12.69(13) Armor
13.41(13) Magic Resist
14.85(15) Ability Power

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I go with the typical caster masteries with a mix.


1/1 Cripple: This helps make your Exhaust even better. It gives you a longer duration, armor pen, and magic pen all in one.

3/3 Archmage's Savvy: Gives you an early AP boost as well as late game. Not to mention you don't need crit for this build, and you don't need Smite unless your jungling.

Per Level AP: 0.6/1.2/1.8/2.4/3.0/3.6/4.2/4.8/5.4/6.0/6.4/6.8/7.2/7.6/8.0/8.6/9.2/9.8

4/4 Sorcery: This is surprisingly good for Skarner as well as needed to advance to the final mastery needed in Offense. Later when you get more cooldown reduction, you will be able to spam your abilities like mad and have the mana to do it too.

1/1 Archaic Knowledge: This mastery is awesome. It gives you a flat 15% magic penetration right out the gate. Add that with the Magic Pen reds and that's quite a bit. This also helps with champions that have magic resist runes, and/or build into magic resist.




3/3 Good Hands: Good hands is a much better mastery over Perseverance despite it's deceptive tooltip. Perseverance only increases your TOTAL REGEN, not a flat mana regen. Good hands will get you back into the fight faster, especially if you die late game.

1/1 Haste: Great mastery seeing as you don't use Teleport so Spatial Accuracy is worthless and increasing your speed/duration will help you chase/escape.

4/4 Awareness: The faster you level, the more damage you/your abilities will do. This is also good in case your get pushed back. This will allow you to regain some exp when you counter-push.

1/1 Greed: This is good for just generating gold. You never know when that little bit might come in handy. You can swap this point into Utility Mastery if you so choose.

3/3 Meditation: 3 mana per 5 seconds. Any mana regen is good for Skarner as state previously. He is a mana guzzler. This is just a good all around mastery for him.

2/2 Utility Mastery: This is good to have and works as filler points. You don't need points in anything else in the tree, and mid/late game the neutral buffs, both red and blue, are immensely helpful. This will let you hold onto them longer, and really put them to good use.

3/3 Quickness: Increased movement speed is great for any champion. Plus this lets move a little faster and get your Tear without suffering too much from the lack of boots at the start of the game.

3/3 Intelligence: Cooldown reduction again, is surprisingly good on Skarner especially when you couple it with his passive. Not to mention it's mainly filler points to get the final mastery in Utility.

1/1 Presence of the Master: This gives you a 15% reduction on the cooldowns of your Summoner Spells. Being able to use Exhaust/Ghost/Flash sooner could be the deciding factor that wins you a fight, or lets you escape.

Stats From Masteries:
1 Gold per 10 seconds.
0.6 AP per level.
9% Cooldown reduction on champion abilities.
15% Spell penetration.
4% Health regeneration.
3% Mana regeneration.
5% Increased exp gain.
3% Movement speed.
15% Summoner ability cooldown reduction.
10% Less time spent dead.

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Skarner Items:

These are the items that I find work best with this build/Skarner. I will post my Core Items/Build order below.


or Meki Pendant or Sapphire Crystal: You want to build Tear of the Goddess early on to help with your mana problems. 200 mana is greater than the 84 mana every minute from grabbing Meki Pendant. However, this is only if you are in your lane for less than 2 min and 22 seconds, then the Sapphire Crystal is better. Any longer and the Meki Pendant will regen more. Hitting 200 mana restored at around 2 minutes and 22 seconds.

Health Potion: Grab a Meki Pendant or Sapphire Crystal and two of these. With proper mana management you'll be able to stick in your lane and harass with no worries about health or mana. Good for emergencies too.

Tear of the Goddess: I get this as soon as possible. Skarner can spam abilities like mad, especially when he's auto-attacking. This lets you build your mana pool to help with his mana consuming abilities and later builds into Archangel's Staff.


Archangel's Staff: Tons of mana, regen, and ability power. I like to save this for late game once my tear has soaked up some mana. This literally lets you have an infinite mana pool. No matter how much you spam it is highly unlikely that you will ever run out. Not to mention you will gain mana for every ability. With his auto-attack and some cooldown reduction, you'll be hitting that 1000 mana cap quick. Especially with the blue buff.

Nashor's Tooth: Tons of attack speed, cd reduction, and AP. I like to build part of this early on for the extra attack speed. Built right you can hit extremely fast, and have your abilities up insanely fast. Not to mention the AP makes your abilities hit harder as well.

Guinsoo's Rageblade: AD and AP, plus extra attack speed and AP? Yes please. This item is amazing for Skarner as it is the perfect hybrid item for him. The attack speed helps cd's come up faster, the AP lets you hit harder, and the AD lets your initial Q and auto-attacks hit harder as well.

Hextech Gunblade: This is another amazing hybrid item, but with an added bonus. AD and AP is exactly what Skarner needs and the slow hit's for a truck. It be just what you need to slow that champion down enough so you can get in range with your Q or get off one last Fracture to drop him/her.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter: I haven't honestly gotten to this in most games, however it gives you a TON of health and AP, as well as a slow. Perfect for Skarner. Some tankiness, help chasing, and AP for his abilities.

Malady: I'm going to add this as it technically has stats that Skarner wants, but Guinsoo's is only 410g more. The upside I see to Malady is the slightly cheaper cost, plus the constant 50% attack speed. If you manage to get 4 stacks that is 24 magic penetration as well as 20 extra damage per hit.(Not sure if this is affected by magic pen). I'm gonna leave this one up to preference and test it out a bit.



Banshee's Veil: Health, mana, and magic resist. Not to mention it blocks one ability used. This could save you from an ult, or someone trying to gank you.

Force of Nature: Tons of magic resist, health regen, and movement speed. This will be a huge help against heavy AP teams and let you regen health even faster when you use Fracture to get some quick healing.

Quicksilver Sash: I say this situational, but if you're going up against heavy AP/CC teams this is a great item to grab. Short cooldown, and it wil help you escape a possible gank.

Spirit Visage: I say this is situational and preference as well as this is more of a Dr. Mundo item. The magic resist+health is great for building more tanky and the effect will increase the amount your Fracture heals for by 25%.

Chalice of Harmony: Again I chalk this up to preference, but it is extremely cheap and gives you an early 30+ magic resistance as well as a fair bit of mana regen.


Randuin's Omen: Huge amount of armor, health/regen, and 5% cooldown reduction. Not to mention a 20% chance on hit to slow attack/movement speed. Great all around for building more tanky.

Thornmail: This is the best thing to get for attack speed/heavy melee if you wanna build defensively. Tons of armor, not to mention they might kill themselves on accident. If not they'll definitely think twice before focusing you.

Sunfire Cape: Tons of health, armor, and a nice aoe damage aura.


Berserker's Greaves: 25% attack speed and movement speed? Yes please. These boots are great for Skarner. They help him hit faster, which does two things. Helps his abilities come off cooldown faster, as well as making him hit harder since he is hitting more. Especially with his W up.

Boots of Swiftness: These boots will help you escape, chase, and help you drag champions further with your impale. I tried these out one game, and they worked well, but I found the lack of attack speed/tenacity wasn't worth it. This is all personal preference however.

Mercury's Treads: I take these over Berserker's Greaves if I find myself against a heavy CC/AP team. They can be life savers and it's early resist.

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Core Items/Build Order:


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EnergizeEnergize: This is an amazing passive as late game when you have decent attack speed, plus possible blue buff and CD Reduction, you will be able to literally spam your abilities and even keep your W up indefinitely.

Crystal Slash: This is your CC/Farming/Damage ability aside from your Ultimate. This ability hits deceptively hard and is the reason you want some AD as well as AP. The first hit will be physical, the second will be bonus magic damage and will slow the target. Try to hit a minion on your way to hit a champion so you can guarantee a slow on them.

Scaling: Physical Damage: 0.8 per 1 point of Damage. Magic Damage: 0.4 per 1 point of AP.

Per Rank Damage: Physical: 20/35/50/65/80 Magic: 20/32/44/56/68

Crystalline Exoskeleton: This is your closer/escape/tower destroyer. Pop this when you go in to use your ult and you'll drag champions super fast. This also increases your attack speed so your cooldowns will come up faster. With enough attack speed you can eat a tower, even with no minions. Just block the hits with your shield attack it. The shield is an absolute life saver.

Scaling: Shield: 70/115/160/205/250 Movement Speed: 15%/17%/19%/21%/23%

Attack Speed: 30%/35%/40%/45%/50%

Fracture: Skarner's only ranged ability hits like a truck. With enough AP this thing will surprise players at how hard it hits/heals. A great way to harass is to shoot it through a minion wave, and hit a champion as well. As they back off, run in and consume the marks. Preferably using your Q if possible.

Scaling: Magic Damage: 0.7 per 1 point of AP Heal: 0/3 per 1 point of AP

Per Rank Damage: 80/120/160/200/240

Per Rank Heal: 30/45/60/75/90

Impale: Skarner's ultimate is a blast to use and it hits pretty damn hard once your build gets going. Early on the damage is weak to be honest, but the tether/suppress is where it's at. Try dragging champions into turrets or players. Be careful when dragging back as often times the tether will end and you will be out of range of the champion. Drag the champion then start moving ahead of them and try to hit your Q to slow them if possible.

Scaling: Magic Damage: 0.5 per 1 point of AP. (This applies to the initial and final hit.)

Per Rank Damage: 100/150/200 (This applies to the initial and final hit.)

Tether Time: 1.5 regardless of rank.

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Summoner Spells:

Mastery: Presence of the Master: Reduces the recharge time of your summoner abilities by 15%. (Requires 20 points in Utility.)

Exhaust: Exhausts target champion, reducing movement speed by 40%%, attack damage dealt by 70%, and ability and item damage dealt by 35% for 3seconds, (3.5 with mastery). (210 second cooldown, 178.5 second cooldown with mastery.)

Mastery:Cripple: Improves your Exhaust spell to also reduce the target's armor and magic resistance by 10 for the duration, and increases it's duration by 0.5 seconds.

I love Exhaust. It helps out so much and can shut down so many champions. This works well with Skarner as often times his abilities will not be in range. This will allow you to hit your Q and slow them as well and stick on runners better. Not to mention with the mastery you get ArP and MP.

Flash: Teleports your Champion to your cursor's location.
(255 second cooldown, 240/204 with mastery.)

Mastery: Blink of an Eye: Reduces the cooldown of your Flash spell by 15 seconds. (Requires 12 points in Utility.)

Great for escaping or catching up to a runner so you can hit them with your Q or Ult.

Ghost: Your champion ignores unit collision and moves 27% faster, (33% with mastery) for 10 seconds, (11.5 with mastery). (210 second cooldown, 178.5 with mastery.)

Mastery: Haste: Increases the Movement Speed of your Ghost spell by 6%, and increases it's duration by 1.5 seconds.

I take this over Flash personally as often times I find they're able to get just out of range if I don't Flash in just the right spot. Ghost is a much more reliable way of chasing down champions. However, Flash does let you go for tower dives/escape much easier.

Not to mention you could hit this, and his ultimate, and drag a champion quite a distance. Especially with his W and/or boots.

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Skarner is absolutely amazing when it comes to farming. He can clear minion waves in no time flat once he starts building his set.

For farming I have a set of sequences:

Crystal Slash x2-3.

The first set is one if they circle up. Melee minions in front, casters in back. If you can line up your Fracture, go ahead and use it, but it's more mana efficient, to hit Q and auto-attack until they're dead.

Fracture>Crystal Slash x2

Use this for when you see a line of minions lining up or need a heal. Your Fracture will hit all the minions and Crystal Slash will allow you to clean them up quickly and consume most, if not all of your stacks.

Fracture>Crystal Slash>Fracture

Use this for a massive minion wave, or ones that are out of reach. Say some are on the tower and some are spread out. Hit your Fracture to do initial damage, then spam Q, and hit Fracture again to clean them up.

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Tips and Tricks:


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Skarner is an amazingly fun champion when the game is going well. He can hit extremely hard when built right and he's viable in many roles. He can help in team fights, initiate, and can even hold his own in a 1v1.

I hope you enjoyed my guide. This is my first guide and I hope it's not too bad. I will be periodically updating as I do more research on this champion. Please comment, rate, and let me know what you think. Please try out the guide before voting.

I also have an AD Laning Build Guide. It's currently a work in progress as I have to build it from scratch as I did this one. I promise it will be up soon. I'll post the link here when it is.

Thank you for reading, and have fun on the Fields of Justice!