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Solo Top Skarner - Bug Bruiser
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If anyone ever watched Irelia's Champion Spotlight, she was jungled with, and now she is almost exclusively played solo top. I have a feeling the same will happen with Skarner.
P.S. I know my build is like identical to Phreaks build, but thats only because it is actually good :P
Because of this he really needs as much help as he can get to be tanky since he is going to be in the middle of the fight a lot. Not to mention he really benefits from the Ardor talent in the defensive tree giving him 4% more attack speed and ability power.
If you are facing a really strong lane sustain champion (Irelia, Udyr, Nidalee, Yorick) I would recommend buying a wriggles lantern before or even in place of a HoG. This will keep you safer from ganks and give you some added lifesteal.
Mid game I have better sustain with more lvls of E and more HP for Hog and Phage so I play a little more aggressive, but still no craziness. Still just farming and puhsing, but I make sure to buy wards to prevent ganks. When someone is coming to help gank my lane, depending on who it is I will either let them initiate or I will, but I will wait until the enemy has started retreating or flashed (if they have flash) to flash with them to ult them back into danger. Then exaust them to keep them guarantee kill.
Late game, I should have my fill Tri-force and at least my giants belt if not already the full Rylais. So I have quite a bit of HP and some solid dmg, so I do not hesitate to jump into fight and start hurting. I use my ult for many different things in team fights. I can use it take a melee champ off our ranged carry, or to take a squishy closer to our carrys for them to light um up, or take them to a an area that they dont want to be (like a Malz pool, GP Ult, Nunu ult, Morg pool, etc...) One thing is for certain though, he isnt that best initiator. Let someone else initiate and then come in and do your thing.