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Skarner Build Guide by Im Not Gay EUW

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Im Not Gay EUW

THIS is how to play skarner.

Im Not Gay EUW Last updated on April 26, 2018
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Molecool | March 8, 2018 6:44am
So I main support, normally a tank like Tahm Kench or Nautilus. I have been trying to diversify my play style and I have my eye on jungle right now. I recently started playing Rengar and am trying to bring one of my old mains, Cho'Gath there, but can't seem to have much success. I am looking for someone who is normally a strong pick but isn't banned often. Do you think Skarner is the right choice? Is he easy enough to pick up if you don't play jungle often but want to?
Im Not Gay EUW (2) | March 9, 2018 1:32am
yeah he is pretty easy to pick up. not that hard to play.
eNzarpas (1) | February 20, 2018 1:13pm
Awesome guide!! You got some nice thoughts tho
Im Not Gay EUW (2) | February 20, 2018 1:14pm
ty :D
PsiGuard (1203) | February 17, 2018 4:43pm
Here's the review you requested. Don't expect me to go easy on you! I call it like I see it in guide reviews. ;)


Not a fan of Predator. I get the idea since it can help you get into range, but I don't think it does as good a job as Unsealed Spellbook. Statistically it seems to perform poorly as well. If you don't like spellbook, maybe just stick with your Aftershock page.

Would recommend Waterwalking over The Ultimate Hat. It vastly outperforms Hat statistically, which makes sense given how important movement speed is on Skarner. You're not guaranteed a chance to instantly ult right when your R comes off cooldown, so 5-15% ult CDR shouldn't be too big a loss.

Not a huge fan of Demolish but the runes in this tier aren't very important tbh. Maybe just add some information in the guide telling people how to know when to push to break the tower.


I think it should be clearer in the cheatsheet that people should finish Trinity Force after Stalker's Blade instead of getting Stalker's Blade - Cinderhulk first. Unless you're not doing that, but afaik rushing Trinity is the best opener in most games.

I don't think Boots of Swiftness are worth it. There will always be damage on the enemy team that threatens you (virtually every team has an ADC). Regardless of whether or not they're fed, it's wise to invest in efficient defenses rather than just upgrading for 10 more MS. I'd just default to Ninja Tabi unless they're really magic heavy or have long CCs.

Abyssal Mask seems terrible. Can't imagine why you'd build it over Adaptive Helm.

Rest of the items look good. Maybe add trinkets in there somewhere. The standard on junglers is to start with a Warding Totem and then switch to Sweeping Lens / Oracle Lens later.

Skill Order

I'd recommend maxing Fracture. The base damage was massively buffed in 8.1. As long as you can hit your Es, you'll usually get more damage out of maxing it first. In fact I'd recommend E>W>Q since Q can just serve as a spammable way to proc Sheen. Crystal Slash doesn't even have base damage; it just scales off your total AD, so it'll still deal okay damage throughout the game even at rank 1.


Not gonna cover matchups in the cheatsheet since they're pretty subjective, especially for players of different tiers. For the guide content I'm just going to go chronologically.

Personally, I'm not a big fan of these match history screenshots. I've seen them on a lot of guides and they always look kinda tacky to me. Up to you I guess.

I can't believe you have an entire chapter about your guide's ranking on the site. -_-

I agree with your Why and When assessment, but I'm not sure it should take up so much space when it basically just says "pick Skarner whenever you want."

Skarner is the 12th most played jungler at the moment and one of the strongest picks in solo queue, so I wouldn't say he's "unpopular."

I don't think Ghost is personal preference if you're trying to play competitively (by that I mean ranking up as high as you can). It might have a use early game with Unsealed Spellbook but Flash is just too important. You can get movement speed from other sources.

Whether or not you change to the skill order I mentioned above, it would be good to explain your skill order in the appropriate section. Embedding the order doesn't really do anything since readers can already see it in the cheatsheet.

Probably could mention that Aftershock is actually quite strong in lvl 3 fights since you can proc it with Fracture and you'll be impossible to outtrade for a few seconds.

Just so you know, it's "dueling" and not "dualing" in this context (in Cheap Shot description).

Based on my experience with Skarner this season, I would actually say that if you aren't building Trinity Force, you might just want to skip the Sheen item entirely and get Righteous Glory into Dead Man's Plate. Iceborn Gauntlet doesn't really add that much damage and the two other items I mentioned give you pretty insane engage power plus a lot of early armor. That said, Trinity Force is going to be worth buying in most games if you can get it.

Not sure why Titanic Hydra is in here. It's not a terrible item on any tanky champion but you won't have a Tiamat early and it doesn't have any particular synergy with Skarner. Seems like you'd be better off with a pure tank item, or even more movement speed from Righteous Glory.

Lore has no place in a champion guide imo. At least put it at the end instead of randomly in the middle of the guide.

Clearing Krugs, especially on your first clear, seems like an insanely poor use of time. Not only is Krugs time-consuming for a pretty low reward on any jungler the first time you clear them, but Skarner especially has a really tough time with the camp since he doesn't have a Crystal Spire nearby. If you want Krugs in your first clear, I'd just make it your last camp and then recall afterwards. I wouldn't recommend wasting time walking to river just to capture the spire there (after Krugs) if you're just going to recall either.

Slower farming routes aren't bad but I'm not convinced they should be the only routes you're offering. Skarner has a healthy clear and a good early game. I don't see why you wouldn't suggest clearing 3 camps and then fighting or ganking with double buffs.

You don't need to repeat the same information twice on the ganking routes. Just explain that the second image is for red team and then show the image; that should be enough.

Nice meme in the team fight section but it takes up a LOT of space. Could probably be smaller and maybe sectioned off by a column so it's next to the text or something like that. Visuals (even silly ones) are good but they shouldn't come at the expense of actual content. In this case your reader just has to scroll down a lot to get past it to the next section.

You have a tip called "Triforce q timing." Maybe this was a note from when you were writing the guide? This isn't really a tip in its current state.

I don't agree with the "never engage with Impale first" tip, especially since it's phrased so vaguely. First of all, you'll often engage with R later in the game when your team is grouped. Secondly, even in ganks, it can be wise to engage with R, especially against slippery champions. If you're ganking a LeBlanc and you have a Lux, for example, opening with Impale will give your Lux an easy chance to land her full combo before LeBlanc can cast Distortion and get away. This isn't to say you can't save R for later and engage with Chilling Smite and Fracture, but sometimes R first is appropriate.

I'd amend your objective-stealing trick by suggesting that players Impale the enemy jungler to deny their Smite, then Smite the objective themselves. You can still Smite while you're pulling someone.

I find your anti-QSS trick a little confusing. Are you suggesting that you lead with R if you expect the enemy to wait on their QSS? I don't think that's wise, even if they aren't expecting you to use R so soon. QSS is reactionary, so they can still easily cast it after realizing they've been pulled. If you're planning on using E after your R is removed, I wouldn't call that a reliable plan considering a lot of carries have escape tools and almost everyone runs Flash. Even if they're a sitting duck, their allies might just peel you off before you can stun the carry. I think the more realistic tip here is to simply use R on a different target if the carries have QSS, unless you know their QSS is on cooldown.

Ew Trump meme.

I just realized while reading this summary that you mention Long Sword on your first back in the guide, but the cheatsheet says Sheen.


Overall I think your build is fine. It's not quite what I would recommend but it's fairly close. Close enough that most players won't be held back by the differences anyway.

The main weakness of the guide is that it's quite brief and the information is fairly basic. After reading your conclusion, I felt that there wasn't much else in the actual guide beyond what was covered there. The gank paths and jungle routes are probably the most complex thing in here that can't easily be summarized, so props for those, but everything else is pretty straightforward.

Brevity is valuable when teaching, but it's important to cover some more complex aspects of the champion if you want your guide to really stand out. Otherwise this is more of a build with some basic explanations for new players.

Layout-wise, I feel your guide tends to look fairly decent except in some areas where you have a small section of text that's dwarfed by a massive image. Pros/Cons/Summoners/Runes all look pretty good (though I'd remove the bullet points on the runes), while other sections like the first 3 chapters, Team fighting and your concluding chapters are almost entirely images (and fairly pointless ones at that). If you want to use those images in your guide, I encourage you to think creatively and figure out how to arrange them. Try to use them to augment your guide content rather than overwhelm it.

Ultimately I don't think much in here is wrong or bad. There are a few ugly/tacky parts, a couple cases of misinformation, a handful of playstyle/setup differences and that's pretty much it. Mostly I think you should clean up what you have a bit and then add more. If you've reached Platinum with this champion I know you know more about him that this guide shows. Even if it's not immediately obvious, adding some more nuanced information should be possible if you reflect a bit on your play and what makes it different from, say, a silver player.

Hope you find some of this helpful. My reviews tend to be pretty long (even for shorter guides) since I want to cover just about everything I see. :P
Im Not Gay EUW (2) | February 17, 2018 6:43pm
Oh and btw. Look at your paypal :)
Its for helping me out a lot and giving me advice all the time!
Have a nice day, you deserved it!
-Im Not Gay
Im Not Gay EUW (2) | February 17, 2018 6:12pm
First of all thank you for all the time you put into writing this review i really appreciate it and i will use a lot of it for my future guide. I really like how in depth you have looked at most of the things. and even tho i think you are right about alot of what you have said i really wanna elaborate on a few choices i made :) (please dont take it as someone who is in denial or just wants to win an argument or something i dont mean it negative at all, i really really am happy that you made this reveiw!)

first of all lets start with the runes. the reason why i don't put unsealed spell book on here is because i really dislike it. i have tried it in a few games and i find it a bit of a waste of the potential skarner has. I will 99% of the games not switch my summoner spells and the 15% cdr on them also just doesnt do the job for me. i think the tankiness of aftershock or the possiblities of predator (which i will elaborate on soon) really outweigh the 15% summoner cdr. also the follow up runes next to the keystone are also not that strong for skarner. while the domination and resolve tree have way better options. the domination tree has the zombie wards the extra ms and a lil extra chip damage. and resolve gives you a lot of durability and push potential (thats why i use demolishion. for after a gank id be able to get first turret a lot quicker).
while inspiration didnt really give me anything that really stood out to me.
now let's talk about predator. I have played it a lot lately and I have had a lot of success with it. The early ganks are just amazing but there is way more that makes this rune so damn good. lets look at an example you give later in your review. you talk about a leblanc vs lux match up at mid. if leblanc would W R away from me i normally would be able to anything about it. while if i have predator id be able to go in so fast that if she does W R she would still not get away. id be able to grab stun her and then afterwards be able to pull her into lux her combo. this is one of the moments it really shines, you didnt have to waste your own flash (except if she uses it, then you can use it to get her.) and you still are able to get the kill. another very usefull trick with predator is that if you are ganking top and got a flash for example and the enemy JNG goes for drake then you still are able to reach there in time using predator, because it has an 15 sec duration you will be able to fight them or even steal the drake. this is why i use it. (ill put this in my guide in the near future)

for items: you are right at the start, i should elaborate more.

with the boots you really but me to think. i have looked at my match history and looked for 1 game where i could use boots of swiftness more then id use one of the other 2 options and i just couldnt find one. I will probably remove it in the near future or maybe say why its not a good option on Skarner.

but on abyssals mask i think you are wrong. for example if the enemy have a veigar mid and thats the only ap threat to you, abyssals would be a way better option. the passive of adaptive helm wont do anything big for you because you probably wont get hit with 2 q's within 4 seconds. While if you have a decent AP damage dealer the passive of abyssals mask will really help that person out a lot. being able to give your team 10% more damage is a huge deal.

for trinkets i think you are also right i should put that in there.

Skill order: i have tried out both for a while and I really think that q is still the way to go. the early clearing speed will really make you farm up easier and make you get ready for your ult way faster. while E didnt really give me that much of an advantage. by the time i really go gank alot im already leveling my E so that way it wont really add anything all that great for you. + you can 1 v 1 any drake at lvl 4 maxing q while if you dont have lvl 2 q at lvl 4 you wont be able to kill cloud drake.

guide: lets start with the match history screenshots and the guide ranking. i get that its a bit cheesy, but it's appealing to look at when you start the guide. just a few pictures to put your brain at rest without needing to absorb anything that might be usefull for you game.

For the when and why section: Hmm.. I tried to be a little more elaborate on my guide and started with that section. I do understand what you mean and ill try to make it better in the near future :)

the unpopular thing is a little outdated. you are right. he has recently increased alot in playrate but it will drop very soon, im pretty sure about that. ill just keep it in for 2 weeks or so then ill delete it if its still not changed.

ghost: i have recently talked with 2 master players who play a lot of skarner and who prefer ghost over flash. they seem to have great success with him so thats why i put it in there. You are able to do well with it and if you really like it just go for it i guess.

you are right about skill sequence i need to be more elaborate.

Yes i should have put the level 3 aftershock thing in there. its true.

ouch.. spelling errors :c.. english isn't my native language sorry.. haha ill fix it very soon.

the reason i mention iceborn is because i still see a few players building it as their core item. I wanted to point out why i dont use it, without saying its an worthless option.

for titanic, it could be usefull if your team lacks damage and you have to carry. I have build it a few times aswell. It works with your large hp pool and attackspeed.

lore: imo i think lore is great to have in a guide! :D it's kind of a quick summary of the champion without having to read the whole thing that riot put online. but yes ill move it into some other place.

Krugs: the reason i do krugs on first clear is because of 2 reasons. first the enemy wont be able to gain exp of it when they counter jungle you. but most importantly you will have excately 950-1050 gold afterwards which is perfect for your first back. and tbh it really goes fast with your E and Q + smite.

early gank: i have put down in the jungle section whenever you really see a free gank oppertunity always go for it, but often you wont find an easy way to gank. and forcing an gank really doesnt work with skarner pre 6 and without predator. you wont be able to reach them and its just a waste of your time most of the time. (ill put this in my guide later) and btw i think you mean shouldnt instead of should. if you dont mean that please tell me what you mean excately.

double info: yes sir :) ill update that soon

too big pic: okay ill fix that soon aswell. thx for pointing it out :)

mistake on tips and tricks: yupp... youre right... my bad haha.. fix it asap.

never engage tip: hmm yes i see what you mean. i didnt thought of it that much when i wrote it. ill be more clear.

smite trick: its for when you DONT have smite in that way they cant smite aswell and then you just hope your team can get it.

qss trick: this is a little to complicated from my side. what i meant is that the enemy can only qss 1 of your 2 great cc moves. your e OR your r. You need to try to make them or qss your e or try to make good use of your e after they have qss'd your ult. so when you have an enemy who only qss's your ult. just make sure that you use your e effectively. if you can e them while they are in an bad position and you force them to qss the E then you can ult them right afterwards and still succeed. sorry that it was so complicated. ill try to make it a bit more clear.

trump meme: haha i like it :)

another mistake: yup your right need to update it.

conclusions: thanks for the compliment :D i will keep on improving on those points and if you'd like ill keep you updated on my progress. ill start tomorrow and within a week ill probably have most of your point already covered.

Again: Thanks alot for the review I really appreciated it and I have learned a lot from it!

and specially for you...

PsiGuard (1203) | February 18, 2018 1:24am
Gonna keep this reply short so we don't keep typing essays to each other. If I don't mention something from your reply, I either agree to disagree or I accept your reasoning for it.

For the most part, even on stuff I disagree with you about, I think this guide will be much better once you've added a lot of these explanations to your guide. I learned much more about your playstyle on Skarner from this comment than I did the actual guide. You have the basics down in the guide, but once you add some of this more complex info I think it'll be a lot more robust.

I did mistype there about the jungle routes with early ganks, fixed it now. I can see why you like the Krugs clear but I still think that (particularly when you start Red) using this route every game locks you out of potential opportunities. It's also vulnerable to invades. If you do this against a Nunu, for example, you will likely lose at least your blue buff and Gromp. Adding alternative routes (or advice on how to adjust your route) would be good here. You can even do something like Red -> Blue -> Gromp and then if you don't like the look of the lanes, you can finish by clearing Wolves -> Raptors -> Krugs and still recall with the same amount of gold.

I understand the Smite trick, I think what I was trying to say is that the tip is useful whether you have Smite or not. Basically preventing the enemy jungler from Smiting is always good, so your tip could be generalized a bit more.

I understand the QSS trick, but I guess I just feel like it's not worth using ult on the QSS guy. I'd just use it on someone that I know would actually be suppressed, like one of the frontliners or the support. If the carry with QSS is out of position (or it's a diver) then maybe it's worth blowing everything to try and CC them.

I sent you a PM, but thank you so much for the donation. I think that's actually the first one I've ever received, haha. I appreciate the gesture a lot.

Definitely add a lot of this stuff to your guide. I think it'll look so much better if you really put your thoughts down on how/when/why to build or do certain things. Even though I don't agree with everything, it makes way more sense to me why you make the choices you do. If other readers see the same reasoning, I think they'll appreciate your guide more.

I tried to keep this short but it's still a bit long, sorry. :P Good luck on your guide!
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jhoijhoi (2003) | February 17, 2018 6:04pm
What a review :D
Im Not Gay EUW (2) | February 18, 2018 2:19am
yup! I really appreciate it! ill update A LOT now because of it.
Yu_1 (3) | February 13, 2018 6:38am
Nice guide! I liked your images!
Im Not Gay EUW (2) | February 14, 2018 2:05am
thank you! and if you liked it, could you consider giving it a + rating on the top right? id really appreciate it! :D
Razsagoth (10) | February 11, 2018 9:41pm
And people say skarner's a joke nowadays... Someone should really be proving them wrong since he's one of the best junglers out there right now. Great guide, but please feel free to try the unsealed spellbook inspiration+sorcery skarner aswell.
Im Not Gay EUW (2) | February 12, 2018 10:00am
i have tried unsealed spellbook on skarner but i often see myself not using it. i prefer flash alot over ghost at almost 100% of the matches and because i know it will be nerfed soon, i wont try to master it that hard.
Razsagoth (10) | February 12, 2018 10:15am
Well here's the thing, you don't need to go with ghost and you can use Unsealed Spellbook for what it's actually being used for , the +15% summoner cooldown on smite which paired with Cosmic Insight gets up to 20% summoner spell cooldown. This means you get more power over objectives like dragons and barons. Unsealed Spellbook is rarely used to switch summoners while being used by a jungler.
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Merkulous236 | February 11, 2018 10:12am
What do you think about righteous glory?
Im Not Gay EUW (2) | February 12, 2018 10:02am
righteous glory is a good item on skarner if you have chosen the aftershock rune instead of the predator rune. the downside of rightous glory is that it doesnt give all that much armor so i prefer going predator and then a big tanky armor item when i dont have a good engage team. if i do have a good engage team tho id just let them engage and just use aftershock to make sure i survive the fight.
Aneurologic (5) | February 2, 2018 2:09am
----Love love love this Skarner guide.

Skarner really gets no shimmer or shine theses days (I hardly face him or play him in jg)

This guide really capitalizes on everything I wish I knew more about Skarner!
Great item picks,
Same runes I use,
Some crafty explanations of certain aspects of his gameplay which I'm about to test in-game!

Appreciate the guide tons, gotta bookmark this for latah.
Im Not Gay EUW (2) | February 4, 2018 4:15am
hey man thx alot for your responds! im happy you like it :D
if you have any tips for the guide tell me and ill try to put them in, because you are one of the best comments in this guide ill have something to honor you back. have this commend!

have a nice day :)

- Im Not Gay
likeaboss (1) | January 19, 2018 9:48am
Noice guide its very guud ^^
Im Not Gay EUW (2) | January 19, 2018 10:01am
thanks :D
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