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Skarner Build Guide by WickedMinded

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League of Legends Build Guide Author WickedMinded

WickedMinded's Skarner - When Meth Ain't Enough[Jungle+Lane]

WickedMinded Last updated on August 18, 2011
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Jungle Role
Ranked #22 in
Jungle Role
Win 49%
Get More Stats

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: 1

Strength of Spirit
Veteran's Scars

Defense: 14

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

Utility: 15

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What's up everybody, it's your boy WickedMinded. I'v been playing Skarner since he came out and let me tell ya'll he's a great champ! This champion deals amazing damage (could use some buffs) and is great ganker. I love jungling with this champion and i'll show ya'll how i play Skarner the Crystal Vangaurd. Hope you enjoy, make sure to read the whole guide. Rate and comment and i hope you like!

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Pros / Cons


+Great Damage
+Amazing Ganker
+Great Chaser Thanks To Crystalline Exoskeleton
+Sweet Passive Energize


+Picked on by ranged
+Squishy early game
+Needs constant blue buff [Mana starves]
+Hard to lane with because of his lack of ranged abilities
+Needs Lobster Skin

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Runes for jungling Skarner

greater mark of desolation greater quintessence of desolation
Runes are obvious for your usual jungler.
Greater Mark of Desolation for more damage on jungle creeps and on opponents.
Greater Seal of Armor To take less damage from creeps and opponents.
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Desolation 24 Armour Pentetration gives you full damage to all the creeps in the jungle.

Alternative Runes [Other choices]

Greater Mark of Attack Damage Nice for when jungling, Phreak uses these. But i prefer Greater Mark of Desolation
Greater Seal of EvasionOnly get these if your planning on getting Nimblness
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist Good for Mid-Late game for more survivability.
Greater Quintessence of Health For survivability, i tried jungling with these works perfectly, just a bit slower.

Runes for laning Skarner

greater seal of replenishment

Greater Mark of Magic Penetration I pick these because early game your main damage comes from Ap ratio.
greater seal of replenishment These are nice early game because Skarner does mana starve
Greater Glyph of Ability Power Again early game your main damage comes from Ability power
Greater Quintessence of Ability Power Look at Greater Glyph of Ability Power

Alternative Runes [Other Choices]

greater mark of desolationgreater seal of vitality

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+Improved Smite for the nice +5 Gold when used. This is the money you will be using for supplies [Health Potions, Wards, etc]
+In the defensive tree, Hardiness and Harden Skin to help your overall survivability.
+In the utility tree, Awareness is very important to a jungler!
+ Quickness for your early ganks.

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Summoner Spells

Smite: Obvious for junglers.
Ghost: For ganks, catching up, running away, and all that good stuff. Also, it's a great combo with Crystalline Exoskeleton
Flash: Escaping, catching up, closing up gaps, making a sneaky get away.
Ignite: To ensure kills or keep Dr.Mundo from healing so much.

My two favorite are: Smite and Ghost but if you like Flash more than Ghost take Flash then ^_^.

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Skarner's items are sort of hybrid items and i will give a short explanation why i pick these.

Cloth Armor + Health Potion
These are your usual items for a jungler. Cloth Armor to take less damage from creeps in the jungle. Health Potions to stay in jungle longer and prevent death.

Boots of Speed
Obvious, you can't gank effectively without movement speed. With these and Crystalline Exoskeleton you will be able catch up oppenents with ease.

Sheen is VERY, VERY important on Skarner. Because you will be using the proc every single second you can! Crystal Slash, auto attack, Crystal Slash, auto attack. And the sweet thing about it is that Crystal Slash will give a buff and you deal more damage! The stats are very nice for your early game, more mana and a little bit more damage.

Vampiric Scepter
The 12% lifesteal is nice to have so you won't be as low in the jungle. And it's a AMAZING combo with your Crystal Slash, auto attack combo! Because of Sheen you will get more health back!

Mercury's Treads
I being CC'd by that stupid Ashe arrow, or that annoying stun from Sion. These puppies will not only give you some nice Magic Resist but the affect on CC [crowd control] will be reduced by 25%! Skarner depends on getting and getting out safely. These puppies will ensure that.

Hextech Gunblade
SWEEEET. The damage is amazing, the lifesteal and spell vamp is amazing! The active is sweet for chasing. This is by far one, if not the best item for hybrids.

Rylai's Crystal Scepter
Great for chasing, great combo with your Crystal Slash just to get their movement down real low for you and/or your team. This also works with your ultimate, your ultimate deals damage when the enemy is released. So amazing item for Skarner.

Trinity Force
Everything it gives you is great. The Sheen passive. Some nice movement speed and that sexy Phage effect.

Sunfire Cape
I always like to get something tanky for all my champions. Sunfire Cape is perfect for Skarner because of the effect and the health is sexy. The effect is good on Skarner because you are melee and you will have to get into the team fight to attack. The armor is a nice bonus to get rid of some of that damage from Tryndanoobs.

Banshee's Veil
Again something tanky. This is sweet to stop Annie's or Ryze's burst. And just to take less damage from casters like Vladimir. The health and mana are a nice bonus.

Alternative Items [other choices]

Guinsoo's Rageblade
Great for hybrids. Especially Skarner! Cause you can spam your Q. I take this item sometimes, only when i feel like it XD.

Will of the Ancients
Nice item. The spell vamp will alow you to heal more from Fracture and the ability power is just amazing. All in all it's a cheap item from some decent stats.

Wriggle's Lantern
I like this item. The damage is decent and so is the armor. I mainly like it for the passive and the active. Free ward? Yes please. Your the jungler and you should be buying wards everytime you go back. This will allow you to spent less money on wards.

Randuin's Omen
Can easily replace Sunfire Cape. The slow is great for team fights, the armor and the health to stay that team fight longer and for your overal survivability.

Force of Nature
Can replace your Banshee's. The movement speed is awesome and the Magic Resist is 74! This is a great item for Skarner! The only down side is that it doesnt give you health ):

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This passive is AMAZING! This will allow you to spam you spells like crazy! It also works on your ultimate! So gank, use your ultimate, and then go jungle! And the cooldown will go from 94 to 50 FAST!

Q Ability/Crystal Slash:

Deals short area of effect damage, and if you an enemy unit you will gain a buff, that buff will allow you to slow enemies on your next Crystal Slash. This buff lasts 5 seconds. Great for chasing. Works great in team fights because of teh area of effect [could use a buff].

W Ability/Crystalline Exoskeleton:

You get a shield and gain movement and attack speed. Sweet for ganks, escaping, roaming around the map. When Karthus uses Requiem or the debuff from Vladimir's Hemoplague is about to expire, use this baby and pray that you don't die XD.

E Ability/Fracture:

You deal damage in a line, in the direction you choose. The enemies hit will get a debuff for a short duration. If you attack an enemy with this debuff you will get some health back. You can combo this with Crystal Slash.


Oh jesus, how i love this ultimate. This ultimate is so boss! [could use a buff though]. When your about melee range from an opponent you can use Impale on them and instanly you will put your stinger up their ******* and suppress them for a short duration. The fun thing about this ultimate is that while they are suppressed you can drag them around for a short duration. Use Impale to drag enemies into your team. Use it kind of like Blitzcrank uses his Rocket Grab. Or use it just disable enemies in team fights. Get rid of that Xin Zhao for a short duration and allow your team to target Ashe. You know? You can do a bunch of things with this ultimate! Use it wisely!

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Tips and Tricks

+Before or as soon as you use Impale use Ghost and Crystalline Exoskeleton so you can take your victim much farther.

+ Impale deals damage after the effect ends. So picking Rylai's Crystal Scepter will make it harder for your victim to run away.

+If your in lane and low on health use Fracture on a lane of minions and get in the center of all the ones you hit and use Crystal Slash.

+use your Fracture, Crystal Slash combo to stay healthy in team fights.

+When Karthus uses Requiem use Crystalline Exoskeleton to take less damage for to save you life.

+In team fights try and use Impale on the champion that is the most threat to your team. Ashe, Ezreal, Xin Zhao, Warwick, Jax, Caitlyn etc.

+When your jungling try and buy sight wards so you can see if the enemy team is warding in brushes, preventing you from ganking.

+When your going to gank use Crystalline Exoskeleton and Ghost to catch up the enemy faster so you can deal more damage.

+When ganking using the Lizard Buff and Crystal Slash will slow your enemies dramatically.

+When you use Impale quickly use a Crystal Slash. At the end of the suppression you should be able to spam another one, slowing them and making it harder for them escape.

+Right before the suppression on Impale ends try to turn around. This will make the enemy have to go through you. Making all the difference between a kill or an escape.

+If you choose to pick Guinsoo's Rageblade spam your Q before you go and gank so you can have 5-8 stacks already.

+Remember you can use the Sheen effect on tower.

+When pushing a turret remember that Crystalline Exoskeleton gives you bonus attack speed when you activate it.

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Early Game

When Jungling

Levels 1-4

At levels 1-4 you should be jungling. If you see an open gank go for it. Your best option though is to stay in the jungle, because if you mess up, it will effect your exp gain and gold income. If you do fail a gank at such an early level, just stay in the lane you ganked for a short time and level up once or twice and keep jungling

Levels 4-6

You should be ganking at these levels. Look for an open gank [See Chapter: Ganking]. Take your blue buff and red buff whenever you can. These will benefit you when you gank. Blue will allow you spam your abilities and Red is a great combo with Crystal Slash to slow your enemies dramatically.

Levels 1-When you get 1355G

Stay in lane until you get 1355 gold. This will be enough for your Sheen, Boots of Speed, 2 Health Potions, and a sight ward. Just last hit. This is the problem with Skarner having ap runes in early game. His auto attacks won't be enough to get last hits. Without greater mark of desolation his damage output with auto attacks are weak. Last hitting with Crystal Slash or Fracture will only make you mana starve and make you go back earlier than you should. I highly recommend trying out greater mark of desolation if you are using Greater Mark of Magic Penetration. I usually leave the lane at around level 6 or 7.

Levels 7-9

Now you should start being more aggressive. When you get a kill you can easily push the turret. It's REAL easy for Skarner to get a kill if an opponnent makes even a small mistake of trying to auto attack you from melee range. Just Impale, Crystalline Exoskeleton + Ghost = Free gold. This will cover hopefully enough for you to spam Crystal Slash and Fracture to take the kill. But you also want to be very safe. Place wards to keep you from getting gank. Starting out with 0-4-0 is not a very good start. If you have atleast 3 kills and maybe one assist by 15-20 minutes your doing fine. I had a game when i had 6-1-1 by the 20 minute mark. This is what we call fed. And a fed Skarner can be the deference between a loss or a won.

By level 9 you should atleast have your Rylai's Crystal Scepter or finishing it this is for both Jungling and Lanining.

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Mid Game


Levels 6-8

Start your jungling route once more. [See chapter: Jungling]

Levels 8-11
Now from level 8 you should be buying wards everytime you go back to your base. Buy atleast 2 everytime. Buying vision wards will benefit you more. At this level you should be ganking. And if you do a get kill from top or mid, push the tower. You and your ally should be able to take it down before the enemy respawns and comes back.

Levels 11-16

From these levels you main objective is getting an ace. This will allow to get 2 free towers or a free Baron buff and the dragon. In team fights your main job is to take down the carry, Ashe, Caitlyn, Ezreal etc. Use Impale to drag them down to your team. BOOM easy team fight. Without their Ashe their damage output won't be as great. Try and take down their Xin Zhao or their Annie.

Laning [Look at the Jungling Mid Game]

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Late Game

Baron Nashor is a MUST now.

Tell you teammates to group up in midlane and start pushing. The enemy team should responed to your aggression and they will meet up aswell. Let your tank go in first. And ignore everyone except their carry. Use Cystalline Exoskeleton and Ghost to catch up. Impale and follow up with a Crystal Slash. Once the duration ends another Crystal Slash will allow you to stay in range thanks to the slow. Take her down. And proceed to your next target. Annie, Xin Zhao, Malzahar, etc.

Laning is same as jungling ^[at level 18 you should be finishing your Banshee's Veil

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Superior route

This route will give you everything you need fast. Why? Having blue will let you stay in the jungle taking down camps. And you will be able to spam abilties more often. The cons of this route are: You will be more vulnerable to ganks because you will be at around 200+ health sometimes and you won't be as close to your turrets.
1.Start off at the Blue Golem . Have your allies leash it and bring it down to around 800-1000 health. You can easily take it down from here and you will be at atleast 75% without needing a health pot. Smite it at 420 and kill the smaller ones and proceed to the next step.
2. Wolves are real easy for Skarner, just use Fracture and then Crystal Slash to heal yourself up. If you need health pot use it. You don't want to be vulnerable to ganks.
3. Wraiths hit hard. Take down the blue one as fast as you can using your Fracture, Crystal Slash combo. Chug a health pot.
4. Lizard Elder is next. Make sure your above 400 health and 200 mana. Take it down using your Fracture, Crystal Slash combo and if you have above 300 mana use Crystalline Exoskeleton once or twice. Use smite when it's about 500-600 health and kill the lesser lizards and chug a health pot.
5. If your above 300 health and have around 200-300 mana kill the Twin Golems. If you don't, use a health pot if you still have one and wait a couple seconds and attack them. If you don't have any of the above proceed to step 6.
6. Now teleport back to base, get three health potions, a ward, and Boots of Speed.
7. GANK! If you see a gank or someone pings you to go gank an opponent, GO! Skarner is a great ganker. If none of the above are available take down the Wraiths and the Wolves should be up and ready for you to kill 'em. After that look around the map and look for a gank.

The Safe Route

This route is less effective. The reason being is that you can't spam your abilites as much and you will mana starve but this will prevent early ganks from enemies.
1.Twin Golems are first have someone leash them for you. Chug a health pot when they start attacking you, smite one and finish them off.
2.Wraiths are second, Wraiths are pretty hard for almost every jungler. Just use your Fracture and Crystal Slash combo.
3.Woves are next. Wolves are real easy to take down. Fracture, Crystal Slash combo them and move on. If you are at 400+ health and have 250+ mana get your blue buff. Attack the Ancient Golem, chug a potion. and Fracture, Crystal Slash combo. If you want to be more secure ask an ally to help you. Smite it at around 500 health and teleport and buy some supplies and if you have enough, Boots of Speed
4.Red is up next. Just take it down with your Fracture Crystal Slash combo and go gank!
5.Now just take the camps you can take [wraiths, twin golems] and go gank!

Counter Jungling

Counter jungling is fun and it benifits you alot. Counter jungling is basically either ganking the enemy jungler or stealing some of the enemies camps. You have to be real careful about this because if you screw up, it will mess up your and/or your allies early game ALOT. The main time i counter jungle is when the enemy jungler is an Amumu, Fiddlesticks or someone very mana dependent. The reason being is that an Amumu can't jungle without the Crest of the Ancient Golem buff. When the enemy jungler is an Amumu or Fiddlesticks run over to their Twin Golems. Hide in a bush near them, incase enemies are gaurding it. Once the 1:35 minute marks, proceed and take the golems. Smite one, chug a health potion and spam your Crystal Slash to quickly kill them. If you want to keep on going take their Wraith camp and if you want to be even more annoying quickly take down their Lesser Lizards [Not the big one, only the little ones.] Teleport back home, buy some supplies, [Wards are a must, buy 2 or 3 and ward some of your camps to make sure the enemy jungler doesnt take them]if you can buy some Boots of Speed, and laugh at the enemy jungler >:D

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Now i will teach you how the scorpion catches it's prey.

Hide in a bush near the lane you wish to gank. Wait for the perfect time...... Wait.... Wait... NOW! Use your Crystalline Exoskeleton get in there and use Fracture once in range. And spam your abilities. If you have Impale use it the second your in melee range. If you don't just spam Crystal Slash for the slow. Make sure to tell your ally to use their stun or slow right before you go in. This will ensure the kill. You won't always get the kill. Don't worry about it. That stupid Black Shield or Deceive will prevent you from getting a kill.

Abilities like Black Shield or Ragnarok will prevent Impale meaning if you use Impale when Nocturne's Shroud of Darkness is up. Nothing will happen at all, all that will happen is that that stupid Nocturne will laugh at you that you will have wait another 94 seconds until you can use Impale again.

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YAY! You read the whole build! Or you just skipped to the end -___-
Anyway, thanks for your support! Please take some time to rate and comment!
I will upload a video on Skarner and how i jungle with him!
Thank you my little lemon drops!

Yours in eternity,