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SKARNER BUILD GUIDE: They See Me Impalin' [Updated] by Sliv

by Sliv (last updated 11 months ago)

293,233 Views 4 Comments
9
Greater Mark of Attack Speed( +15.3% attack speed)
9
Greater Seal of Armor( +12.69 armor)
6
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist( +0.9 magic resist per level (16.2 at champion level 18))
3
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist( +4.02 magic resist)
3
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed( +4.5% movement speed)
View Rune Details
Summoner Spells
View Summoner Details
9
21
0
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 2/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/3
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Crystallizing Sting
QCrystal Slash
WCrystalline Exoskeleton
EFracture
RImpale
View Skill Order Details

Runes

Masteries

mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
9 Offense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 4/4
mastery 4 mastery 4 2/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 3/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/2
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 1/3
mastery 1 mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 1/1
21 Defense
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/4
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/2
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility

Skill Order

Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Crystallizing Sting
QCrystal Slash
WCrystalline Exoskeleton
EFracture
RImpale

Champion Matchups

Changelog

30-10-2013: Major overhaul of the guide; New item choices, the rationale behind it, etcetera.

10-12-2012: Added chapter 'Skarner: When to pick him', small tweaks to existing chapters. Added some videos.

9-12-2012: Added a detailed description of tower diving in chapter 'Teamfights'. Added chapter 'Skill Order' including an explanation

6-12-2012: Added Thoughts on Individual Items to chapter 'Item Build'.

5-12-2012: Guide Created.

Introduction

Hello everybody. My name is FlyingBroccoli, a Platinum rated player on the EU West server. Skarner was a special kind of bug for me with whom I fell in love right when I first played him. His amazing CC, tankiness and peel wins games and is something I have come to fully appreciate. He used to be my most played champion in both normal and ranked games until he fell out of favor due to his ultimate and W nerfs.

[http://i.imgur.com/sfmew25.jpg]

However, recently I've started playing him again and I think he's still strong with a few adjustments in your playstyle. The Phage change has helped him significantly. With a rework of his skills upcoming he looks to become a very strong jungler in Season 4.

Skarner works amazingly both offensively as defensively. You will be one of the few champions that can actually successfully peel that fed Jax or Irelia off your carry and make sure they stay alive. Also, Skarner is simply monstrous against bruisers without gap closers, such as Udyr. Your Crystal Slash (Q) will prevent them from doing anything meaningful in a teamfight.

While the initial power allocation towards the big creeps hurt him in his clear times, the addition of a fourth camp in the nearby future should help him because he's in fact a very swift clearer. He does well against the current meta of engage-heavy duelist junglers such as Aatrox, Lee Sin, Vi and Jarvan. He wins most 2v2's due to his AoE damage and slows which makes him an excellent counterganker. His level 6 ganking tools are still incredibly strong, even with the recent nerf to his ultimate. Once an enemy is caught in your Crystal Slash, there is no escape.

If you have any comments I would love to hear them. I will investigate the Season 4 changes ánd the rework and find out what will be the best way to play Skarner in the new environment. Until then, I hope you find this guide useful.

FlyingBroccoli

Skarner: When to pick him

Skarner is a good overall pick that fits most if not all team compositions. He is also resilient to counterjungling, which makes him an excellent first or second pick in Draft Mode. By playing a tanky CC machine with damage, you will be able to make plays and dictate fights. The ability to make plays with his ultimate makes Skarner very much able to carry games from the jungle. Also, he's quite relevant late game as well.

Pros:

  • Powerful, spammable CC with his Crystal Slash slow
  • Game changing ultimate that can almost single handedly win you teamfights
  • Great mobility around the map with a long-duration speed boost
  • Can be built very tanky while still dishing out a decent amount of damage
  • Good clear times
  • Resilient to counterjungling
  • Strong in all phases of the game, especially midgame.
  • He's a frickin' bug from outer space!!


Cons:

  • Easily kited by enemies with great mobility and a stun/slow
  • Doesn't gank pre-6 very well.
  • Rather Blue buff reliant before his Shurelya's Reverie/SOTAG
  • Not very strong in teamfights before his Shurelya's Reverie
  • No Battlecast skin (YET!)

Runes

[http://i46.tinypic.com/2gwuu8g.png]

Greater Mark of Attack Speed: I take nine of those, just like in the old jungle. It still helps your clear speed tremendously, because of the lowered cooldown on your Crystal Slash. Also, killing the camps fast is important in the new jungle because you want to avoid as much damage as possible.

Greater Seal of Armor: You simply need the armor to survive in the new jungle. Flat armor is the only reliable choice right now.

Greater Glyph of Magic Resist x3

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist x6: The glyphs is where I differ from many other junglers. I take a little bit of flat magic resist to make sure I don't get destroyed by AP champions at the start of the game. Especially early, when abilities comparatively deal a lot of damage and most of it is usually magic, the flat resist comes in very handy to prevent a gank turning into a kill for the enemy. Also, it helps just a little bit on the wraiths.

However, flat resistances fall off once you reach the midgame. To ensure a steady amount of magic resistance, I take 6 scaling resistance runes to keep up the tankiness.

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed: I love Movement Speed. I take it on my AP Carries, Junglers and some top laners and supports as well. But on Skarner, it truly shines. Skarner's big weakness is people's movement speed being faster than him which enables them to run out of his Crystal Slash's range. Running Movement Speed runes effectively nulifies this problem. Also, it makes your pre-6 ganks a lot stronger. There is no real substitute for these.

Masteries

[http://i.imgur.com/8YpglCl.png]

Many people use the Utility masteries on Skarner for the increased Movement Speed. I used to do that as well but with the increased focus on the early game I've opted for 9 in Offense instead. I believe simply farming isn't viable anymore, especially in Solo Queue. You at least have to counteract the enemy jungler's aggression. Early game you will need the extra damage to be able to countergank well and ensure that the game doesn't snowball in the enemies' favor. You don't really want to straight up gank anyway unless you get a brilliant opportunity, so you don't need the Movement Speed per se since you already have your Quintessences. If you want an early ganking presence, buy boots-of-mobility instead.

Since you will be tanking their team most of the time, you get 21 in defense. An additional advantage of 9/21/0 as opposed to something like 0/9/21 is that it allows you to build shurelyas-reverie instead of spirit-of-the-ancient-golem without losing a lot of tankiness, while making your ganks a lot stronger.


Skills

Passive: Energize

Explanation: Each basic attack reduces Skarner's ability cooldowns by 0.5 seconds. The effect is doubled when attacking enemy Champions. Attacking turrets will not trigger Energize.

This passive will actually prove its worth more in the new jungle than in the old one. Since the rewards for the jungle camps increased (slightly), you will be farming a bit more during the midgame whenever you can. You will be ganking a bit less, but because you are autoattacking the jungle creeps your ultimate actually charges a bit faster! This means that even though you gank less, you will have stronger individual ganks because your ultimate is almost always up.


Q: Crystal Slash

Explanation: Skarner damages all enemies within range. If he hits any enemies, using Crystal Slash again within 5 seconds deals bonus magic damage and slows all enemies hit for 2 seconds.

This is Skarner's bread and butter skill. This alone allows him to clear camps quickly, slow enemies permanently and deal a significant amount of damage as well. The mana cost is reasonably low as well. You will max this first because it is your main damage tool and you will spam it whenever you get the chance.

Always make sure to use this skill before you autoattack a jungle camp. This way, you will already lose half a second of Crystal Slash's cooldown on the first autoattack.

W: Crystalline Exoskeleton

Explanation: Skarner gains a shield that absorbs a certain amount of damage. The shield dissipates after 6 seconds if not already destroyed. While the shield is active, Skarner gains increased movement speed and attack speed.

This skill was nerfed a while ago, increasing the cooldown. It didn't affect his ganking at all, but it does mean that you can't use it twice during strong camps such as the small golems. However, the nerf didn't impact your clear speed too much. You will want to use this a small distance before the jungle camp so that you get increased movement speed running towards it and still fully expend the shield for maximum attack speed and survivability. This is something you will have to learn by experience. It costs a lot of mana so try not to spam it too much.

E: Fracture

Explanation: ACTIVE: Skarner damages all enemies in a line and marks them for 6 seconds.
If Skarner damages a marked target (consuming the mark) or Fracture kills an enemy, Skarner heals himself. Each heal after the first heals half of the previous trigger until Fracture is used again.

This skill is still pretty damn useless. The sustain it gives you is marginal, the damage is low and you won't be able to spam it without your blue buff, which you will give to your mid laner most of the time. Early game, you're better off putting an extra point in your Crystal Slash because the creeps will die faster, preventing more damage than this skill would ever heal. Late game it can be nice for tagging assists easily. In teamfights, only use this skill if you can hit at least three enemies with it and they are putting some heavy damage on you. Most of the time though, it's not worth it because using it slows you down.

R: Impale

Explanation: Skarner suppresses target enemy champion for 1.75 seconds, damaging the target. For the duration, Skarner can move freely and will drag his victim around with him. At the end of the duration, the target takes the same damage again.

This skill is absolutely amazing! It is, in my opinion, one of the strongest defensive ultimate in the game and has some jaw-dropping offensive uses as well. With impale, you will effectively nulify the teamfight presence of that fed Diana, Jax, Irelia or whatever thing decides to jump on your carry. I can't stress how strong this is as a peeling tool. This is all because it is a suppression skill, which is not affected by tenacity. Without a suppression breaker, you will always grab your foe for the full duration.

Furthermore, if they don't have a strong diving team but rather a defensive line-up, you can win teamfights for your team by flash-grabbing the AD or AP Carry.

When you grab somebody and want to drag them, always make sure you turn around just before the suppression ends. This way, they will drag behind you and will be farther away from their original position. You're required to have good knowledge of the skill duration to perform this.




Skill Order

> > >

Crystal Slash:This is the skill which you will max first because it's your main damage and CC skill. It is used to clear camps, slow enemies and push lanes. You benefit greatly from upgrading this skill because it both increases the damage and the slow amount. 40% reduced movement speed at rank 5 is very strong in midgame teamfights where it is a perfect anti-kiting skill.

Crystalline Exoskeleton: We max this skill second. Its use in the jungle is very limited because the shield is broken so early in the new jungle, but this is very good for ganking lanes because of the increased movement speed. You need at least two ranks in this at level 6 to be able to get in Impale range. Also, the Attack Speed increase helps you to keep Crystal Slash's slow onto your targets.

Fracture Since Fracture is 'meh' at its best, we don't take points in this until the other skills are maxed. The sustain it offers pales in comparison to the faster clear times by maxing Crystal Slash. It also doesn't increase your gank potential either. Quite the contrary, will never use this in ganks because it only slows you down.

Impale Get a rank in Impale every time you can. It reduces the cooldown and damage dealt quite a bit which can make the difference between a kill and a getaway.

Summoner Spells

There's really only two spells which you will take every time.

The best:

You just take this spell. Especially in the new jungle you need it for survival and clear speed, and it's important to secure objectives as Dragon and Baron.

Flash is still invaluable for Skarner, despite the nerfs to its cooldown. Running flash allows you to clutch grab those high priority targets in teamfights, or get right in the middle of their bruiser line to slow them all down and peel for your carries.

This is also okay but not optimal:

Although I would not recommend it, Ghost can be useful in certain situations, for instance when you have very fast enemy bruisers for which you need extra movement speed to keep them slowed, or when they have little CC to stop you from running into their team and grabbing the carry. Still, I believe Flash is nearly always better though.

What? Exhaust on Skarner? I almost never run it but it can be useful in two ways: During ganking, it allows you to slow them for that initial amount that is enough to get into Crystal Slash range to keep them permaslowed. Furthermore it is an extra peeling tool to keep your carries alive. I would only recommend taking this if you are determined to fulfill the peeling role because you're not likely to ever get close to their carries without Flash or Ghost. In 99% of the cases it is not worth it.

Item Builds

Starting Items: hunters-machetehealth-potion5

Machete is all around the best starting item for . It gives you good clear speed which is valuable as you want to reach level 6 as quickly as possible. It also keeps you healthy throughout the jungle which prevents you dying to the enemy jungler. If they have a weak jungler (For instance, Amumu) it also allows you to counterjungle a bit better yourself and deny the enemy.


Mobility Item: boots-of-mobility (For a strong ganking presence) or ninja-tabi (Extra tankiness)

Usually I build Boots of Mobility. The main problem Skarner faces is getting in range of the enemy to slow them and boots-of-mobility fixes that almost by itself. Tabi is a good choice against melee heavy teams or strong melee junglers such as Lee Sin.

Boot enchant: Distortion (Reduced Flash Cooldown) or Homeguard (Base defense)

Distortion allows you do do more Flash Ultimate ganks, increasing your pressure in the mid and lategame. Usually I would not build this until very late into the game because I feel that you can put the 475 gold it costs to better use in the midgame.

Homeguard has its obvious uses as a means to defend your base. It is situational but I'm quite fond of it and build it in a lot of games. It allows you to get away with some positional mistakes in the mid-late game.

Core Items: shurelyas-reverie AND spirit-of-the-ancient-golem

You will always buy Shurelyas Reverie because it simply has amazing synergy with your Impale. Whether you build shurelyas-reverie or spirit-of-the-ancient-golem first depends a lot on the game. As a rule of thumb: Shurelya's gives more ganking presence, Spirit of the Ancient Golems better clear time and safety. If my lanes are struggling and I'm up against hard to gank enemies I'm likely to rush a Shurelya's Reverie because it allows me to alleviate pressure and herd my team into the midgame. Spirit of the Ancient Golem is a solid choice if you either want to farm the jungle like a machine or if your laners have reliable, solid CC abilities so you don't need the movement speed from Shurelya's to get into Impale range.

The main argument against Shurelya's is that it doesn't give you enough tankiness in the early game as opposed to SOTAG. However, the amazing thing about this item is that it allows you to Impale gank a lane without tower diving because you will reach them faster with the speed boost. Every time you have your Ultimate and Shurelya's up, you are able to expend an enemy's flash somewhere on the map. With SOTAG this is simply not possible.

With both of these items you are already tanky enough to dive towers to Impale them and drag them back. Depending on the needs of your team and the amount of gold you are getting you can opt for more tankiness locket-of-the-iron-solari (When magic damage is a problem) sunfire-cape (If you're fed and want to dive even harder) or phage (Sticking power) sheen (Raw damage) into trinity-force to become a true carry. If you are losing it can be difficult to get the money for a Trinity Force so then you should opt for tankiness in order to stay relevant.

Final Items:

Example of a plausible full build

Against heavy AP: boots-of-mobility shurelyas-reverie spirit-of-the-ancient-golem locket-of-the-iron-solari banshees-veil trinity-force

Against AD hypercarries: boots-of-mobility shurelyas-reverie spirit-of-the-ancient-golem trinity-force randuins-omen spirit-visage / sunfire-cape

Note: Don't build spirit-visage if you have locket-of-the-iron-solari because you will be CDR capped (Maximum is 40%) and a lot of it will be wasted)

trinity-force I used to not like Trinity Force on Skarner because I felt the Phage slow was overkill and the Zeal stats weren't optimal, but since the Phage patch I've completely changed my mind. The new Phage is amazing for Skarner because instead of an extra, unreliable slow you actually get a tool to stay in range of your target more easily. The flat Movement Speed on it also helps you tremendously and it retains its high damage potential from the Sheen. The cherry on top of the cake would be the reduced cost of the whole package which makes it easier to afford as a jungler when you're ahead. Currently the item is very strong and it works incredibly well for Skarner

guardian-angel I see this item mentioned in several guides as a defensive choice for Skarner. You will just keep slowing them all day because it makes you impossible to reliably kill. That is the exact problem with this item. You don't want the enemy to ignore you and go for high priority targets. Quite the contrary, you want them to blow all their cooldowns on you so your own carries can destroy the enemy team in relative safety. The aura by GA is the clearest invitation to not attack you in this game.

Maybe you could consider this item if you get a weird balls-to-the-wall, full offensive Wit's End/Hextech Gunblade/Triforce build, but in 99% of the games this item is damaging to your team. Especially since the nerf.

Jungle Route

In Season 3, neutral monsters will no longer follow the person who initially attacked it but rather fight the closest target. With this change, it is no longer possible to have your buffs leashed. This means that you'll either take a lot of damage and potentially die, or have your laners help out with the killing of the buff. For this reason, the jungle routes I use are different between the two starting sides. This has to do with the buff being in proximity to your bottom lane. By fighting the buff near the bottom lane first, you have a potential three people - mid lane, AD carry and support - to help you kill the buff. This way, the buff will die faster and it will even allow you a smiteless leash if necessary. Also, because the buff dies faster, your laners will lose fewer XP and farm by helping you out.

Purple Side:

You will start at Blue Buff most of the time. Acquire some help from your midlaner and bot lane on the first two camps. Make sure you don't have to smite the buff so you will have it ready for the Red Buff. You can either clear the wolves and wraiths between the buffs if you want to delay your top or mid gank or if you are afraid they will invade you (You get an extra level this way before you reach Red Buff). If you intend to countergank top, go straight for Red Buff after Blue. Generally you'll want to mostly farm the Wraiths and Wolves as opposed to the small golems. This is because Skarner's AoE damage is good, but his single target damage isn't, and the Golems will take longer to kill and deal more damage than the wolves do.

Sometimes you could opt to go to Small Golems after your Red Buff. You can do this when you can't win the 2v2 top or if you expect the enemy to delay as well. This will allow you to get level 4 before the gank which lets you almost certainly win an ensuing 2v2 fight. It can also be helpful to do if your top lane is struggling or he wants you to hold lane for him because you are in close proximity to help out.

Blue Side:

Make sure you get a smiteless pull on Red Buff. It's very important that you keep your Smite available for the Blue Buff. You can, once again, go straight for Blue Buff or choose to farm the camps in between. If you do, manage your mana carefully. Refrain from using your W at the Wraith camp to ensure you have enough mana to clear the Blue Buff quickly, and finish off the big creep of the Wolf and Wraith camp with autoattacks rather than Q. This should allow you to clear the camp relatively quickly without completely running out of mana.

You can also start Blue Buff at Blue Side if you only want to farm your jungle and won't gank after the first clear, or if you want to be unpredictable. However, you will be in an awful position to gank and are not able to sustain your top laner so I would usually not recommend this route.

Teamfighting

Skarner excels in the mid and late game teamfights. Early game, he is a bit limited by his lack of mobility and tankiness, but that's solved once he gets a few items (Most notably, Shurelya's) to mend these problems.

Early game: You will most likely want to focus on farming your own jungle and gank with Impale only. It's simply very hard to gank an enemy without it, so it's usually not worth the time. However, Skarner does excel in counterganking. This requires you to know jungle patterns from the enemy jungler and a bit of experience in what would be his best course of action. If you can manage it, try to be at a lane at the same time as the enemy jungler and countergank them. They will usually use all their gap closers to get close to your laner which makes it very easy for you to get your Crystal Slash slow off. Skarner's AoE damage is nothing to be laughed at early game, and you win most straight up 2v2 engages if your laner can dodge skillshots properly.



Mid Game: This is where you can start carrying your team properly. You should have your Shurelya's Reverie and Spirit of the Ancient Golem by now, so this is when you can start to gank enemies and chase them even under their tower. Your ultimate secures kills for your carries and gets them fed, and your Crystal Slash keeps them safe from enemy bruisers.

When attempting to towerdive a lane you need to take into account the following things:

  • Are my team members even or winning the lane? Are they healthy and do they have mana to help me take down the enemies?
  • Did the enemy expend vital snares/stuns earlier? (i.e. Morgana Q, Lux Q, Taric stun)
  • Is my own health high enough? Do I have flash at the ready?

Ideally, you only towerdive bottom lane in midgame when all of these things are applicable. Depending on how much you are ahead, you can go by ignoring one or multiple of these factors and still perform a successful gank.

With the new sightstone, it's very hard to catch the enemy botlane in their lane. Usually there is a ward at Dragon, lane and tribush. If your support can afford it, ask him to get a pink ward into the tribush (river gank) or lane brush (lane gank). In Solo Queue however, this is usually not done.

That doesn't mean you can't gank, but be prepared for them to see you and having to go very deep to even catch the carry. If your team has purple side, you have it a little easier. Approach the enemy botlane through their own jungle (past the back end of the dragon). Most Solo Queue supports don't ward the wraith entrance of their jungle and mid laners usually ward the top sidebrush so you should remain unseen.

Run straight through the tribush; the enemy botlane has spotted you by now. Luckily you have your Crystalline Exoskeleton and Shurelya's Reverie to catch their carry. If you can grab the enemy botlane outside of tower range (unlikely with good awareness from the enemy team) that would be perfect, but usually you have to engage under the tower to Impale their AD Carry. If the enemy botlane has a stun available, try to refrain from using Shurelya's until they have used it. you can net almost guaranteed kills this way. Also, don't hesitate to grab the (squishy) support instead if the carry is completely out of reach.

If your botlane needs time to push the tower or has to wait for cooldowns, you can opt to take the long route around the Small Golems and ward their Red Buff in the meanwhile. Coming up from their golems is the best way to gank because this is blind spot of the tribush ward. However, this method takes up a lot of time and is usually not recommended.

Towerdiving top is easier, as long as there is no ward at the baron pit (blue side) or tribush (purple side) so make sure your top laner keeps track of wards if you want to attempt it. Be mindful that you don't present the enemy top laner with a free escape by gap closing towards you (i.e. Lee Sin Q, Irelia Q). As you are tanky, you want to get the initial tower aggro so your top laner can stay under tower for as long as possible and do a lot of damage. If the enemy top laner runs past the tower, follow him there and kill him. If he stays under it, grab him to your side to prevent him from kiting your top laner under the turret.



Mid lane is extremely risky to towerdive in midgame and thus I would almost never recommend it. Mid generally have high burst AP champions with good Crowd Control, who can easily kill you if they manage to hit their CC on you under the tower. Also, you are very prone to counterganks by the enemy jungler due to the proximity of the mid lane to most jungle camps.

Late Game: Right now you have decided to build a certain path. Maybe you'll try to jump their hypercarry with Shurelyas and Flash to ensure they die early in the fight. Or perhaps you will defend your own carry against that scary Zed that had gotten so fed midgame. It's very hard for a guide to explain teamfighting, and most of it comes from experience, but there are a few general rules for Skarner: If your carry is strong, keep him safe. Keep the bruisers slowed with your Crystal Slash and peel the divers with your ultimate. You are tanky so they will generally not want to focus you. If you can bait them in using important abilities on you, DO SO. If Blitzcrank decides to grab you into their team then that's a godsend because you can now slow them all and grab their carry. Use this to your advantage and exploit mistakes made by the enemy, and you can decide teamfights in your favor.

Final Comments

I hope this guide has helped you to play Skarner, who is still the most fun and rewarding champion in the game in my opinion. Skarner is one of those champions that is easy to learn, but requires a lot of experience to master his teamfighting presence properly. If you learn to play him well you can carry yourself easily in solo queue. If you have any questions or comments about this guide, feel free to post below or contact me ingame under FlyingBroccoli.

Also, pretend you're playing with the Battlecast Skarner skin for 100% extra effectiveness. Come on Riot, you know we want it! At least I do. Does that count? Please?

Have fun and make sure they see you impalin'!

[http://th05.deviantart.net/fs71/PRE/i/2012/161/6/a/droid_skarner_by_vegacolors-d4zj44k.jpg]

Comments

August 13, 2013 - 07:40 AM #1

Nice guide though I think you really don't give fracture the 4 pointer it deserves. It's not spammable but really the heal works at level 4 and it's extra damage you might not have in a gank at range.

December 9, 2012 - 11:47 PM #2

Hi and thanks for the reply. Even though Nimble is really good for Skarner, I prefer to go for the defensive tree because you have to put a lot of points in sub-optimal masteries to get to Nimble. The choice right now is between the extra movement speed and 15% tenacity. If you do intend to spec into the utility tree, I wouldn't go for Awareness because you don't need the levels that much. I'd rather put an extra point in Mastermind and get some CDR from intelligence.

December 9, 2012 - 11:39 AM #3

What you think about using this masteries? http://imgur.com/QWg2G



The increased exp gain and movement speed for quick level 6 and Vampirism seems pretty good now that it affects both spell vamp and life steal!

December 9, 2012 - 11:32 AM #4

Hey dude, thanks for the guide, I was a little lost with the new S3 changes and your guide gave me a kick start.

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