IntroductionHi there ^_^. I'm CommanderShepard, an LoL player who has been playing for over 18 months. Since then I've been attracted to champions that inspire fear in others. Over the past I've picked up characters such as Kassadin (riot y u nerf), post-nerf Twitch, release Swain, and Nocturne. Now I'm happy to finally show the community at Solomid.net how I play Skarner.
The thing I noticed about Skarner is that everything he does is UGLY. Like he makes Urgot look like a sexayy angel. This guide will show you how to do UGLY things to the enemy team and make them turn into Skarner h8ters.
Enjoy the first guide on Solomid.net for Skarner, the Crystal Vanguard!
9/3/2011: 50,000 views! Thank you all for the likes and views! I still don't know why this isn't approved yet!
10/1/11: People playing Skarner these days seem to ruin the image of him. Hopefully I'll have a big overhaul of this guide soon with things that I learned. I hope people are still liking the guide, but if there's something lacking- I'm probably working on it right now.
10/18/11: Never been a better time to finalize my thoughts on Skarner after the buffs come in. Most significant buff will be the 15 mana per followed by the heal-on-kill for .
MasteriesI use the 9/0/21 mastery build because Skarner is heavily reliant on to land more of his . I'm sure that most of you have seen Skarner's use this combo to do something almost like a Blitz grab. It's amazingly effective and is possibly the most utility you can bring to your team.
I take AP/level over Crit because your ratios are pretty good and overall benefit you more over more Crit, even if you do build Attack Speed. Magic penetration is very important because most of your damage is from Empowered and from (which has completely underestimated damage)
The most of these are quite obvious, more regen over less death time because maximizing the two ranks of you put in early game is the key to surviving your lane, then winning it. Flash mastery combined with Presence of the Master makes for more Flash and Impale combos. More movespeed to Impale targets, and CDR for more Impales.
Runes9x Armor Pen reds: I've realized that Skarner simply does more auto attack damage and benefits more from these marks. Plus, 15 Armor Pen is, by the numbers, much more effective than 8.5 Magic Pen.
9x Armor yellows: This is where my friends say "but skarner uses so much mana, he needs mana regen runes". But if you start with the and only spam your spells when you are actually trying to kill them (with ganks or somebody backing you up like or ) Skarner's mana runs low on mana few and far between. So I get these runes to survive harassment when going to heal off of creeps with +.
9x Magic Resist blues/level: These are just to help you more late game beyond your Banshees.
3x Movespeed Quints: Combined with your build and masteries, this will help with the Impale and Flash combo to make STUPID UGLY KILLS
Ignite is because outside of 150 range you have no way to kill targets at a distance besides Fracture without . This combined with some ranks in Fracture will result in some fast, ugly, ranged kills.
Flash is because it's OP. Also,
Other Spells(that aren't as good huehuehuehue)
- Possible for more slows and for disabling carries but I think that picking up kills with a second ranged spell is more effective.
- Also possible, but you already have it built into your kit with .
- If they have lots of spammable stuns ( ) you can pick this up with confidence.
- If you have trouble with playing safely and end up taking lots of harass this is fine. Also if you are vs a strong laning enemy like who will get you to low healths fast which means more recalls.
and - Heal=+, Clarity= not spamming your spells every time they're up early game. is better than both.
- I hate jungle skarner.
- I wish more people picked this up but other spells are better :(
- Only if you're 2600 elo
- Only if you're Dyrus
Basic attacks lower the cooldowns of Skarner's abilities by 1 second against champions and 0.5 seconds against non-champions.
Probably one of my favorite passives in the game. That's because you can trollface.jpg when people are "WHATS CD ON ULT SKARNER" then you can say "oh liek 70 seconds" even though you ulted him thirty seconds ago. However, showing off your mad CDR isn't the only reason for this passive. It also gives your Q this UGLY cooldown with around 65% uptime. That means that you can permaslow the confused failure that you ulted a few times.
Overall, awesome passive. Allows for potential jungling, although his jungle still kinda sucks :(
Q: Crystal Slash
Skarner lashes out with his claws, dealing 20 / 35 / 50 / 65 / 80 (+30% of attack damage) physical damage to all nearby enemies and charging himself with Crystal Energy for 5 seconds. If he casts Crystal Slash again while empowered by Crystal Energy, he deals (0.4 per AP) bonus magic damage and slows all targets hit by 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45% for 2 seconds.
Cooldown 3.5 seconds
Cost 22 / 24 / 26 / 28 / 30 mana
As I just described, this skill would be SHINY OXYCLEAN SOCCER MOM CLEAN if Skarner didn't have the passive he did. Keep in mind that one is only empowered with Crystal Energy if he hits somebody with the intial . Sorry for anybody that wanted to Q in a bush to get the slow ready. That's OP.
W: Crystalline Exoskeleton
Skarner receives a shield of 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+60% of ability power) for up to 6 seconds. While the shield persists his 15 / 17 / 19 / 21 / 23% movement speed and 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50% attack speed are increased.
Cooldown 14 seconds
Cost 60 mana
This is probably one of the biggest ways that Riot screwed up with Skarner's design. See, if he wants to catch up to a target with Ult and Flash down, he has to use W. However, he can be kited by around three ranged auto attacks from a ranged DPS or one spell from a caster. This eliminates the movespeed boost and then you cannot chase anymore. Still a good skill in fights if for some reason you're not focused, but it's the cleanest spell that Skarner has. He needs real a gap closer, dammit!
Skarner summons a blast of crystalline energy which deals 80 / 120 / 160 / 200 / 240 (+70% of ability power) damage to enemies struck and marks them for 6 seconds. Any further damage dealt to marked targets by Skarner will allow him to consume the mark to heal himself for 30 / 45 / 60 / 75 / 90 (+30% of ability power). Subsequent marks consumed will heal for 50% of the last.
Cooldown 10 seconds
Cost 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 mana
This is your best harass spell, and also is what helps you win lanes besides cs and kills. I put two ranks in this but leave it alone until the end because Q's slow is priceless, but two ranks is enough for a good poke, last hitter, and heal. Follow it up with a Crystal Slash for a -like effect.
Skarner suppresses an enemy champion for 1.75 seconds and deals 100 / 150 / 200 (+50% of ability power) magic damage to it. During this time, Skarner can move freely and will drag his helpless victim around with him. When the effect ends, Skarner's target will be dealt 100 / 150 / 200 (+50% per ability power) additional damage.
Cooldown 110 / 100 / 90 seconds
Cost 100 / 125 / 150 mana
OH MY GOD. THIS SKILL IS UGLY. Over the full duration, its a 400 dmg nuke with a 1:1 AP ratio. Also combined with a good Flash, it gives your team kills that end in won games. If all your abilities are on cooldown, it's also a fine finisher because of it's fast damage. This ability is best in the passive metagame we are in now, where everybody uses Flash to get away. This can pull them into a deadly situation where they cannot flash over the wall.
Sadly, Rammus's taunt is better. Skarner's is cooler.
Skill OrderStarting off, I get a rank in . This prevents the temptation of spamming in a level 1 fight because that will DRAIN YOUR MANA IN SUCH AN UGLY WAY. Fracture limits your early mana usage until level 2. At level 3, I get another rank in Fracture, but this is my last one until I have nothing else to max.
Some people think that Shushei and his MAX E IMMMEEDIIIIATEELY style is the best way to skill Skarner. However, this deviates from Skarner's purpose: chasing. Shushei makes him this morbid poker that confuses me in every single way. By grabbing two early ranks in , you can still get a decent heal and poke, but not avoid points in Q when you get your .
Item BuildsI listed my favorite build for Skarner up on the top. I love this because it helps potential mana problems because of the extra mana and allows for an easy early Sheen. The faster you get Sheen, the faster you can do some UGLY damage. This goes into into Nashors for Attack Speed and then Banshees for survivability. If you're going this build, you have some options after. Here it is one more time:
My Favorite Build/DPS
Pros of my DPS build
- Use abilities more because of more attack speed
- Mobility is high
- Reaches max damage before other builds
- Emphasizes on snowballing
Cons of my DPS build
- Your W, E, and R are more for utility
- Shield isn't strong
- Depends on getting kills at levels 4-7
- Not alot of room for counter-building because of reliance
+->+->+ -> OR ->->->
Against magic damage:
Against physical damage:
If you want something more on the AP side, this is my current favorite one. This was created with the advice of a friend. You have stronger 's and 's, but you have slightly longer CD's because of less attack speed.
Pros of my AP build
- Stronger Poke and harass
- Stays longer in lane because of and
- W, E, and R have more power
Cons of my AP build
- All of your cooldowns are longer
- Your chasing power is limited because of low ranks and movespeed
- Mid game skirmishes aren't good
vs magic damage:
vs physical damage:
Current Experimental Build
I like this one for when I'm duoing bot in n00b normal games or when you just end up with low gold amounts. This one focuses on surviving early on so mid-game you can farm safer. I used it in my first Win replay down below. This is also an anti-mage build.
Pros of my CEB
- Has the most consistent lane sustainability
- Survives mid-game burst from casters
- Moderately short cooldowns because of early
- Can lane with a ranged AD carry bot while giving most CS to them
Cons of my CEB
- Latest blossoming damage potential
- More team reliant because of lower damage
- Slightly less effective if there's more Physical AD bursters like and
- Needs to get his items before their casters get farmed or fed
+->+->->->-> OR ->
vs magic damage: x2 into and
vs physical damaage:
Items ExplanationHere, I'm going to explain every important item in each build (except for you, my love is with ).
: Allows you to spam Q and allows you to get the item that boosts your DPS ridiculously (Sheen)
: Let's say you landed a kill at 6 and got firstblood, bought and went back to lane. At level 6, Skarner has 76 base damage, meaning that with , every auto attack after he can deal 152 physical damage. Woah.
: gtfo mundo even if you please to be here
: Combined with the slow from and that your auto attacks are already super effective this item just makes all the more sweet.
: Everything a little has ever wanted into one item.
: I have to say the best thing about this is it's the only item in LoL that has CDR with DPS offensive stats. Makes me love it so you can take full advantage of Trinity Force procs and your attack speed goes through the roof. Remember, attack speed=cdr=more = more DPS and .
: With you 9 MR/level glyphs, you have a very good amount of MR for vs the usual late game burst of , , etc.
: Allows you to spam everything and get a even faster.
: This so you can farm your ASAP for maximum dominance.
: Skarner needs Health, Mana, and in this build, AP. If you think about it, its almost like the stats for an AP-oriented . Very good item for Skarner.
: You can't read this guide without finding a few of these. Believe it or not, it's my favorite item for Skarner.
: I like the movepseed part if this the most, l0l. I think I get this because it's kind of like but it scales off AP, therefore fits my playstyle of IMMEDIATE PAINFUL UGLLLYY RAPE.
Current Experimental Build
: Well, I kinda like getting early Sheen so even if it's not my main build my best friend item could not miss out. <3 you forever .
: Even if you're duo laning bottom this item is still baller for setting up kills with your ranged DPS bot.
: If you don't give all CS to the , they're going to /rage at you so you need some form of bonus gold.
: Getting the early MR is so good vs. casters (2 magic damage dealers is usually the line for going this build). Not like you are going to get anytime soon.
: You can finally get some good offense while having a bonus +50 MR. Also the +42 extra damage is very good at complementing your spam.
: Finally our prized possession comes. Such an awesome item I couldn't even pass it up in an alternate build. Important: You need to get this after your or otherwise you'll be too squishy with your lack of gold.
Early GameSkarner's goal early game is to show who is the UGLIEST IN LANE
For lane recommendations, I would say that Duo lane is the best for him because he can have sombody amplify the damage and control that Skarner provides. If you feel like being high elo and let the supports and carries lane together, I really like the Mid lane as well. They are usually bursty casters there like and which can be easily denied by your consistent DPS.
Play safely until you have a rank in . Then you can start healing off of your 's to shrug of harass. When you hit 4, you have your speed boost from , start to harass the enemy a lot with . Combined with your , you can spam E with such speed that its UGLY the combined damage that it provides. When you hit six, an UGLY combo with Flash, , and some 's and finally , you can pick up some easy kills.
Mid GameGanking is the highlight of here, because you have your ult up and have some kills because Skarner's early game is freaking UGLY and DISGUSTING in terms of damage. Seriously, it's underestimated. Coordinate more + kills with teammates to start getting your gold for .
When you get , enemies that are DIRTY FROM YOUR INSANE UGLY DAMAGE probably picked up some HP and resistances. Thankfully, you can consistently slow now and Triforce proc with your is quite UGLY because Skarner is in the top three champions with the best base damages. When you are about to finish Nashors, big fights start to happen and you finally transition into
Team FightsI decided to put this and Late Game together because they are almost the same. Your plays such an important role here it's insanely UGLY how good it is for late game. It's like (a bit less effective) than a Blitz hook as it can guarantee an important kill on a high priority target like , , or. In the team fight, you want to try to fight their ranged carry in a 1v1 area away from the fight. Why? Because most of the time, you will win. Most people do not know the damage output of Skarner constantly doing 's.
When pushing, always spam so you get more procs for UGLY damage.
Also, I posted this reply in the comments on why jungle Skarner isn't the best idea.
"I don't like jungling because of the way that Skarner is right now in power. He's a very fun character, however there will always be a character better than him. If you pick lane Skarner, it's not all that bad because you can pick three moderately strong laners to make up for it. There can only be one jungler on a team though, so if you pick jungle Skarner, nobody can help that you're not a top pick for it. Nocturne, Udyr, and even Olaf are better junglers than him, and when I'm playing I'd rather not put my team at a disadvantage because I took the jungle from somebody that can handle it better.
I'm not saying that Skarner jungle is bad, I'm sure it's possible and his ganks are good. This is a lane Skarner guide, so I'm not trying to encourage any jungling except for mid-late game Blue buffs. Finally, his dependance on Blue Golem is almost worse than Fiddle, so as you move up in ranked soloq Skarner is more vulnerable to counter jungling because the character does require a perfect, clean jungle to reach those awesome level 6 ganks."
As of Mid-October, Skarner has been deemed by many the worst champion in LoL (this makes him look cleaner). Because of this, most people will think you should always jungle and not take the solo lane from somebody else who isn't the worst champ in the game. This isn't your fault, just be ready for this if you're solo queueing.
Here's Stonewall008's video on Jungle Skarner. When Locodoco posts a video of his Skarner jungle, I'll post that instead.
How to ImpaleYou get better at Impale by not playing Skarner
I'm completely serious.
You see, when you're playing as another champion, you know how fast they can run and when you should escape from a situation. For example, if you like to play , you judge when the best time to Arcane Shift away when somebody is coming to gank. You have to use this knowledge when you're playing Skarner to judge when Flash+Impale. I have played over 2300 games of LoL so I have a pretty good understanding of the champions, although I still have much to learn.
Also, you can use and when you are dragging the UGLY PIECE OF champion with . That means that you can do an extra ~150 damage during your ultimate, which is pretty significant IMO.
Here's some tips I use in-game with a friend. Obviously staged, but will help in a real game. This is practiced in my replays as well.
Normal game where I had to go a differing build because of team comp (always a good idea). Shows synergy with other champions along with some sweet kills. Our Jax was hella funny in chat too. 5/4/14
Because of their heavy magic team I got a Wit's End before my Triforce. Great fun and proves my theory of the "Learn Impale by not playing Skarner" theory with the Kassadin. Awesome pulls, kinda easy. 7/3/13
This one was really easy, most of it was killing Garen top. And people think that Garen is OP now, lol. Shows how much of an UGLY dick you can be to the other team when you're fed. 9/1/1
MOST POPULAR This one was actually kind of challenging lol. I ended up with an awesome score but my team helped a lot and my Impale was on a 20 second cooldown late game. Really fun, watch this if you want lots of kills. 24/3/13
My most aggressive game here, also probably the most intelligently played (except for the last minute) I didn't get a lot of the kills because of a godly Lee Sin, but I constantly went for the aggression. Tried a new build that I will be adding to the list of builds shortly. 10/1/5
I got ganked mid a bunch of times, plus our team comp was very weak so we couldn't emphasize on my Impales. Is it an honor to get owned by a Heimerdinger these days? 10/8/5
Probably not all that interesting, more like showing how effective a Morde is who decides to buy a gunblade. 4/8/4
Will add more as I play more games with Skarner that will enhance my student's learning :D
However, if you want some live experience, add me in-game and I'll hopefully play a game with you. Skype is optimal for maximum tutoring.
Features coming in the Future
- Finally expanding on the Early, Middle, and Team Fight sections, videos perhaps
- LoL Replays of close games
- Some more staged plays of Impales on running champions or champions with escapes
- A jungle build with runes and masteries for insistent people
- Hopefully made into an Approved guide! Any day now, guide moderators...
Final CommentsI hope you enjoyed reading this guide, it's my first one on Solomid.net. I just wanted to write this to teach a friend how to play Skarner, hopefully more people will enjoy it than just one though. Skarner is underestemated in-game which is why people are calling for buffs. I want people to read this guide and laugh that the bads need "buffs" to help play Skarner. I for one am glad that he's getting improved (even if he doesnt need it ;D), maybe people will stop going "eww skarner what a bad pick" to "ban skarner plz"
Thank you for your time, now go out there and play some Crystal Vanguard!