IntroductionNote: This is not the full iTwigz' Skarner build. Just My adaptation of it. It's a general hybrid build. Half credit goes to iTwigz.
This build works extremely well on Skarner. Rather than focusing on Tankiness early on, Skarner has an innate ability to tank a bit that makes it viable to build him more damaging early on.
Then, as it come to late-end game, you have to become super tanky to be effective in team fights and poke wars.
However, Skarner will still need to be tanky late in the game as all his effectiveness comes out when he is in melee range.
What I see other Skarner Guides lacking is consistent movespeed. Movespeed does so much for Skarner, and don't beat it till you try it.
I don't like Skarner Jungle as Skarner doesn't have any good ganking potential until level 6, and even then, it is extremely hard to gank someone without Flash.
I do admit that Skarner is a pretty underpowered champion right now and lacks in almost all aspects, but he still has his uses.
Stick to these guidelines and find success in Skarner, as Triforceguy did.
MasteriesMost of Skarners damage will be magic damage, even with the build. Malady/Wits end combined with madreds gives you lots of Magic damage if you have the right positioning, movespeed, and slow, all of which Skarner has.
Magic penetration will just add on to that world of pain.
The utility tree is very important. The movespeed, exp gain, death timer reduction, and mana regen all stack on top of Skarner's role.
Improved Summoner Spells can help a lot too.
You can also use 0-9-21 masteries for pure lane sustainability
RunesAgain, they go very well with Skarner's role and the build. A balance of flats and per levels make Skarner tanky and strong throughout the game.
Magic Penetration Reds are also viable.
Alternative Runes if you don't want to use Clarity
Triforceguy prefers clarity so you can spam your spells and be effective in lane. Skarner has many mana problems throughout the game, and he will be ineffective without clarity, mana regen runes/masteries, blue buff, or mana items.
Flash helps you catch enemies off guard with Flash-Ult.
Is my personal preference though. It allows you to ambush enemies and works well with your ultimate to drag enemies into your team, then chase afterwards.
Other Useful Spells:
Kills damage and gives you a slow. Good for catching up to enemies. Can help you set up for your ultimate
More damage. Less healing. Will help assure kills
Teleport OP. Can let you do stealthy ganks.
Works very well with your ultimate. You can drag your target a much greater distance with your ultimate.
Basic attacks lower the cooldowns of Skarner's abilities by 1 second against champions and 0.5 seconds against non-champions.
Attack speed=more spells. Many people like to use Nashors tooth for this reason. CDR+Attack speed= Unlimited spell spam. Spell Spam=Damage, sustain, durability, and utility. The problem is, Skarner
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 20+(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
This ability seems good, but is very lackluster. The damage is not that great and the short range gives it little use. Really only useful for proccing Sheen, which is not useful in an attackspeed build, but useful in Hybrid.
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
Great for an attack speed bulid. Extra movespeed an attack speed allow you to stick on to enemies, especially if you have phage/Frozen Mallet. The problem is keeping your shield up so you keep the stats, making it less effective while tower diving, so keep that in mind when you try to tower dive.
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 abilty seems decent as well at first site, but is also lack-luster. The damage isn't very good and with the fairly long cooldown. The only good thing about this ability is that in lane, the healing can keep you well sustained.
Skarner suppresses an enemy champion for 1.5 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
This is basically a sure-shot blitzcrank pull/singed pull. Just with your movespeed, you will be
a constant threat with your ultimate up. You can scare the enemy by Popping your shield and running up to them. If they don't flee, you can just Ulti them and drag them as game into your team.
Max Fracture (E) first for maximum lane sustain and burst damage, both which are laning components. Laning phase usually from 1-7 or 9.
Max Crystalline Skeleton(W) next for speed and attack speed boost with the shield. Very useful in many situations.
Max Crystal Slash (Q) last. It is better to utilize his other spells early-mid game.
Get Impale (R) whenever possible.
1 Point in Crystal Slash at level 2 is useful for picking up Fracture Essences.
Item BuildsStarting Items are personal preference. These are the best choices on Skarner, depending on the team comps
You first Item should be either Wits End or Malady
Standard Item. Synergizes with his abilities.
If the enemy AP is fed. Magic resist is also good against magic heavy teams.
Note: You can build BOTH Wits End and Malady if needed.
The tanky and damage item choices are listed at the top of the guide. Personal Preference again. Each of the items has their purpose on Skarner. Don't absolutely neglect any of them:
Get this when the enemy AP is fed.
Movespeed, Mr, and regen are good against poke-wars. Skarner can't poke, but with force of nature and shield, he can soak up a lot of poke damage.
CDR, Armor, and attack speed debuff aura make this a must-have when facing a ranged carry head on. Mana is a plus.
Nice Slow and Hp bonus. Absolutely necessary for a full attack-speed build.
Good Item to follow up Malady. Provides more damage in all aspects.
+ Great Item combo for a hybrid DPS. Provide sustainability and great damage.
Good Item to shred HP from tanks.
Good Item to follow Malady. CDR, Attack Speed, and AP synergize with Skarner's passive and ability set. Get this if you're fed and max Claw Strike before you get this.
Good item that gives you a mix of AoE damage and durability.
Used to counter AD heavy teams.
Early GameSkarner has a rather weak laning and early-game capability. There isn't much that he can do until level 6. What you should resort to doing is Farming. Throw out a Fracture followed up by a Cyrstal Slash where Fracture hit to gain some healing. Activate to get some close-up harass or to block damage.
Focus on farming and not dying for the most part until level 6. Once you hit level 6, you pose the threat of Flash Ulting +. You can then gank other lanes.
Mid GameStaying in lane is probably the worst option you have. You only want to be in lane to clear it, or defend the tower. Then, whenever you have the chance, try to gank another lane, counter jungle, or roam.
And, of course, place necessary wards and gang up with your team for Dragon, invasions, and possibly a 15 minute baron.
Again, you can flash-ult over walls, making you a great threat when you are missing from lane.
Late GameBe the standard tanky-Dps. Clear lanes, stay with your team, be in the front of your team, let you carries farm, and look for opportunities to catch enemies. ALWAYS stay with your team, as you escape abilities aren't that good, and you are much better with them anyways. You need to be there when a team fight starts.
Team FightsTheres not that much to know about Skarner. He plays like a typical Tanky DPS.
Your main objective is to drag the enemy carry into your team so they can focus them. You may have at your disposal to help complete that objective.
After that, you want to place yourself in they enemy team's lines, doing as much damage and slow as you can. Spamming your abilites is a good idea here. =)
Final CommentsHave fun with Skarner. He is still a weak champion, but I hope that Riot will buff Skarner a bit later on.