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All Guides Skarner Guides Best Skarner NA - A Wild Drapion Appeared!
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1 year ago
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Skarner Statistics for MrStingYoGirl

Author's performance with Skarner compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
10
5
Win %
40
42
Kills
2.4
4.3
Assists
6.7
8.7
Deaths
4.7
5.7
KA:D Ratio
1.9
2.3
Gold Earned
9.5K
10.9K
Creep Score
74.8
59.8
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

Flash - Necessary spell since you don't have a built in gapcloser. It's also just the best summoner in the game. I've seen people take ghost on Skarner, but this is a mistake unless you're going top with flash/ghost because Skarner has movespeed buffs in his kit (which is what ghost provides) whereas he does not have the utility of an instant reposition (which is what flash provides). I mainly use flash for flash-ulting people, and often times let myself die with flash up, because having it up for the next teamfight can mean several kills/objectives if I instantly ult a carry.


Smite - You're jungling. You want a jungle item. You take smite. 

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

Masteries in season 7 are much more binary. Courage of the Colossus is far and away the best mastery for Skarner, providing you with huge tankiness on a flash engage, and great dueling power with your stun. You can take Fervor of Battle for damage if your team really doesn't need you as a tank.


Cinderhulk and Bloodrazor should run Courage unless your team has 2 other main tanks, in which case Fervor is preferred. Echoes and Warrior builds should always run Courage regardless of team composition.

I take Ferocity tree for Battle Trance mainly, which gives Skarner a large increase in power throughout the course of an extended fight, which is exactly what Skarner excels in. Expose Weakness is for the increased ganking and ult potential, Vampirism for jungle sustain, and Fury for clear speed.

When running Fervor, I invest secondarily into Resolve for the shield strength, which is very good on Skarner considering his shield uptime and strength. I use Insight for more frequent flash ults, and Swiftness to avoid being kited.

Here are the full mastery pages: 

Courage:

Skarner Colossus.jpg


Fervor:

Skarner Fervor.jpg

Abilities Back to Top

Q
W
E
E
E
R
E
W
E
W
R
W
W
Q
Q
R
Q
Q
Passive
Q
1
14
15
17
18
W
2
8
10
12
13
E
3
4
5
7
9
R
6
11
16

An early point in Q allows you to get the HP drain passive of Hunter's Talisman off constantly, W second gives you a healthier early clear, and E allows you to gank at level 3.


I max E because it does the most consistent damage (surprise!) out of all of Skarner's skills and also provides the most reliable cc. The increased slow at later ranks also makes for better ganks. Its cooldown also goes down by a good amount, which in combination with its inherent cooldown-reducing effect, lets you combo multiple stuns in a teamfight if you position them correctly.

W is second because it provides most of Skarner's tankiness, as well as letting him move around the map mid-game.

Q is last because honestly the skill doesn't provide much unless you build AD. It gives a little bit of damage in fights, but your items and E will provide a lot more.

If you build AD items like Black Cleaver and Warrior enchantment, you should max Q. 

Q's damage comes from your AD, whereas E's damage is mostly base damage. If you're building AD, maxing Q will provide much more damage in fights, and you probably won't survive long enough to make use of multiple E's anyways.

Passive - Crystal Spires skarnerpassive.png

You thought dominion was gone? Think Again. These things provide you with a huge movespeed and attack speed boost, which are helpful for a lot of things.

In the early game, your spires help you clear very quickly and without losing any mana. Additionally, capturing the river spires gives you some easy, uncontested scuttlecrabs. Here's a tip: on your first clear, aggro gromp then walk into your spire range, he will follow you and you can fight him while within your spire.

When the enemy jungler ganks, it is very easy for Skarner to capture the spires in their jungle, allowing you to counterjungle quickly, as well as escape easily if the enemy team shows up.

Later in the game, the river spires make skarner an absolute wrecking ball when fighting at dragon or baron, so secure them whenever you can.

Q - Crystal Slash skarnervirulentslash.png

Skarner's main source of damage for AD-focused builds. It has a respectable AD scaling with an AoE damage effect, and you can use it many times in a row if you land a stun because of the attack speed increase. If you're building flat AD items like Cleaver and Warrior, this is the skill you want to max first. 

If you build tank items, this skill has almost no use outside of activating Sheen. Make sure to keep track of your sheen item's cooldown so you can use this spell at the right time to give you constant Sheen procs.

In the jungle, Q will apply Hunter's Talisman to every monster in the camps, keeping your health topped off, but in teamfights and skirmishes it provides relatively little damage.

W - Crystalline Exoskeleton skarnerexoskeleton.png

At 40% CDR this ability provides a perpetual shield and MS boost. Scaling with your max HP, it starts to become very hard to crack once you have a couple tank items, and overall will absorb a ton of damage in teamfights. Use this when sieging to absorb poke for your team and when chasing for a handy MS boost. The move speed increases over time so activate it about a second early before going in for a gank.

E - Fracture skarnerfracture.png

Skarner's most important basic ability. On the surface, it provides a slow for chasing and a conditional stun for peeling and catching carries in teamfights. However, it also provides you with your passive's movespeed and attack speed boost for a very short amount of time. It also resets its cooldown by one second for each champion you stun and two seconds when you ult. This means that in teamfights, you can chain your stuns and ults together (aided by the massive MS boost you receive from it) to greatly reduce and sometimes completely reset your E's cooldown. When escaping from melees, shoot it behind you to slow them, then stun them for the move speed to get away.

R - Impale skarnerimpale.png

This ability is what defines Skarner. The deadliest CC in the game, landing it on a squishy or a bruiser means their certain death if they have no QSS. I could write an entire guide on how to use this ult, so I included a separate section for it below.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Always buy talisman for the HP drain

Core Items

    My default Cinderhulk build
    My default Runic Echoes build
    My default Warrior build
    My default Bloodrazor build

Situational Items

    Damage items!
    Armor Items!
    MR Items!
    This champion can basically build anything
Skarner can build a ton of items, but usually I try to itemize based on how fed I am and what threats the enemy team has. If I'm fed, I'll go for an early Titanic Hydra or maybe swap Iceborn for Trinity Force. If they have a lot of AD's, I'll skip my locket and maybe buy a Thornmail. If they have 4 AP, I'll rush a locket and get Iceborn later or not at all.

Skarner can build any of the jungle enchants, but my most common by far is cinderhulk. I'll go over the strengths and weaknesses of each one, then talk about the other items skarner can build.

Cinderhulk 1401.png

Provides good early tankiness, but you don't have very much damage with this build until you complete titanic. I tend to think of Skarner functioning the best as a tank, so this is my default build. If you want to get a little more damage early because you're snowballing, you can always rush titanic or get Triforce over Iceborn. I build Stalker's Blade so I won't be kited as easily.

Warrior 1412.png 1400.png

Provides high damage early and mid-game, but is probably the least tanky of all skarner builds. I've been experimenting with warrior recently, and actually like it for snowballing. If you pick up a few early kills, build this and start invading, you can burst the enemy jungler down very quickly in a spire

Bloodrazor 1419.png

This is only good if you get very far ahead early, I only ever build bloodrazor into titanic hydra into triforce into full tank. If you're looking to hardcarry a game's damage, this is the build to go, but it takes a ton of gold, so if you're not ahead by 5 kills don't even try to start building it.


Runic Echoes1414.png

Provides a very fast and fairly tanky build suited to splitpushing, counterjungling, and getting picks. Doesn't provide much in teamfights and so it's hard to pull off without a lot of strategizing. I build Skirmisher's Sabre for the dueling power and also because the build has enough movespeed that I don't feel the need for more mobility.


Boots: 

3009.png My go-to Skarner boots. Helps you not get kited, great for ganking early on, and gives you a more map presence than other options.

3158.png I build these when my build is otherwise lacking in CDR, which I think is a very important stat on Skarner jungle. Generally, build these if you won't have at least 20% CDR by your fourth item.

3111.png I build these when my build is too squishy, because I don't want to get stunned/snared and blown up before I can even put out any damage.

3047.png These boots recently got buffed, and I think they're a very good option against auto-attack heavy compositions. I'd suggest these against 3 or more autoattack champions.

Sheen Items:

3078.png This item is super OP this patch, buy it every game unless you're behind vs. 4 AD. 20% CDR is simply too good, and all the components are good standalone items.

3025.png Provides tankiness and some CC in teamfights. I build this when the enemy team has 3 AD, or when I feel that I don't need as much damage. I'm starting to lean towards Trinity Force more recently since then nerf.

Damage Items: 

3748.png This item isn't as useful now with the base AD nerf, but it's still (in my opinion) one of the best damage options for Skarner, since it scales into lategame like he does. Nowadays I rarely rush this playing top, because I think sheen items provide more early damage.

3053.png Synergizes with Sheen items and also Titanic, so it's a good option for a last item. I sometimes build this if I feel I'm too squishy but need to start teamfighting soon.

3071.png Provides very useful CDR and a nice armor shred for your teammates whenever you hit Q. However, I feel that it's not quite tanky enough for most builds, and often I don't need all the CDR.

3156.png I actually really like this item, especially against 3AP or AP junglers. The passive gives you a lot of hidden power, and the stats are pretty well suited to Skarner, besides the lack of health.

3022.png Good for chasing people down, and the stats are nice, but I feel that it's outshined by its hydra counterpart most of the time.

3124.png3091.png These are items that I wouldn't really build without devourer, but they can be strong if your team's really lacking in damage.

Armor Items: 

3068.png The best option unless you already have cinderhulk, in which case it's superfluous.

3742.png Another good default option, providing you with chasing power and a bit of damage.

3056.png The stats of this item all are very good for Skarner, and the active is great for surprise towerdives with your ult. However, Dead Man's and Sunfire (and even Randuin's) provide much more survivability.

3110.png CDR and Armor are great, but I hardly ever build this because it provides nothing for Titanic and I feel that mana is a somewhat wasted stat on Skarner, especially since you already have a sheen item.

3143.png This item is okay, but tends to take a backseat to the other HP/AR options (Sunfire, DMP). Its passive is good against auto attack champion, but I'd rather have thornmail against them anyways.

3075.png I usually build this if the enemy team has 2 or more Auto-reliant champions and at least 3 AD champions. Very situational, but can help you greatly when you're getting kited eternally by 3 ADC's. Also fuck yi.

Magic Resist Items:

3190.png CDR, Tankiness for your teammates, HP, MR. If nobody else on your team is buying locket, you should buy a locket.

3065.png If your support is getting locket, this is the next best thing. Provides the same stat combination but doesn't give you utility for your team.

3102.png If you don't need CDR (which is rare), this is your MR item of choice.

3060.png An alternative to locket if you really need damage or sieging power, but ZZ'rot is usually better for the latter.

Oh Boy

3512.png This item is excellent for splitpushing and sieging towers, especially since Skarner tends to build a lot of HP anyways. I build this 6th item pretty often to secure those pesky inhibitor towers lategame.

3083.png This item is good if you don't feel the need for siege equipment but also want mixed resistances.

3026.png A very good item if you're building less tanky and need an early cover-all defensive item. Lets you play aggressively and draws focus away from you, which is very good for the warrior build. For the cinderhulk build this item is inferior to ZZ'rot almost 100% of the time.

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Aatrox
    Medium
  • Amumu
    Easy
  • Diana
    Easy
  • Dr. Mundo
    Easy
  • Ekko
    Medium
  • Elise
    Medium
  • Evelynn
    Easy
  • Fiddlesticks
    Hard
  • Fizz
    Medium
  • Gragas
    Easy
  • Graves
    Easy
  • Jax
    Medium
  • Kindred
    Easy
  • Lee Sin
    Medium
  • Master Yi
    Easy
  • Nidalee
    Easy
  • Nunu
    Easy
  • Olaf
    Medium
  • Pantheon
    Easy
  • Rammus
    Medium
  • Rek'Sai
    Easy
  • Rengar
    Medium
  • Shaco
    Easy
  • Shyvana
    Easy
  • Trundle
    Hard
  • Udyr
    Medium
  • Vi
    Easy
  • Volibear
    Medium
  • Warwick
    Easy
  • Wukong
    Medium
  • Xin Zhao
    Medium
  • Zac
    Hard

VS

Aatrox

Medium

This guy has an extremely healthy jungle clear and strong duels all game, but you can kite him forever in teamfights. Don't try to skirmish with him early, or you'll end up dead. Mid-game he tends to jump into your team, making him an easy ult target, but once he gets tankier you only really want to use your ult to pull him off a carry if they're in danger. Don't try to countergank this guy, just go after his jungle instead.

VS

Amumu

Easy
 Skarner is the reason Amumu cries. Start at your red and immediately invade his, most of the time you can take it and sometimes even kill him. Take the spires in his jungle, leave wards everywhere, take all his camps, kill him when he shows up. Look out for his laners coming to help him, but most of the time you can escape if you have an active spire. Amumu starts to be more useful than you in teamfights once he hits 6, but later on his damage will fall of while yours won't. You can set him behind enough that it shouldn't matter anyways.

VS

Diana

Easy

She's a semi-squishy champion that jumps into your team, so just ult her. This matchup is fairly straightforward, but don't try to duel her early on or you'll get destroyed. She won't gank pre-6 (most likely), so try to clear as fast as possible so you can countergank her when she hits 6. The best way to do this is to bait a dive, but you can usually 2v2 her anyways with all your cc. Lategame she's a very easy ult target.

VS

Dr. Mundo

Easy

Mundo is easy to kill early game, and has very weak ganks, so you can outpressure him really hard early on. Once he starts getting tankier he's unkillable, but you can just kite him next to your carries. He's a good invade target since the jungle takes a lot of health out of him. Once he hits 6, you can't kill him on invades, but you can still counterjungle him.

VS

Ekko

Medium

Another squishy champ who jumps into your team, but this guy has an ult to get back out. Once you hit about 20 minutes, your team can one shot him while he's in your ult. Just be careful of his W, and don't try to countergank him early. His jungle clear is fairly slow early so counterjungling is your friend. If he catches you, don't bother chasing him; he's too slippery. Just try to scare him off, take a camp, then leave.

VS

Elise

Medium

This matchup is very hard early game, but then you buy magic resist and suddenly she does absolutely nothing to you. Don't try to countergank her early, but mid-game she's pretty squishy so you can ult her when she engages. Try to intercept her cocoons for your teammates, they don't bother you nearly as much as they do your ADC. Late in the game her damage falls off significantly and you can absorb all her poke with a single W.

VS

Evelynn

Easy

By the time your ult doesn't mean her death, she's already fallen off. I hardly ever see this champion (probably because of her stealth 119.png) but when I do I usually don't have much trouble. She does a lot of damage early so don't try to countergank her. 

VS

Fiddlesticks

Hard

This matchup is very hard because ulting him does almost nothing for you once he's ulted in. Early game is the only time you can win this matchup, so invade his jungle, countergank him when you can, and ward absolutely everything. Save your E to interrupt his drain and drag him into your teammates, he's very squishy. Remember to ward over any walls that fiddlesticks may be lurking behind to avoid his ult. If he starts channeling ult from the backline in a lategame teamfight, it's absolutely worth a flash-ult to interrupt it and get him killed. 

VS

Fizz

Medium

This champion is annoying early and mid-game, but he falls off so you just have to make sure he doesn't snowball. His clear isn't very fast so you can counterjungle him when he ganks. He's better than you in skirmishes but worse in teamfights, so try to force early dragons and heralds. Mid-game, if he lands ult on you, he can still easily kill you, so try to get away and re-engage after the debuff ends. If he lands ult on a teammate, stand nearby them and ult him when he goes in.

VS

Gragas

Easy

If he builds full AP, just ult him when he body slams anyone and he'll die. If he builds tank, help your team kite him. Be careful ulting near him because he might just ult you back into his team. You can countergank him early game, so leave wards in his jungle and try to catch him overextending for a kill. 

VS

Graves

Easy

Has a very strong early clear, but doesn't gank or teamfight nearly as well as you. He's very short range and can be ulted mid-game for easy kills. He has very strong dragon and herald solo's so take the scuttles whenever you can. Once he starts getting tank items, he's no longer a good ult target, but in teamfights you can still sit in front of him and body-block his autos. Kite him with stuns and slows as much as you can as well. Remember that he can always outduel you, so don't try to 1v1 him unless you're at least 1 full item ahead.

VS

Jax

Medium

Lategame this champion is a nightmare, but he tends to build 2 or 3 damage items as a jungler so he's a prime ult target unless he's fed or it's fairly late in the game. Invade him when you can and secure dragons/scuttles. Be careful of his E as it will dodge the stun from your E. In late teamfights, try not to ult him when he has his ult active, but sometimes it may be necessary if he jumps on a carry and isn't peeled by another teammate.

VS

Kindred

Easy

Kindred kites you really hard early game, but she falls off later on and if she ults to save someone you can just pull them out of it. Oops. Don't try to countergank her until level 6, but after that go ham. In teamfights, don't bother chasing her as you'll get kited. Instead focus on peeling for your carries, and if she tries to jump closer to you, grab her for her mistake.


Another thing about this matchup is that Skarner can deny Kindred's jungle stacks very easily. Your clear speed and jungle movement speed is high enough to easily take the marked camps whenever they appear. She can try to duel you, but fighting Skarner in his jungle (i.e. in his spires) is a death sentence, even early game, as long as you hit your stun on her.

VS

Lee Sin

Medium

He has strong early ganks and a healthy early clear, but is terrible against you in teamfights and you can 2v2 him once you hit level 9. Ward his jungle and your lanes, because he'll likely play very aggressive early. Be careful of ulting his teammates if he's behind you, as he may just kick you back into them. He has a lot of mobility, so wait by your carry and stun him when he jumps them.

VS

Master Yi

Easy

Kind of annoying because this guy buys QSS anyways most of the time. Before he has it, this is the easiest matchup in the world, just ult him in your team and he’s dead. His early clear is pretty bad so I usually invade him at his red like amumu. No longer very much of a lategame threat without devourer, you beat him at every stage of the game except three items now.

VS

Nidalee

Easy

She'll poke forever, but you can shield it all, and if she tries to jump in for an execute, you can ult her and kill her. You can easily countergank and invade her early, so don't forget to ward her jungle. Nidalee really likes to dive, so keep your lanes warded and try to be near them if they drop below 50% health, as she'll likely look to dive.

VS

Nunu

Easy

If he tries to invade your jungle, you can chase him in your spires so he'll usually die. You have way better ganks, just be careful of him sneaking dragons. Nunu doesn't have much damage outside of his ult, which can be cancelled with an E-auto, so after he uses it you can just ignore him and focus on the more threatening frontliners.

VS

Olaf

Medium

Olaf has been gaining traction this patch, and his playstyle as a tank is sort of a polar opposite to Skarner in which he ganks aggressively early and tries to get a lead but falls off very badly lategame. This makes the matchup very polarizing, because if Olaf secures a lead there is nothing Skarner can do to stop him from killing carries in the mid-game, but if Olaf fails to get ahead, Skarner outscales him very badly. 


My advice in this matchup is to focus more on counterganking than counterjungling: securing a lead over Olaf is not important, as long as you can stop him from influencing the game to heavily early you will handily outscale him.

VS

Pantheon

Easy

This guy has a lot of map presence and can outduel you pretty easily early game, but he falls off really hard, and isn't that tanky, so in teamfights, you can ult him whenever he jumps on your teammates. His passive shield will block your E stun proc, so if he has it up, you need to auto him once before applying E. This becomes very easy once you have Titanic Hydra, as you can Auto-E-Titanic Active for a quick stun and burst of damag.e

VS

Rammus

Medium

You do mixed damage so it's hard for rammus to itemize against you, but he's great at peeling you off his carries. Early game you can counterjungle/invade him very easily, but don't try to kill him or you'll find his teammates showing up before you can get through his shell. Pre-6 he's an easy countergank, after that he does a surprising amount of damage though, so don't fight him unless you have some MR.

VS

Rek'Sai

Easy

Rek'sai is easily kited, and Skarner is great at helping people kite. Early on she outdamages you so go for counterjungling and objectives over ganks. Once you're 6, if she's not immediately building tank, she's an easy kill.

VS

Rengar

Medium

If he ults and your team doesn't have a pink, your carry's already dead, but so is he once he appears and you ult him. Later on when your carry has Sterak's/GA, him jumping you means a 4v5 teamfight. Very weak jungle clear, invade him whenever you want. He can skirmish against you pretty well, but once you get enough armor to live through his combo, he won't be doing much to you.

VS

Shaco

Easy

You're too tanky for him to kill you in your jungle, and you outduel him at every stage of the game. Overall a bad matchup for him, just be careful of ulting his clone. If he goes full tank, kite him with your team. If he goes damage, ult him when he jumps towards you. He's very squishy early and if you can guess where he's ganking, you can show up and stun him for a kill. Often times he doesn't bring flash either, and uses his Q to engage, so don't be afraid to flash onto him for a quick stun if your laner has the early damage.

VS

Shyvana

Easy
Very strong in a duel, don’t 1v1 her. Without devourer she's not as strong lategame so you can easily outgank her early then outscale her late. She has weaker ganks than you at most stages of the game so leave wards in her jungle and gank her lanes when she’s farming. Becomes very tanky later on, but has one gapcloser and no CC so she's fairly easy to kite.

VS

Trundle

Hard

You hate tankbusters and sustain champs, Trundle is both. He clears fast, outduels you, and you can't countergank him. You have better CC, so force ganks super hard once you have your ult, because this guy wrecks you if you're not far ahead. I'd consider trundle the only true "counter" to Skarner.

VS

Udyr

Medium

 This matchup is rarely seen nowadays since udyr has fallen out of favor but is still fairly hard. He outpressures you early, then outduels you later on. However, you're more useful than him in midgame and lategame teamfights. Try to focus on saving your lanes from his aggressive plays to stop him from getting ahead, and especially try to catch him on dives. 

VS

Vi

Easy

You're a tankier, higher-damage version of this champ with better CC and less mobility. You can countergank her and duel her early, but after a few damage items she starts to outfight you. Help your team kite her mid and late-game. Remember that your E proc can cancel her Q for a couple seconds, so use it to mess up her engages and escapes whenever you can.

VS

Volibear

Medium

This guy’s super tanky early game so don’t try to 2v2 or 1v1 him. His clear is not the best so you can counterjungle him whenever he ganks. Ward his jungle and take scuttles to keep your lanes safe, if he snowballs it’s over. You have a much stronger lategame, so gank his lanes when he’s farming and wait to outscale. If he Q's towards you, E him and stun him, then go after his carries while he ineffectively autos your bruisers.

VS

Warwick

Easy
Just like xin, warwick isn’t very tanky early on, so you can kill him fairly easily in teamfights. You have more hard cc than him so countergank him when you can. Lategame you can kite him forever with your carries. Remember that he can always 1v1 you, so don't try to duel him no matter how ahead you may think you are. Just focus on counterganking and clearing faster than him.

VS

Wukong

Medium

Wu has a weak, slow early clear that you can take advantage of, but his teamfighting is quite strong. Try to ult him and keep him out of range of your carries if he jumps in. If he's already ulted, don't pull him into your team. One trick Wukongs will often do is E into you then immediately W in hopes that you will pull their clone. Input buffer your ult when he's nearby to avoid this (target him with your ult from outside ult range so that when he enters ult range with E you'll immediately nab him).

VS

Xin Zhao

Medium
This is a fairly easy matchup. You can’t 1v1 him, but you can countergank him once you’re level 6 and before he gets several tank items you can just ult him when he jumps into your team and blow him up. Even lategame, if he has two or three damage items, ulting him in your team means his death. If he builds full AD and buys QSS, he'll probably die after jumping into 5 people anyways.

VS

Zac

Hard

This guy's dueling power is pretty strong early on, so you have to be careful when counterganking him. His CC is also a whole lot more reliable. Later on in the game, he has strong initiation, but he doesn't provide much peel for his carries so it's easy to walk past him and kill them. In lategame teamfights you outdamage him by a ton, but if he lands a good initiation it may not matter. Try to keep flank wards active to dissuade his engages.

When to Ult, and Who Back to Top

Skarner ult has many uses, but a fairly long cooldown, so one of the most important aspects of playing skarner is making good choices around its use.


Don't tunnel vision on the enemy carries and get kited by their team trying to get an ult off. Instead peel for your teammates and wait for one of the enemies to fall out of position, then ult them away from their team. When anyone other than a full tank is caught out, ulting them will mean their death. A shyv with titanic hydra, devourer, and sunfire will still die in two seconds to five-man focus if you separate her from her entire team. 

The best, easiest ults will be on enemy assassins and bruisers, as they will try to dive onto your carries and present an easy target. Once the assassin has used their burst, however, there's no point of ulting them, so you need to be near your carries when the enemy assassin is trying to get into position to jump them. Bruisers are slower in their damage, but also tankier. However, they often will overchase, so if they extend a bit too far you can drag them away from their team and get them killed.

If the enemy has a fed carry, flash ult them to initiate. It doesn't matter if the ahri has 10 kills, 2 seconds in your ult and she's useless. And dead. Be careful for QSS before doing this or else you'll look and feel stupid

I'm very liberal with my flash-ults, and will flash onto a QSS-less carry in a heartbeat if they come too close to me. I like to land my E first sometimes to guarantee a stun after, but usually the ult enough is to get them killed. However, you always need to make sure that the person you're flash ulting is the enemy team's biggest threat, otherwise your effort is wasted. If their biggest threat is a tank or a bruiser, you're better off using your ult to drag them off your teammates.

When you're taking dragon or baron, the enemy jungler can't smite while suppressed. If you're going for the steal or they're going for the steal, just ult them and you can guarantee your smite will come out on top. This is especially useful mid-early-game because the new dragons can really swing the game early on.

Skarner ult will interrupt dashes. If the trist is jumping away, just ult her back. However you can't interrupt blinks like Ezreal E or Shaco Q.

Trying to get a pick? Smite raptors and run around everywhere. Once you find a ward, clear it and sit in the bush. Someone will come by to re-ward it, which is the perfect chance for an ult catch.

Jungle Routes Back to Top

I usually start at whatever side of the map my bot lane is on, but if I'm against a weak jungler I'll start blue and if I'm against a strong jungler I'll start red generally. I try not to clear Krugs (since they're quite a timesink) until I have some items or if there's really nothing to do.


Blue Side Start

Start at your Blue. If you're against a weak early jungler like Rengar, Kha, Amumu, walk directly to their red and contest it. If you're against an early pressure jungler like Lee, Jarvan, Volibear, walk directly to your red and contest it (they can't catch you in spire and your team will be able to get their faster). Otherwise go to gromp. I tend to aggro gromp, then walk away from him so that he'll follow me into my spire range. If you sit at the edge of your spire, he won't reset. I smite gromp, take blue, wolves, raptors, then smite red and move onto clearing scuttlecrabs and looking for a countergank/counterjungle opportunity. If none present themselves I'll take both scuttles, leave a ward in their jungle, and try to gank a lane before returning to clear more.

Red Side Start

Start at your red. Smite your red (don't bother smiting krugs), then smite raptors as well and try to gank top or mid. Usually people aren't prepared for the early gank and you can usually burn a flash/get a kill. Afterwards, take top scuttlecrab then clear your wolves, blue, and gromp (you can smite gromp if you want).

Stages of the Game Back to Top

Early Game

This is where Skarner struggles the most. You can countergank pre-6 if they have a really weak early game jungler, but usually when you want to focus on farming. Take the scuttlecrabs, ward the enemy jungler, counterjungle when they attempt to gank. Once you hit level 6, start ganking whenever your ult's off cooldown and try to secure some early dragons.

 At this point you should have a jungle items, boots, and a sheen.

Mid Game

Mid-Game teamfights are a prime time for flash-ult initiations and picks. Don't be afraid to go really hard for kills, forcing a 4v5 teamfight at this stage will usually win you the game. Keep focused on Baron and Dragon, because Skarner has very strong control of these objectives. Towers are pretty hard for you to siege, especially without ult, so focus more on warding up and catching people out of position before going for dives and sieges. 

In teamfights, skarner has two different roles: kiting and catching. Most of the time, you want to sit next to your carries, stunning anyone who comes near with your E, and helping them heap damage onto the enemy frontline. Once you catch a carry with your stun, though, try to nab them with your ult and you can clean up the fight. Alternatively, you can engage with a catch on a carry, and get an easy objective.

At this point, you should start itemizing either damage or tankiness, depending on what your team needs.

Late Game

Once you have 5 items, you start being extremely strong. At this point, teamfights are what you want, so force objectives and control your minion waves until you can start a fight. A lot of carries will have QSS by this point, so be sure not to waste your ult. However, your carries will also be strong enough to really dent bruisers at this point, so you can start ulting them when they jump into your team and mopping up skirmishes. 

Now that the death timers are nice and long, a pick on anyone short of a support will mean an inhibitor or baron, so ward everywhere you can and don't be afraid to flash into people.

Warding Guide Back to Top

Here's a map of where I tend to ward. This is based on being on Blue side, and is reversed if I'm on Red side. The wards are ordered in order of importance. I never pink mid because it's too hard to deny vision on both sides; to deny mid vision I just smite wraiths and run around it.

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Green Wards

1. I ward here if I think they'll invade my Blue

2. I ward here if I think they'll invade my Red.

3. Warding here lets you keep track of their jungler on their way to top or mid so you can plan ganks accordingly. You can also pink the bush next to this spot, as people sometimes ward around here.

4. Warding here isn't as helpful as warding at 3 but can still provide some vision of their jungler, and is safer than warding at 7.

5. I ward here if I'm stealing their red and think they're still in blue side jungle.

6. I ward here if I'm stealing their red and think they went back.

7. I ward here if I'm stealing their blue.

Pink Wards

A. A pink ward for dragon. Bot lane also likes to ward here, so you can often find a couple greens laying around no matter when you pink it. My go-to pink warding spot, as it provides a lot of control over the most important area of the game early on.

B. A pink ward for baron. This is the easiest place to control vision later in the game.

C. A standard pink ward for ganking top.

D. A standard pink ward for ganking bot, but often bot lane wards more towards dragon so you have to come through tri if you have this pinked.

E. I like this pink ward because it leaves a lasting ward in an area where the enemy jungler likes to gank, and can deny the enemy's deeper vision. Good for catching the enemy jungler out of position when they try to show up bot.

F. I ward here before diving bot to make sure that nobody is aware of my plans.

G. Top sometimes wards here, but it's pretty rare. I only pink this if I know I've been spotted.

H. I ward here before diving top.

Video Commentaries Back to Top

A moving picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll upload video commentaries in this section that demonstrate my Skarner strategies against different team comps and situations. I'll try to make one every couple patches.


Patch 6.17: Skarner vs. Graves (Nghiemie)



Patch 6.18: Skarner vs Vi (Nghiemie)




Patch 6.19: Skarner vs Hecarim (Badeed)




Patch 6.20: Skarner vs Kha'Zix (Nghiemie)



Patch 6.23 (Preseason): Skarner vs Shaco (Nghiemie)

The CaptainFlowers Build Back to Top

As the season progresses, there have been more and more Skarner players in my ranking, a few of them even better than I (I guess the title is wrong now). There's two of them, CaptainFlowers and MrStingYoGirl. MrStingYoGirl recently achieved masters, while CaptainFlowers is currently Diamond 1, with a very respectable win rate (70%).


MrStingYoGirl plays very similarly to me, but CaptainFlowers is significantly different. CaptainFlowers builds Skarner as an AD-scaling bruiser, focused on dueling people and skirmishing rather than catching people and ulting carries in teamfights. He has great success with it, so if you want to try it out, here's the rundown:

He builds Warrior enchantment every game, and follows by getting Boots 1. He then builds Sheen, finishes his Boots and gets offtank items if he needs (Jaurim's Fist, Spectre's Cowl, Bami's Cinder, Chain Vest). Afterwards, he builds trinity force and then tank items, including Sterak's Gage.

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The I Am Badeed Build Back to Top

Badeed, or "Pornstar Skarner," or "Pornstar Hecarim" has been a high elo player known for a long time, mostly for only ever saying "I am Badeed" and "Kill em with kindness." However, he's also one of the most interesting and innovative Skarner players I know. 


His playstyle is kind of like CaptainFlowers, but with a twist: he always takes ghost, and builds black cleaver. He also builds Iceborn Gauntlet, possibly for the synergy with cleaver, and tries to get GA as early as possible for the mixed resistances since his build lacks a lot of tankiness.

He tries to position near his spires at all times, and in fights he likes to put out as much damage as possible with Q and cleaver stacks, while activating his E stun on anyone he can hit. If he tags a squishy, he ults and kills them. The main difference from other skarners' playstyle is that, since he lacks flash, he doesnt look for the flash engages, but instead tries to be a source of DPS before he can catch someone out of position with his E. 

Summoners: 6.png 11.png

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Who Am I? None of Your- Back to Top

Hey! I'm Nghiemie. I'm the highest ranked skarner main in NA, with over 1000 overall Skarner games. I've mained him since season 2, and my 'main' account (it's actually lower ranked than Nghiemie, my Skarner only account) was diamond S5 maining Skarner. I'm currently trying to climb to masters. Here's my account's op.gg and lolskill


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Change Log Back to Top

4/24/16 - Updated matchups (fleshed out every one) and added warding guide and ultimate section.

5/1/16 - Updated matchups ( and items (titanic hydra nerf, sunfire nerf)

5/15/16 - Updated matchups, items (devourer removed from the game), masteries (devourer masteries removed), matchups (devourer-reliant champions), stages of the game (new dragons).

5/18/16 - Updated items (more feedback about warrior, iceborn gauntlet nerfs).

5/22/16 - Updated items, masteries (entries for new enchantment, bloodrazor).

6/1/16 - Updated items (changes to boots, changes to trinity force.)

6/9/16 - New Section ("The CaptainFlowers Build")

6/28/16 - New Section ("The I Am Badeed Build")

8/24/16  - New Section ("Video Commentaries")

9/9/16 - New Video Commentary (6.18). Updated Abilities (Changes to Q sections to accommodate AD builds)

10/1/16 - Updated Matchup Section, New Video Commentary (6.19)

11/3/16 - Updated Glyphs and Items Section, New Video Commentary (6.20)

11/9/16 - Updated Masteries (Season 7 Masteries)

11/27/16 - Updated Matchups

11/30/16 - New Video Commentary (6.23)

1/6/16 - Updated Jungle Paths (Preseason Jungle Changes)
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