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All Guides Skarner Guides Skarner Patch 7.24b - Preseason of the Scorpion (Bruiser and Tank Playstyle Guide)
9 months ago

Skarner Statistics for Tahm the Catfish

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

Games Played
Win %
KA:D Ratio
Gold Earned
Creep Score
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

Flash and Smite

Flash and Smite, pretty standard jungle setup.  4.pngskarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) and 4.pngskarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) both being prominent options for Skarner's play as well as 4.png just being the best all-around summoner spell in the game makes Skarner take these two summoners pretty much every time.  

But what about Ghost and Smite?

While Ghost may seem like a good option, it isn't worth taking over Flash.  All of Skarner's build paths have a generous amount of movespeed in the items he builds and the runes he takes already.  It will be plenty to get onto 
that target you want to drag back with you.  Ghost would not only excessive, but Flash opens important options such as the aforementioned 4.pngskarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) or 4.pngskarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) combos.  Having the option to flash instantly to or away from someone, or over walls is incredibly helpful compared to the excess movespeed Ghost offers.

New Runes Back to Top

Tank or Bruiser Skarner?

     Surprisingly enough, Skarner has two viable playstyles, and I'll be discussing both of them.  
  • Tank Skarner is more simplistic based around going full tank and taking more damage while using skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) and skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) to disrupt targets and set up an easy kill for your teammates.  
  • Bruiser Skarner still has the focus of using his skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) to set up kills, however Bruiser Skarner builds a bit more aggressively in his items and takes more offensive oriented runes (Predator.png?width=32Predator/Domination as the main tree over Aftershock.png?width=32Aftershock/Resolve as shown in the suggested pages).  
     Think of Tank Skarner as more of a support tank similar to 33.pngRammus or 89.pngLeona, while Bruiser Skarner is more similar to a Juggernaut playstyle like 106.pngVolibear or 36.pngDr. Mundo.

Tank Skarner

     Tank Skarner was the most popular Skarner playstyle during season 7 when 1401.pngCinderhulk, 3800.pngRighteous Glory, and 3193.pngGargoyle Stoneplate tanks were the meta.  Although this build has fallen out of meta, Tank Skarner is still a plenty viable option.

     Probably the best general tank keystone rune, this rune lets Skarner run in using his shield from skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystaline Exoskeleton (W) to take the brunt of the damage and then use his skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) to activate Aftershock.png?width=32Aftershock to mitigate damage while he runs away with his suppressed target.  Aftershock.png?width=32Aftershock is also useful pre-level 6 because his skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) will activate it.  Good for tankiness, bit of extra damage, best choice for tank Skarner.

Font%20of%20Life.png?width=32Font of Life
     Great for support tanks with Crowd Control effects that linger, allows for allies to heal off the enemy Skarner has suppressed with skarnerimpale.pngImpale (ult) or slowed/stunned with skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E).  Great for being more of a support tank.  However you may take Demolish.png?width=32Demolish for pushing harder after a successful gank to further pressure lanes, personal preference.

     Generally the best rune of the 3 options, gives a nice boost to both Armor and Magic Resist pretty early on.  Skarner doesn't have issues with clearing the jungle so Iron%20Skin.png?width=32 for the early Armor isn't really necessary.

     Just good for more health that stacks with 1401.pngCinderhulk.  I take it over Revitalize.png?width=32Revitalize because it has better scaling throughout the game, and Second%20Wind.png?width=32Second Wind doesn't work for junglers.

The%20Ultimate%20Hat.png?width=32The Ultimate Hat
     Necessary on Skarner for how much his kit focuses on his skarnerimpale.pngUltimate, pretty self explanatory.  The main reason Skarner goes Sorcery rune tree as his Secondary.

     Good additional movespeed which is always nice on Skarner, and gives a bit of extra AD.  I sometimes feel like Waterwalking.png?width=32WaterWalking is better on Skarner because he has skarnerpassive.pngCrystal Spires (P) in the river that work well with the extra river movespeed, so either works pretty well.  Waterwalking.png?width=32WaterWalking is better for baron/dragon bouts, but Celerity.png?width=32Celerity is better otherwise.

Bruiser Skarner

     Bruiser Skarner seems to be the more popular Skarner playstyle this preseason, especially with the Pro players occasionally playing Skarner in Solo Queue.  Bruiser Skarner is less reliant on ult and better at skirmishing, but less tanky obviously.  A faster clear because of the extra AD from taking Domination tree, as well as better early ganks and fighting power.  However Bruiser Skarner is more reliant on fighting on skarnerpassive.pngCrystalSpires (P) because of the attack speed it gives him, while Tank Skarner doesn't rely on that as much.

     The one of the big reasons for Skarner to go the Domination tree, Predator gives him about 500-600 movespeed from just tier 2 boots and skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystalineExoskeleton (W) alone.  Essentially a much longer cooldown 3800.pngRighteousGlory active that costs only 300 gold.  However this movespeed cannot be interrupted like 3800.pngRighteousGlory can by an enemy tank standing near you and popping the Area of Effect slow early before you get to your target you want to suppress.

cheap%20shot1.png?width=32Cheap Shot
     Extra true damage is nice for how much CC Skarner has, mostly for early skirmishes or ganks where the Auto Attack after landing skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) on an enemy for the stun will also activate the extra true damage, and using skarnervirulentslash.pngCrystalSlash (Q) on an enemy you've suppressed with skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) will also activate the true damage.

Eyeball%20Collection.png?width=32Eyeball Collection
     More damage for a more damage focused Skarner.  Should get a good amount of Eyeball Stacks from participating in ganks and buying 2055.pngControlWards to help keep vision control of the map (as every good jungler does).

Relentless%20Hunter.png?width=32Relentless Hunter
     More movespeed for Skarner.  This should give more mobility around the map to be in the right places at the right times, or at least slightly less late.  Getting two successful early kills as Skarner will give 24 extra out of combat movespeed, just one movespeed less than 1001.pngBootsOfSpeed, which is especially great for how much of Skarner's kit works with movepeed.


The%20Ultimate%20Hat.png?width=32The Ultimate Hat and Celerity.png?width=32Celerity have the same reasoning to be taken on Bruiser Skarner as Tank, so if you've read the tank section already you may want to skip ahead.

 The%20Ultimate%20Hat.png?width=32The Ultimate Hat
     Necessary on Skarner for how much his kit focuses on his skarnerimpale.pngUltimate, pretty self explanatory.  The main reason Skarner goes Sorcery rune tree as his Secondary.

     Good additional movespeed which is always nice on Skarner, and gives a bit of extra AD.  I sometimes feel like Waterwalking.png?width=32WaterWalking is better on Skarner because he has skarnerpassive.pngCrystal Spires (P) in the river that work well with the extra river movespeed, so either works pretty well.  Waterwalking.png?width=32WaterWalking is better for baron/dragon bouts, but Celerity.png?width=32Celerity is better otherwise.

Abilities Back to Top

skarnerpassive.pngCrystal Spires (P)
     The Crystal Spires that Skarner brings along with him to every map, arguably one of the best passives in the game for jungling.  These Spires help with Skarner's clear by giving him attack speed, movespeed, and infinite mana sustain while he stands on them.  However the Spires come with a cost.  While on the Spires make Skarner is especially strong, but when off the Spires he feels pretty weak overall in comparison, especially early game.  Mainly the loss of attack speed he deals with when off the Spires feels the worst especially on the Bruiser build.
     The Spires also give vision of their area for 1.5 seconds, meaning you can capture a Spire in an enemy jungle quickly to check which camps under the spire is up, or perhaps even spot an enemy.

skarnervirulentslash.pngCrystal Slash (Q)
     Skarner's main damage ability and jungle clearing tool, and the reason Bruiser Skarner is viable.  Crystal Slash acts similarly to a 3077.pngTiamat passive, it's an Area of Effect auto attack essentially.  A very important part of this ability is that it's spammable so it is great for activating Spellblade items like 3078.pngTrinityForce.  The cooldown of is reduced by .25 seconds every auto attack.
     The ability scales with AD, and the AD ratio scales 33 / 36 / 39 / 42 / 45% AD as you level the ability.  Even if you are going the full tank build which doesn't build any ad, maxing this ability first is recommended because raising the AD ratio will make your clears faster and early ganks and skirmishes better because the AD ratio scales off of your base AD too.
     Crystal Slash also has a charge mechanic.  After using Skarner's Q once, the next Q used within 4 seconds will double the damage, dealing the regular physical Q damage but additionally the same amount of damage again as magic damage.  This mechanic isn't something you really have to play around though as you'll essentially be spamming your Q as often as possible on enemies.

skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystal Exoskeleton (W)
     The ability maxed Second, your main mobility and damage mitigation in your kit.  Always maxed second for the midgame durability and mobility needed for skirmishing and teamfighting.  The ability consists of two parts that last 6 seconds.  The first is an initial shield scaling with max HP ratio that increases 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14% of maximum health as the ability levels.  The second is movement speed starting at 8 / 10 / 12 / 14 / 16%  and doubling over 3 seconds.  The movespeed will last the whole 6 second duration unless the shield breaks.

skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E)
     A pretty strong CC ability capable of stunning multiple targets.  Take this ability level 2 for a slightly faster first clear, but max last.  It's your main tool for early ganks and another way to slow your target down to get to them.  Fracture travels through units and afflicts all of them with a slow (30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50% based on level).  After hitting an enemy with Fracture if Skarner auto attacks them within 5 seconds they will be stunned for 1 second.
       Something to be aware of is that although it can travel through units, the projectile slows down every time it hits a unit.  So throwing Fracture through one or two minions to try to hit an enemy may not be too bad, but trying to disregard a minion wave and throw it right through a bunch of them will slow the projectile so much that they will easily outrun it.
       A seemingly hidden mechanic of Fracture is that after auto attacking to stun a target afflicted by E, Skarner gains attackspeed and movespeed similar to what you get from standing on one of your skarnerpassive.pngCrystal Spires (P).  I'll elaborate on how this can be used in the Tips and Mechanics section.

skarnerimpale.pngImpale (R)
     The ability Skarner is known for, his ultimate.  A point and click suppression that lasts for 1.75 seconds and allows you to drag an enemy with you wherever you like.  It deals 40 / 120 / 200 damage and 120% of Skarner's AD overall, half of the damage at the start and half at the end.  Auto Attacks and skarnerfracture.pngImpale (E) are disabled during the duration, as well as 4.pngFlash.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Machete over Talisman because Crystal Spires keep Skarner's mana full at all times while jungling.

Core Items

    Blue smite when going Tank for more CC and to better get on targets. Red smite when going Bruiser for better damage, durability, and dueling potential.
    For both Tank and Bruiser builds, you decide between Treads or Tabis every game. I tend to go towards Merc Treads for the tenacity to tank through CCs, but both are good options for either build.
    Only bought for Bruiser Skarner, buy this after Boots/Cinderhulk for your damage item. Skarner uses all the stats well but especially the Sheen passive because of his Q
    Great for Skarner. Cooldown reduction, movement speed, health, armor, and some mana doesn't hurt. The reason Skarner isn't forced to take Predator for tank build.
    If some magic damage is a big threat early on, a Spectre's Cowl may be worth buying between Cinder and RGlory and finished after RGlory. Otherwise your choice between these two main Magic Resist items based on the situation.
    Good 5th item for Tank Skarner after Boots/Cinder/RGlory/MR Item.
    Good Armor item options for Skarner. Deadman's is good for extra movespeed. Randuins is good against crit adcs. Thornmail is good for mitigating lifesteal.

Situational Items

    Great choice Tank Skarner for a 5th or 6th item. Helps Skarner contribute to his team better, especially when one of his allies is carrying well.
    Another great 5th or 6th item for Tank Skarner to support his team better. Sometimes you can replace your core Magic Resist item if you want to support your team carrying, but losing the health isn't ideal.
    Good if you have resistances already and the enemies don't have much %hp damage, works well with Stoneplate and Cinderhulk.

Example of final Tank Skarner build:


Example of final Bruiser Skarner build:


Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Amumu
  • Elise
  • Fiddlesticks
  • Graves
  • Jax
  • Kha'Zix
  • Kindred
  • Lee Sin
  • Master Yi
  • Nocturne
  • Rammus
  • Rek'Sai
  • Shaco
  • Shyvana
  • Udyr
  • Warwick
  • Xin Zhao




Shouldn't be much of an issue.  Amumu is one of the few champions you can duel pretty early on because Amumu has mana issues early while you do not.  If you want to fight him early try to do it on a skarnerpassive.pngSpire (P).  

If Amumu wants to get on you, use skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineSkeleton (W) to dodge his bandagetoss.pngBandageToss (Q), if you get hit your shield will take the brunt of the damage while you're stunned.  After that just skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E), Stun, and run.  




Elise is a great early game bully, especially against Skarner because he has to be up close to CC enemies.  Elise can land elisehumane.pngCacoon (Human E) on you and get through her full burst combo before you have the opportunity to stun her.  Use skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineExoskeleton (W) and attempt to dodge elisehumane.pngCacoon (Human E), if it hits then your shield will take a lot of the initial damage of the burst and reduce a lot of the damage her 111.pngVenemousBite (Spider Q) does because it does more damage the less health you have.

Avoid Elise early because Skarner doesn't have a good way to deal with her early on, but you outscale her throughout the game.




Fiddle has to stand still to use his main damage ability drain.pngDrain (W) so Skarner has a very easy time landing skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) and interrupting the drain.  If Fiddle happens to get a good ultimate positioning that's close to Skarner's allies, he can take one for the team and skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) Fiddle to drag his ult away.  Fiddle can terrify.pngTerrify (Q) Skarner and try to escape, but with no mobility Skarner can catch up to him very well if he needs to.




Should be an easy matchup, most Graves just want to powerfarm their jungle for the early game to scale.  If Graves happens to want to counterjungle you, unless you're low you should be fine.  Either just use skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineExoskeleton (W) to run away and skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) to slow him, or use skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) to slow him and skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineExoskeleton (W) to either stun him and run or force him to use gravesmove.pngQuickdraw (E) to dash away from you and then run the other way.  Either is good for an escape.




Not too hard of a matchup, but annoying.  Even as Bruiser Skarner you aren't really going to be able to duel Jax at any point of the game.  His jaxcounterstrike.pngCounterStrike (E) stops you from auto attacking him which is not only your main source of damage, but also means you can't stun him after hitting skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) when his CounterStrike is up.  The matchup isn't terrible because after Jax's CounterStrike is down you can stun him and run away with skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineExoskeleton (W) and he won't really have any kill potential on you.  But he can force you away from objectives well.




Kha'Zix is always a terror to junglers he can bully, and he sure can bully tanks that don't have items yet.  If Skarner falls behind, Kha'Zix can counterjungle and kill Skarner to push him to irrelevance and snowball to carry.  If you're matched against Kha'Zix, Ward your jungle entrances and buy pinks to protect your turf.  Don't take many risks because giving Kha'Zix a lead against you can allow him to solo carry the game.  If you do fall behind, just ward up and stay away from him until you can work with your team to deal with him.




As Bruiser Skarner you may be able to take her on when you have skarnerpassive.pngSpire (P) movespeed to help close the gap on her range, but as Tank Skarner you probably can't duel her well without her damage.  Similar to the Graves matchup, either just use skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) to slow her and skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineExoskeleton (W) to run away, or use skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) and skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineExoskeleton (W) to run at Kindred and force her to use kindredq.pngDanceOfArrows (Q) away from you so you can escape.

Later on when you have better movespeed and durability from items and levels you can duel her well as Bruiser Skarner, and CC her better for your team as Tank Skarner.  Remember you can pull her out of her own ult kindredr.pngLamb'sRespite (Ult) with your own ultimate.


Lee Sin


You're vulnerable early game can be an issue to his strong early game, he may try to counterjungle you.  If he hits the first part of blindmonkqone.pngSonicWave (Q), throw skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) between the two of you when he recasts his Q for a guaranteed hit.  Auto Attack when he gets to you to stun him and use skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineSkeleton (W) to escape.  If done correctly he won't be able to land blindmonkeone.pngTempest (E) for the slow on you and won't have a good way to follow you.  I list this matchup as Medium Difficulty because his counterjungling is good but Skarner's kit deals with it relatively well.


Master Yi


Master Yi's worst nightmare is point and click hard CC, so of course Skarner does very well against him.  Early game under the right conditions, Bruiser Skarner may be able to duel Master Yi on a spire and win, or at the least run away with skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystalinneExoskeleton (W) and skarnerfracture.pngFracture (W) to stun him after Master Yi uses alphastrike.pngAlphaStrike (Q) and get away.  Later in the game if Master Yi  is really any issue, Skarner can just use skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) and hold him for his team to beat on for 1.75 seconds.




As Bruiser Skarner you may be able to duel him well on a skarnerpassive.pngSpire, maybe after an item depending on the situation.  Early game he can bully you a bit.  

Try to break his nocturneshroudofdarkness.pngShroudOfDarkness (W) spellshield with your skarnervirulentslash.pngCrystalSlash (Q) if he goes onto you.  After it's down, use skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) for a quick stun to get away or ask for help from teammates.  Use skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineSkeleton (W) right before the nocturneunspeakablehorror.pngUnspeakableHorror (E) terrifies you so you can tank his damage while CC'd and have the movespeed ramping up while you're being terrified.




A really easy matchup for Skarner, Rammus doesn't have much kill potential at all on Skarner.  If Skarner is being chased by Rammus, he can use a point blank skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) right before Rammus runs into him with powerball.pngPowerball (Q) so his next auto stuns Rammus during the taunt.  Skarner can peel Rammus off of his teammates really well with skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) stun and skarnerimpale.pngImpale (R), or just running into Rammus to take the powerball hit instead.




Not too bad of a matchup, you can fight her as you begin to outscale her as Bruiser Skarner.  Early on if she tries to tunnel towards you to fight you, use skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) during her dash and then stun her ASAP.  Get away or ask for backup.  She should really only an issue early game.




Shaco is kind of like Xin or Kha'Zix matchups, but not as bad.  Shaco can't stick to skarner as well, or burst Skarner down as hard, but he's still an early counterjungle threat.  At around level 3 or 4 and on while standing on a captured skarnerpassive.pngSpire (P), Skarner can kill Shaco's jackinthebox.pngJackInTheBox (W) before it goes invisible and has a chance to attack/fear him with Auto Attacks and skarnervirulentslash.pngCrystalSlash (Q) which can be very helpful in avoiding being terrified.  After some items and levels Skarner can probably outright duel Shaco if standing on a skarnerpassive.pngSpire, especially if building as Bruiser Skarner.  And Skarner outscales Shaco later into the game, as most champions do.  

However, be cautious.  If you fall behind Shaco too much, he can make the early game very hard for you by counterjungling.  But besides that he isn't too bad a threat, skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineExoskeleton (W) and skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) should keep you relatively safe from his assassination attempts before you get items to outscale him.




Shyvana usually just wants to powerfarm her jungle, so you wont interact with her much.  You can't duel her unless she falls behind somehow so it's not worth trying.  If she attempts to run at you with shyvanaimmolationaura.pngBurnout (W), use skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) to slow her for 2.5 seconds out of the 3 seconds her shyvanaimmolationaura.pngBurnout (W) lasts.  If she gets to you, you can stun her and get away.  Not a very interesting matchup.




Not hard, nearly put at an Easy Difficulty but some Udyr's can get pretty cheesy.  

Some Udyrs will try to hit you with udyrtigerstance.pngTigerStance (Q) for a ton of damage and grab an cheesy first blood.  Not too many Udyrs tend to do this but it's something to be cautious of.

Otherwise if he wants to fight you just skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) to slow him and skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineExoskeleton (W) to run away, if he gets on you anyway just Stun him and continue to run.  Pretty simple.




Skarner's hardest matchups involve being counterjungled, which Warwick is fairly capable of, but it isn't really a big goal of his as a champion.  Warwick may steal some camps and attempt to kill you but until he gets warwickr.pngInfiniteDuress (Ult), he doesn't have too much kill pressure on you.  Just give up on any hope of ever dueling him even as Bruiser Skarner standing on a skarnerpassive.pngSpire, Warwick is the arguably the best early game duelist in the game.  

Don't fool yourself into thinking you can duel him, be very cautious when being warwickw.pngBloodHunted (W), and ask for help from your team if he tries counterjungling because he has no escape.


Xin Zhao


Xin Zhao, like Kha'Zix, is a scary matchup for Skarner.  Skarner, like most other tank junglers, is weakest in the early game when he doesn't have items and durability.  So when facing a jungler who is one of the best early game duelists in the game, Skarner doesn't fare well.  Ward up and don't let him snowball on you, he can counterjungle very hard if you fall behind.

Tips and Mechanics Back to Top

Not just an ult-bot?

As simple as Skarner may seem, he has some interesting mechanics to him and ways to play him more efficiently.  This section will be about what I've picked up in the time he spent in my jungler pool on my way to diamond.


skarnerpassive.pngCrystal Spires Giving Vision
     For both Skarner and his enemies, capturing the Crystal Spires can be a double edged sword.  When a Spire is captured the color of the icon on the minimap changes for everyone, warded or not.  So if you're counterjungling and take a Spire on the enemy side, if they know enough about Skarner they may realize one of their Spires has been taken and collapse on your position.  However the same works for you, if an enemy jungler takes one of your Spires you know where they are and use that knowledge however you want.

skarnerfracture.pngFracture's Hidden Mechanic
     When Skarner Auto Attacks a unit to proc the stun from Fracture he gains a burst of attack speed and movespeed you would usually get while standing on a captured skarnerpassive.pngSpire (P) for a moment.  This is useful for a lot of things.  This mechanic improves his dueling with the attack speed buff and his escape by being able to proc the stun and run away with a burst of speed.  

skarnerimpale.pngImpale's Drag Mechanic
     As Skarner drags an enemy away with him, he pulls them with him while he's at 350 units from who he's Impaling.  However Skarner can walk towards his target and he won't push them away.  Near the end of the duration of Impale, you can walk towards your suppressed target to be closer to them when the CC ends.  This can be good for an easier way to hit skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) or auto attack.  

     Impale can make a great peeling tool.  If the only thing keeping your adc from carrying the game is a Zed, pressing R on the assassin going for your damage can be well worth the use.  If you grab an enemy with Impale to peel, either stand still for your team to pummel them down without a chance to miss their skillshots or pull them away from your teammate if they can't burst them down during your ult duration.  Usually standing still works the best if its an assassin, but for a Darius or some other tankier champion you probably want to pull them away unless your team can kill them quickly.

Jungle Pathing and Efficiency Back to Top

Basic First Clear Paths

  • If your Blue Buff is near bottom lane, go Blue > Wolves > Red > Topside River skarnerpassive.pngSpire > Scuttle
  • If your Red Buff is near bottom lane, go Red > Wolves > Blue > Topside River skarnerpassive.pngSpire > Scuttle


Clearing the Jungle Efficiently with Spires

General Tip
     Spam your abilities.  Spires make you pretty much mana-less while you're on them so use your abilities whenever they're up.

Red Buff
     The spire doesn't quite reach the Red Buff bush so you can't really kite it into the bush efficiently.  I usually check the bush to be safe then start my buff, kiting it towards the spire for a healthier clear while keeping the spire bonuses.

Blue Buff
     The Spire area eclipses the whole buff area so you clear it just as you would any other jungler with basic kiting.  You can carry the skarnervirulentslash.pngCrystalSlash (Q)'s charge mechanic from wolves if you kite the wolves towards Blue, then kill the wolves and use skarnervirulentslash.pngCrystalSlash (Q) on Blue within the last 3.5 seconds of the one used on wolves.  It should improve your first clear by about a second but it isn't too significant.

     Gromp's aggro range reaches your Spire, so hit it with Smite or skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) to pull it to you until it's about on the circumference of the Spire.  Then walk up to it and fight it with the Spire bonuses.

     Walk to the side of the wolves camp wall and use skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) to hit all of the wolves.  Proc the stun on all of the wolves, and focus the main one.  Your skarnervirulentslash.pngCrystalSlash (Q) should kill the small wolves before you kill the big one.

     Auto attack the Raptor closest to Red to pull aggro, then run towards Red's wall for a second so the Raptors form a line.  Send skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) down the line to hit all or most of them, then auto attack each small Raptor for the stun and extra damage.  Focus the big Raptor while your skarnervirulentslash.pngCrystalSlash (Q) spam finishes off the small Raptors.

     Head to your river Spire if it isn't yours already, and toss your skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) at Scuttle when you've nearly captured the Spire so it'll be slowed when you run after it.  After that just kite it towards the middle of the river so it doesn't leave your Spire.

     This camp is off Skarner's Spires.  Krugs don't exist to Skarner.
     Jokes aside when I play Skarner I almost never touch this camp.  Krugs are the slowest camp to take in general because of how they multiply, but they're even slower for a champion who relies on attack speed to clear but loses a chunk of his attack speed at Krugs.  If you really have nothing else to do and really want Krugs, I'd suggest taking the ORIGINAL Big and Medium Krug which gives you a decent amount of gold and XP as well as resetting the camp's spawn.  If you leave the original Medium Krug with the other 2 Medium Krugs that spawn from the Big Krug the camp won't reset.

Tank Skarner Early/Mid/Lategame Back to Top

Early Game
     As mentioned earlier in the guide, mostly in the hard matchups like Kha'Zix and Xin Zhao, Skarner has a weak early game like most tank junglers.  For the most part you'll want to play defensively, farm up to level 6 as fast as possible, and ward for your laners.  Buy one or two 2055.pngControlWards to help track the enemy jungler for your team, mostly place them in either river bush or in a bush for one of your laners.
     For the most part your early game ganks aren't good but they aren't bad either.  Just run into lane with skarnerexoskeleton.pngCrystallineExoskeleton (W) to get up to the target and skarnerfracture.pngFracture (E) for the slow and stun.  You're mostly very reliant on your laner(s) until you get skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) similar to 427.pngIvern's early ganks, so ganking for someone like 122.pngDarius or 412.pngThresh that have good early game followup CC and damage is often a great choice.  
     Either rush 3751.pngBami'sCinder and 1001.pngBrownBoots if you have an early lead, or 3706.pngStalker'sBlade otherwise.  The 3751.pngBami's and 1001.pngBoots can be good if you have a lead and can just farm for 6, but if you don't have a lead then 3706.pngStalker's is better for ganks.

Mid Game
     Midgame is when you start shining as Tank Skarner, you have 3111.png3047.pngyour choice of tier 2 boots, your full 1401.pngBlue Smite Cinderhulk, 3800.pngRighteousGlory, and of course your skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult).  Now you're gonna want to be sticking with your teammates, getting picks with your high movespeed, skirmishing and teamfighting.  You're probably going to want to run either the enemy mage or ADC and steal them away depending on which is stronger.  If your team is winning and the enemy carries aren't a big threat, you may consider using your skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) to peel your carries and let them damage freely.  Really depends on the situation.  As any jungler remember to keep your farm and levels up when you can't get a fight or pick started.

Late Game
     Now is lategame, where some might think you're nothing more than a meatshield because the enemy ADC probably has 3140.pngQuicksilverSash to counter your skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult).  Well surprisingly you do have more options than running after the enemy adc and getting your skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) cleansed...
  • Run at the adc and get your skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) cleansed.  Forcing the enemy ADC to use their 3140.pngQuicksilverSash can be very valuable if you have another ally that can take advantage of their 3140.pngQuicksilverSash being down.  For example an ally 4.pngTwistedFate or 127.pngLissandra can follow up and CC them freely.
  • skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) a different enemy carry.  You can go after their midlaner, their jungler, any other carry that hasn't built 3140.pngQuicksilverSash.
  • skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) to peel.  Pull the enemy tank or bruiser away from your carries, or use a point and click 1.75 second suppression on the enemy assassin and let your team beat them down.

Bruiser Skarner Early/Mid/Lategame Back to Top

Early Game
     While your early game isn't necessarily good it's definitely better than Tank Skarner's early game because you go Predator.png?width=32Predator and the rest of the Domination tree which gives you 11 extra AD at level 1.  Your clears will be faster, you can gank better, and you can duel more enemies while on your skarnerpassive.pngSpires (P).  The only downside is you're a little less tanky but your early is definitely better.
     You want an early 1001.pngBootsOfSpeed to utilize Predator.png?width=32Predator for ganks, it helps with ganks and does a bit of extra damage.  Grab 1001.pngBoots and 3751.pngBami's early, if you cant afford both then just go 1001.pngBoots and 3715.pngSkirmisher'sSaber.  If you can't afford 3751.pngBami's then 3715.pngSkirmisher's is a nice boost to your damage, clear, and dueling potential.  Bami's is preferred though for more tankiness and still decent damage.

Mid Game
     If you have fallen behind enough at this point, consider just cutting your losses and swapping to Tank Skarner build before 3078.pngTrinityForce.  3078.pngTrinityForce is a powerspike but also one of the most expensive items in the game.  If you're too late on getting 3078.pngTrinity the damage powerspike won't be as relevant and you'll be too squishy to use the damage as everyone else already is ahead in build.
     Now is when you should hit your prime as Bruiser Skarner with your choice of  3111.png3047.pngBoots, 1413.pngRed Smite Cinderhulk, and 3078.pngTrinityForce.  You're going to want to look to fight small skirmishes (2v2s and 3v3s)  or 1v1 duels at this point, and always try to fight on your skarnerpassive.pngSpire if possible.  Forcing Dragon or Herald or possibly even an early Baron if your team is really ahead when you have skarnerpassive.pngSpire control can be good ideas.

Late Game
     Now you're going to be tankier after going health and resistance items after 3078.pngTrinity, so you should be tankier for teamfights.  Using Predator.png?width=32Predator and 3800.pngRGlory to catch enemies out can be super beneficial for your team and allow you to force objectives easier.  Your playstyle will be kind of similar to Tank Skarner now where you want to pull a target and support your team now that your damage has fallen off but you can still skirmish decently, especially on skarnerpassive.pngSpires.  Lategame if youre feeling your 3078.pngTrinity isn't doing you much good you can sell it for a tankier item and transition into a tank more, but it's up for you to decide depending on the game.

Why Pick Skarner? Back to Top

Why Skarner?

     When I was looking for a secondary jungler to compliment my main, Warwick, on my climb to diamond I never expected I'd settle on Skarner.  I tried him out on impulse in a normals game because I had no idea what he did besides his famous ultimate, but ended up sticking with him.  Why?  Because Skarner is...

     I needed a jungle that I could preform efficiently on without taking too much effort to learn.  Despite the detail I write in the guide, most players can learn Skarner in 1-3 games on a base level which is very quick in comparison to someone like Lee Sin or Kayn that take awhile to learn.  This makes him great for being added to a jungler pool if you need a tank, or a great jungler to learn the jungling role on.

     Skarner is known for skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) for a good reason, its a very powerful ultimate.  The closest ability we have now is Tahm Kench's tahmkenchw.png devour but that requires setup and applies a 95% slow on himself.  Nobody has anything that can reposition an enemy as well as Skarner's skarnerimpale.pngImpale (Ult) that's as simple to pull off as pointing and clicking.  Skarner's point and click 1.75 second enemy repositioner is extremely impactful for catching targets, especially with the new runes.  Shutting down an enemy champion requires pretty much zero mechanical skill as Skarner which means there isn't really much of a way to outplay him running at you.  If someone on the enemy team is an issue you have a very safe answer to them.

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