All Guides Skarner Guides [EN] Season 8 Full AD Skarner - ShoMG Best Skarner EUW
6 months ago

Skarner Statistics for ShoMG

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

11.png - Mandatory to jungle and to buy the jungler's items.

6.png - Best in early game, take it only with the rune Summoner%20Specialist.png?width=32 to be able to change it into 4.png later in the game.

New Runes Back to Top

Summoner%20Specialist.png?width=32- 4 reasons to chose this rune :
-  15% CDR on summoner's spells, which allow you to reach 30% total with Cosmic%20Insight.png?width=32 and 3158.png.
  • 11.png 63s instead of 90s.
  • 6.png 126s instead of 180s. 
  • 4.png 210s instead of 300s.
- Allow you to take 6.png early instead of  4.png, which is better in early game to pull of ganks, thanks to the lower CD.

- Having 6.png allows you to pick 3715.png instead of 3706.png, which is more powerful and allows you to take more 1v1s. 3711.png is also a possibility, allowing you temporarily to get rid of 11.png for a more impactful spell when objectives are down (Nashor, drakes).

- Inspiration tree as first gives more stats at level 1 : with Sorcery as secondary, you get +20% potions/elixirs duration and +16 AD, instead of +11 AD with Domination as first tree. 

Biscuit%20Delivery.png?width=32 - Free potions

Magical%20Footwear.png?width=32 - With 6.png, boots are no longer as important as before in early game, so having them for free and with a 10 MS bonus allows you to rush more important items.

Cosmic%20Insight.png?width=32 - 5% CDR and 5% CDR on summoners' spells, allows you to reach 45% CDR max, CDR being one of the primordial statistics for Skarner.

The%20Ultimate%20Hat.png?width=32 - 15% CDR on the ultimate, multiplicative, so the effective CDR is 53,25% (and not 60%), but Skarner can ult every 37 seconds in late game.

Celerity.png?width=32 - 3% bonus moving speed, it helps against kiting enemies, and also increase the AD depending on the bonus speed ( skarnerexoskeleton.png Shield, skarnerpassive.pngpassive, Triforce, Ghost).

Abilities Back to Top

skarnerpassive.png - Passive : Crystal Spires 

One of the strangest passives in game, but understanding it is key to master Skarner. It gives an enormous boost of moving speed, attack speed and mana regen, making Skarner extremely powerful when inside a crystal area of effect (AoE), but not invicible.
  • There is 2 crystals in the river, in front of Baron pit and Dragon pit, respectively. At start of the game, they are neutral, and can be captured at 1:05 (when minions spawn). The four others, near buffs, can immediately be captured.
  • The noise produced by a crystal being captured can be heard even when in fog of war, and the visual cues are also visible. If you stay alert, you can notice enemies moving in the fog of war if they walk on it. This mechanic is especially useful when you or the enemy is counterjungling to gain knowledge of their location. The minimap display the ownership of each crystal in real-time, even in fog of war, also helping you to know where missing enemies could be.
  • Capturing a crystal give vision for 1.5 second, during that time you can see if close camps are alive (blue buff, red buff, wolves).
  • It is possible to pull the Gromp to kill it while in the crystal AoE. Important especially during the first clears.
  • Golems are the only camp you cannot kill while in a crystal's AoE. Keeping a charge of smite for them is optimal.
skarnervirulentslash.png - A : Crystal Slash
This spell allows you to clear the jungle very efficiently, despite its very low damage without bonus AD from items. 
Its mana cost is very low, so you can spam it without thinking. With 1401.png, the main use of this spell is to trigger3057.png/3025.png/3078.png.
  • After the first use, this spell is 'charged' during 4 seconds, allowing you to keep the bonus damage between camps. Those bonus damages sometimes prevents you from taking one more shot from the camp, leaving you healthier than not. 
  • When ganking, using the skarnervirulentslash.png on minions while on the way allows you to get the 'charged' state before reaching the enemy champ.
  • CDR is very important to have for this spell, thanks to its built-in reduction of 1s for each basic attack on an enemy champion. At level 5,  with 45% CDR, the cooldown is 1.375s, so each basic attack reduce approximately 72% of this cooldown (1,375s - 1s). At level 5 with 0% CDR, the cooldown is 2,5s, so each basic attack lower this cooldown of 40% (2,5s -1s).
skarnerexoskeleton.png Z : Crystalline Exoskeleton
Skarner's shield, which double as mobility. Its CD is relatively low, and the shield amount is high when using 1401.png.
  • Shield duration is 6 seconds, long enough to use it few seconds before arriving at the next jungle camp, so it comes back up quickly enough. This works for many of the shields in game.
  • At level 5 and 45% CDR, cooldown is 6,05s, which means it can have 100% uptime, providing a good mobility as long as mana isn't a problem.
  • The total moving speed obtained isn't instantaneous. A low amount is given when activating the spell (0% level 1, +4% per spell level) and the rest (16%) is reached after 3 seconds. Because of this, it is sometimes better to wait until the full speed boost activates before showing yourself, as a Rammus or Hecarim.
skarnerfracture.png E : Fracture
A skillshot which is also the most important basic spell of Skarner, even tho it is not the first spell we think of when talking about Skarner. It allows Skarner to slow, stun and trigger his passive. Its own cooldown is reduced every time a target is stunned or neutralized using the ult. The projectile speed is reduced at each target hit, which can make it difficult to hit in some cases (enemy behind minions). Training is required to master this spell. 
  • Hitting this spell is very important, for several reasons. It is its only way to stun a target when the ult is down, and stunning a target (minion, monster or champion) reduces the cooldown by 1.5 second per target stun, allowing you to cast it again very rapidly. Stunning a target also trigger Skarner's passive, giving him a moving speed and attack speed boost for the stun's duration (1.5s). Missing this spell, especially when outside of crystals' AoE, is often the difference between your own life and death and also getting a kill or a fleeing enemy. 
  • Hitting minions and the primary target is the best scenario possible. If this happens, you can stun minions to reduce the cooldown and get the passive's moving speed buff to catchup the target. 
  • Whenever it is possible, it is important to hit this spell before ulting. The motivation behind that is to stun the target when the ult ends, effectively stunning the enemy for 3.25 seconds. The additional stun duration helps a lot to ensure the death of the target before being able to escape. Furthermore, having skarnerfracture.png in cool down is better, because the ult will reduce its CD by 1,75second. 
  • It is possible to stun an enemy champion for 4.75s.  The skarnerfracture.png remains on a target during 5 seconds. Waiting after the spell hit, or stunning minions, it is possible to stun then ult the target, and to have skarnerfracture.png up again after the ult to stun again. A variant is to ult the target when skarnerfracture.png mark is on the target to stun right when the ult finishes, and get the full CD back to stun again. Beware of the enemy being able to dash/flash out while the animation is happening. 
  • When you are being chased by enemies, casting skarnerfracture.png behind you and stunning the target to proc the passive can be more efficient than to only slow them.
skarnerimpale.png R : Impale
The ultimate, the reason many people play Skarner. This spell can easily turn a 5v5 into a 5v4, but is easily countered by 3140.png.
  • Before the ult end, remember to change the direction you're facing to put the target the farthest possible from his team. It is very important in almost all cases. Don't move when allies are casting skillshots, and don't turn around when you're using it to flee. 
  • This spell's range is 350 units, 25 less than Lee Sin's kick. It means it is impossible to ult him before he ult first, unless he cast it too late, which is frustrating to contest Baron/Drakes. 
  • However, if you manage to ult right when you're propelled backward, you can bring your target with you. It includes : Tristana tristanar.png, Alistar headbutt.png, Vayne vaynecondemn.png, Lee Sin blindmonkrkick.png, Janna reapthewhirlwind.png, Jayce jaycethunderingblow.png.
  • It is possible to ult someone behind a thin wall (dragon pit, baron pit, etc) to bring the target on your side. It is rare, but if it happens, prepare to see some "WTF" in the chat. 
  • Skarner's ult is a suppress, which means the target cannot cast 11.png for the duration. It can prevent stealing, or help you steal. 

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Machete is better in every aspect than talisman, always start with this.

Core Items

    Optimal damage build for Skarner in my opinion.

Situational Items

    Depending on the opposite teams, these might hold more values than lucidity boots.
    Possible 6th item if you need armor.
    Damage items for the 6th slot. Only when you're far ahead.
    MR items for the 6th item slot.
1412.png - Better than 1400.png when dueling, and 6.png already allows you to catchup on targets easily.

3158.png - To reach very rapidly 45% CDR and 40% CDR on summoners' spells.

3078.png - Most important item for AD Skarner.

3053.png - Best synergizing item with 3078.png, increase the damage output and the tankiness.

3026.png - Obtained from Perfect%20Timing.png?width=32, allows you to dive in the melee recklessly, while also increasing your damages and armor. It is possible to take it before Steraks.

Matchups Back to Top

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

  • Azir
  • Lee Sin
  • Morgana
  • Tahm Kench
  • Zilean





Azir is one of the midlaners against whom picking Skarner isn't a good idea, because of his range while being very mobile, and his azirr.png is very efficient at putting Skarner at bay, preventing him from ulting.


Lee Sin

It is possible to duel him early game, as long as you can be in skarnerpassive.png AoE and to hit the skarnerfracture.png.
His  blindmonkrkick.png has more range than Skarner's skarnerimpale.png so he can use it before you can ult him, but if he's too slow, it can be possible to bring Lee Sin with you while pushed back. 
His early is better than Skarner's, but the longer the game, the better for Skarner.





Morgana is one of Skarner's hard counters, because of her darkbindingmissile.png  very long duration, and her blackshield.png  prevent you from ulting the target.


Tahm Kench



Tahm Kench can tahmkenchw.png the target Skarner just ulted, making it useless. He can be seen as a walking 3140.png for his whole team, which is the best counter against Skarner. 

Tahm Kench can also buy himself a 3140.png, making the whole team extremely difficult to ult.





Zilean is one of the worst champs to play against as Skarner, and one of the best to have in his team. 

His slow timewarp.png is horrid for Skarner, and his R chronoshift.png prevent Skarner and his team to successfully kill the target Skarner ulted. 

Jungle pathing Back to Top

Skarner is very weak before his level 6, I prefer to rush this level as fast as possible. As such, my jungle path is as follow : 

Blue buff > Gromp > Loups > Raptors > Red buff > Golems (3:00) - Gank/Scuttler > Back with 1075g to buy 3715.png1036.png2055.png
Gromp > Wolves > Raptors > Golems (6:00) - Lvl 6 reached at raptors or golems depending on the experience gained before (kills, minions dying).

Do not hesitate to use 6.png (126s Cooldown) at the first gank, because burning the enemy 4.png (300s Cooldown) is always worth, and 6.png will be available again after a clear of jungle. 

Course of the game Back to Top

Early game

Before level 6, it is hard to gank with Skarner, but 6.png makes it a lot easier and has a shorter CD, making it available more frequently than the enemies flashes. Lots of junglers are stronger than Skarner when out of his passive AoE, getting counterganked can be very dangerous for him.

Upon reaching 6, try to gank as soon as possible when skarnerimpale.png is up, especially in conjunction with 6.png. When those spells are not available, farm up to obtain more items. It is very important when playing AD, compared to a tankier build. 

Mid Game

The best part of the game for Skarner, when 3078.png is finished and there should not be any 3140.png yet. Change 6.png for 4.png  at this point helps to force fights to your advantage thanks to the ult. 

Without ult, Skarner isn't very helpful to siege turrets, making it more valuable to prepare Drakes or Baron instead, his passive being available next to the pits. 

If you are ahead of everyone when building AD, Skarner usually can 1v1 everybody and splitpushing becomes a possibility. skarnerexoskeleton.png gives you mobility to escape, 3078.png giving you fair damages on towers which you can proc from spamming the skarnervirulentslash.png. Be wary of the Nashor in those cases, because your team won't have 11.png available.

Late Game

When everybody reach 4/6 items, teamfights are usually a lot harder, because the enemy team will often have one or several 3140.png at hand, and those who don't buy it (often tanks) aren't good target to ult. However, if a carry do not have a QSS ready, it is possible to flash/ult and end the game if the enemy carry get oneshotted.

Skarner can also protect his own carries instead of initiating fights. If it is impossible or very difficult to reach the enemy carries, it is better to stay close to your team and ult and/or stun the assassins or bruisers who could try to kill your carries.

With this build the ult CD is 37 seconds, it is very efficient to use it to force summoners and still have it available for the next fight, or even use it twice in a long, drawn out fight. 

A technique to force enemies' 3140.png is to first hit the E skarnerfracture.png4.png and stun the target, hope that the target use QSS, then Rskarnerimpale.png right after.

About me Back to Top

My stream :

My name is ShoMG and I play League of Legends since Season 2. Skarner was the second champ I bought, and I played him ever since. I could observe every version of him, after all the reworks : permaslow on the skarnervirulentslash.png, its removal, the ability to stun on the passive skarnerpassive.png, and its current iterations with the crystals. 

I used to play all roles in Seasons 2 to 5, and was ADC main at this time. When I had to play jungle, my unique champ available was Skarner, with whom I was doing OK, despite never being strong in the meta. My average level was Diamond 1 / Low Master at this time. 

Starting in Season 6, Riot added the possibility to chose a main and secondary roles, I decided to pickup my best champ according to the winrate, which was 72.png with approx. 60% winrate. Today (13 jan 2018) I have more than 1.900.000 mastery points on Skarner when combining my 3 accounts.

I finished Season 6 in Challenger (537LP) on NobCake, becoming the best Skarner player on the server, elo-wise. My other accounts finished in Master 183LP and Master 36LP.

In Season 7, Skarner was much weaker than in Season 6 and became the less played champion in ranked games. Despite that, I managed to reach Challenger again, for almost 3 monthes straight (May to july), before losing interest in the game because of the metagame. De facto, all my accounts decayed because of the inactivity and finished the season in Diamond 1. 


During the preseason, the new runes sparkled my interest for the game again, I found that the SpellbookSummoner%20Specialist.png?width=32 was the pick of choice for Skarner, I played LoL regularly again, despite Skarner still being weak. I got the Master rank again on my three accounts before the end of preseason.

The patch 8.1 in january 2018 brought a huge buff to Skarner, especially increasing the duration of the stun skarnerfracture.png from 1s to 1.5s, making him stronger than before. Thanks to this buff, I aim the Challenger again.  

OPGG links : [ShoMG] [NobCake] [NodCake]

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