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Skarner Champion Spotlight

Skarner Champion Spotlight

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Playing As SkarnerSquare Skarner
  • Basic attacks reduce the cooldown of Crystal Slash Crystal Slash. Use them as often as possible for maximum damage.
  • Capturing Crystal Spires Crystal Spires before attempting neutral objectives or team fights around them improves SkarnerSquare Skarner's performance in said fights dramatically.
  • Impale Impale is extremely powerful when you use it to position an enemy so your allies can attack them.
Playing Against SkarnerSquare Skarner
  • SkarnerSquare Skarner can't harm you very much outside of short range, so stay away from him!
  • SkarnerSquare Skarner's Movement Speed is increased as long as his shield, Crystalline Exoskeleton Crystalline Exoskeleton, persists. Attack him to lower his speed.
  • SkarnerSquare Skarner is especially dangerous when inside Crystal Spires Crystal Spire zones his team controls. Try to capture them ahead of time if a fight may break out around them.


Ability Usage
  • SkarnerSquare Skarner is a durable, speedy bruiser, excelling at chasing and locking down targets and dealing consistent hybrid damage. His kit best serves him in the jungle, offering fast clear times and effective ganks.
  • Crystal Slash Crystal Slash provides a constant source of hybrid damage in an area around him.
    • Crystal Slash Crystal Slash's cooldown is reduced with auto attacks. Thus, this skill synergizes strongly with attack speed items such as Blade of the Ruined King item Blade of the Ruined King or Wit's End item Wit's End. The faster SkarnerSquare Skarner can attack, the faster this ability will become available again and the more DPS he can push out.
      • When engaging in a fight, be sure to Crystal Slash Crystal Slash before your first auto attack to get the full effect of the cooldown reduction.
    • In order for Crystal Slash Crystal Slash to apply its bonus magic damage you must first be 'charged' by hitting an enemy with this ability at least once.
      • When ganking, charge Crystal Slash Crystal Slash off an enemy minion while on your way to enemy targets to maximize your damage output.
    • Crystal Slash Crystal Slash is SkarnerSquare Skarner's bread and butter when jungling. Simply cast it whenever available to quickly clear minion camps between objectives and ganks.
    • The purchase of a Sheen item Sheen is a powerful item thanks to the ability to repeatedly proc Spellblade with Crystal Slash Crystal Slash.
  • Crystalline Exoskeleton Crystalline Exoskeleton provides SkarnerSquare Skarner with a shield, allowing him to soak up more damage in all situations, and giving him increased mobility while it holds.
    • Activate Crystalline Exoskeleton Crystalline Exoskeleton when ganking to quickly close the gap towards your targets.
      • Be cautious not to cast it too early - if the effect runs out before you reach your target, they may be easily able to escape.
    • Using Crystalline Exoskeleton Crystalline Exoskeleton during fights in melee range will give SkarnerSquare Skarner a noticeable advantage over his enemy should they be fighting back.
    • Keep in mind that SkarnerSquare Skarner's movement speed bonus will only persist for as long as the shield remains. If the shield is broken before the duration ends, the bonus will still be lost.
      • For these reasons, use the additional mobility the shield provides to avoid skill shots or spells that may break the shield.
  • Fracture Fracture is SkarnerSquare Skarner's only true ranged ability that strikes in a line, dealing damage to all enemies it hits. It will also apply a debuff on the targets, slowing them by a percentage and causing your next auto-attack to stun them.
    • Casting Fracture Fracture into a quick strike of Crystal Slash Crystal Slash is a popular and effective means to keep your target in range.
  • SkarnerSquare Skarner's Impale Impale is his trademark ability, suppressing an enemy target while allowing SkarnerSquare Skarner to freely move them around.
    • Impale Impale has unmatched utility when ganking, engaging, disengaging, or saving targets.
      • Using Impale Impale during a gank will allow you to pull your victim further away from their turret, giving your friendly laner more time to engage them, and yourself more space to slow and damage them over.
      • While having a short cast range, Impale Impale is not blocked by terrain, and this makes SkarnerSquare Skarner capable of dragging enemy champions directly through any terrain after it connects. For example, if an enemy champion is standing above the dragon pit and close enough to the ledge (such as if they are attempting a steal), SkarnerSquare Skarner can cast Impale Impale on the enemy champion above, then drag them into the pit with him. This tactic can also be done in certain areas of the jungle where the walls are thinnest to accommodate the skill's short range.
      • Casting Flash Flash, Ghost Ghost or using Righteous Glory item Righteous Glory into an Impale Impale is a powerful way to grab key enemy targets and pull them into your team for a quick kill during team fights.
      • When falling back, grabbing strong enemy initiators such as AmumuSquare Amumu or GalioSquare Galio early and pulling them further away from your team will put them out of position and make their strong ultimates ineffective, saving them from a hard engagement.
      • SkarnerSquare Skarner can easily pull away dangerous targets from a friendly carry using Impale Impale, then slowing them with Fracture Fracture after the link is broken.
      • Using Crystalline Exoskeleton Crystalline Exoskeleton will allow you to pull your victim further back than otherwise.
      • Impale Impale drags the opponent directly behind SkarnerSquare Skarner. You can turn around just before its duration ends to flip the enemy to the other side of his character model, further increasing the distance you displace them.
    • Impale Impale is uniquely powerful compared to other suppression spells such as WarwickSquare Warwick's Infinite Duress Infinite Duress and MalzaharSquare Malzahar's Nether Grasp Nether Grasp, in that it cannot be canceled by outside sources such as stuns and silences as it has no channel time.
      • It can still, however, be broken by the purchase and use of a Quicksilver Sash item Quicksilver Sash by the victim.
Mastery Usage
Item Usage
  • Building attack speed indirectly reduces Crystal Slash Crystal Slash's cooldown.
  • A Sheen item Sheen-based item synergizes perfectly with SkarnerSquare Skarner. Due to the low cooldown of his Crystal Slash Crystal Slash, SkarnerSquare Skarner can continuously proc Spellblade, coupled with the fact that SkarnerSquare Skarner has some of the highest base attack damage in the game.
    • A Trinity Force item Trinity Force is an exceptionally strong item for SkarnerSquare Skarner. Sheen item Sheen adds some damage to his abilities and he makes exceptional use of the Spellblade passive. Zeal item Zeal gives SkarnerSquare Skarner some attack speed and movement speed, which is valuable to him for reducing his Crystal Slash Crystal Slash cooldown and allowing him to keep up with an enemy champion.Phage item Phage grants even more sticking power through its passive and SkarnerSquare Skarner greatly enjoys the attack damage and health it grants.
    • Iceborn Gauntlet item Iceborn Gauntlet, alternatively, provides SkarnerSquare Skarner with a tankier option. Compared to the Trinity Force item Trinity Force, it provides less overall damage and movement speed but instead offers armor, Spellblade with an AoE slow, cooldown reduction, and more mana. It is also a cheaper option, which could be helpful if you are not ahead.
  • As a hybrid champion, SkarnerSquare Skarner has strong attack damage and ability power scalings on his abilities. Depending on what you build, you could deal heavy physical damage or a nearly 50/50 mix of physical and magic damage.
  • Items such as The Black Cleaver item The Black Cleaver, Sterak's Gage item Sterak's Gage, and Titanic Hydra item Titanic Hydra are all great choices for attack damage on Skarner.
    • The Black Cleaver item The Black Cleaver is present in nearly any SkarnerSquare Skarner build, due to the multitude of valuable stats it provides. Additionally, he is able to make great use of both passives on this item through repetitive usage of Crystal Slash Crystal Slash.
    • Sterak's Gage item Sterak's Gage is especially strong when combined with an item such as Trinity Force item Trinity Force or Iceborn Gauntlet item Iceborn Gauntlet, as it directly increases the damage of the Spellblade passive. The passive grants a surprising amount of attack damage and survivability should you be bursted down.
  • Strong ability power items on Skarner generally include some type of defensive stats as well as AP, as you would otherwise be lacking tankiness to fight. A few powerful AP items on him would be Rylai's Crystal Scepter item Rylai's Crystal Scepter, Liandry's Torment item Liandry's Torment, and Zhonya's Hourglass item Zhonya's Hourglass.
    • Rylai's Crystal Scepter item Rylai's Crystal Scepter is powerful thanks to granting a large chunk of health and ability power. However, the real strength in this item lies in its passive. Although Rylai's Crystal Scepter item Rylai's Crystal Scepter's slow usually only effects his Crystal Slash Crystal Slash, this effect alone makes it potent as it essentially grants SkarnerSquare Skarner a permanent slow as long as he continues to cast Crystal Slash Crystal Slash.
    • Liandry's Torment item Liandry's Torment is strong thanks to the magic penetration and the damage-over-time passive it has. This passive also benefits from the large roster of crowd control that SkarnerSquare Skarner has. In combination with Rylai's Crystal Scepter item Rylai's Crystal Scepter, an ability power focused build on SkarnerSquare Skarner can deal hefty damage over time and keep an enemy in place to put it to effect.
  • As a low mobility melee champion, most SkarnerSquare Skarner builds include multiple defensive items so he can survive and close the gap between himself and the enemy team.
  • Randuin's Omen item Randuin's Omen and Righteous Glory item Righteous Glory are two great items for SkarnerSquare Skarner, as they both provide defensive stats and additional crowd control to add to his plethora of slows and immobilizes:
    • Randuin's Omen item Randuin's Omen provides Health, Armor, and damage reduction from critical strikes. It also gives an attack speed reduction to an enemy that auto-attacks you and a powerful AoE slow. If an AD Carry is the biggest threat on the enemy team, Randuin's Omen item Randuin's Omen will aid greatly in keeping you alive as it can greatly reduce the amount of damage received from their auto-attacks.
    • Righteous Glory item Righteous Glory grants Health as well as Mana to resolve some mana problems. It can grant a massive movement speed increase for yourself and your team. If your team lacks initiation, it would be recommended to build this item as it allows you to easily pick off an enemy champion through usage of Impale Impale.
  • Dead Man's Plate item Dead Man's Plate is an excellent item on SkarnerSquare Skarner. It grants heavy defensive stats at a fairly reasonable price, but the movement speed passive on this item is invaluable to SkarnerSquare Skarner no matter the situation though. This item allows SkarnerSquare Skarner to chase better, flee better, and arrive to fights right on time. If you are to purchase at the minimum one defensive item, Dead Man's Plate item Dead Man's Plate should often be a go-to choice.
  • Frozen Heart item Frozen Heart is another strong armor item on SkarnerSquare Skarner. He greatly values the cooldown reduction and armor on this item. Additionally, the mana is useful to allow Skarner to cast spells carefree of his mana.
  • Locket of the Iron Solari item Locket of the Iron Solari and Banshee's Veil item Banshee's Veil are both very potent magic resist items on SkarnerSquare Skarner. When facing heavy AoE magic damage or a Double-AP comp, Locket of the Iron Solari item Locket of the Iron Solari can greatly mitigate the magic damage you and your team receive. When worried about single-target burst though, Banshee's Veil item Banshee's Veil should be purchased.
  • Due to SkarnerSquare Skarner's lack of dashes or blinks, he greatly benefits from an early pair of Boots of Speed item Boots of Speed.
  • Boots of Swiftness item Boots of Swiftness are an excellent option when being kited by a champion who is simply faster than you. When facing several slows on the enemy team but low amount of hard crowd control, Boots of Swiftness item Boots of Swiftness also allow you to crawl through and reach your target.
  • Mercury's Treads item Mercury's Treads are a great purchase when faced with several instances of hard CC on the enemy team. When faced with an early magic damage threat, these are also suggested.
  • Ninja Tabi item Ninja Tabi should be purchased early against teams who are purely physical damage, as often you will need as much armor as possible to survive. The damage reduction against auto-attacks also improves your jungle sustain and brings an AD Carry's damage down noticeable.
  • In the modern jungle, SkarnerSquare Skarner is very versatile, able to perform many different roles based upon his item selection and playstyle.
    • Warrior item Warrior dramatically increases his Crystal Slash Crystal Slash damage. SkarnerSquare Skarner also benefits heavily from Warrior item Warrior's cooldown reduction, allowing him to gank more often with Impale Impale. After purchasing Warrior item Warrior, Skarner can easily transition into purchasing tank items for the mid-game. Note and keep in mind that SkarnerSquare Skarner is a strong physical damage dealer anyway, and that this item gives good benefits when ahead.
    • Bloodrazor item Bloodrazor is a situational item on SkarnerSquare Skarner if he wants/has to fight other fighters or tanks. However, because Crystal Slash Crystal Slash's damage is based entirely on his own attack damage it is generally more optimal to purchase cooldown reduction and attack damage when building offensively.
    • Juggernaut item Cinderhulk is another choice for SkarnerSquare Skarner. The Immolate passive speeds up your clear and the bonus HP scales your tankiness throughout a game. In an average game, Juggernaut item Cinderhulk is the enchantment you should most likely purchase.
    • Magus item Runic Echoes can be good for SkarnerSquare Skarner. The stats together with Echo provide an earlier powerspike as well as strong mana sustain and a speedy jungle clear.
  • Crystalline Exoskeleton Crystalline Exoskeleton's movement speed boost will persist only if the shield is unbroken, destroying his shield will make the movement speed boost disappear.
  • Buy a Quicksilver Sash item Quicksilver Sash to end the suppression from Impale Impale. Champions such as AlistarSquare Alistar, OlafSquare Olaf, and GangplankSquare Gangplank also counter it.
  • Be careful when turret diving a low health SkarnerSquare Skarner. He can use his Impale Impale and drag you around the turret.
  • Some champions with a knockback ability (e.g. Fling Fling or Headbutt Headbutt) can help an ally that is dragged by Impale Impale. Use this to make sure SkarnerSquare Skarner doesn't drag them too far.
  • Skarner gets large buffs inside the perimeter of Crystal Spires Crystal Spires under his control. Try to refrain from fighting in these zones, or prevent him from gaining control of them.