I am thinking of buying Skarner after this week, or once I get the IP, I'm about 4k IP off if you're curious.
I was wondering what might be the best build for him might be?
Currently I go(not full); Ninja tabi, Philo Stone, Banshee Veil, Frozen Heart, Triforce, and a situational.
I normally get rid of my philostone once I get my full build with philo complete and get a warmogs or shurelya's
Any tips are appreciated, thanks.
1) Get spirit stone instead of philo stone if youre just going to sell the philo.
2) Skarner sucks in S3 after his ult nerf.
Ideally, you want to build according to the enemy team. Tabi isn't always the best option, especially early in the jungle. I'll often build Boots of Mobility and then build a Spirit of the Ancient Golem later for Tenacity, but occasionally, I'll need the tenacity sooner, and just build the Mercs straight off.
I don't tend to build very much damage on Skarner, since he's more about locking people down for your team than about killing people himself. Triforce isn't bad on him, but I prefer an Iceborn Gauntlet. If you go that route, then you probably want to get a Randuin's instead of a Frozen heart to avoid redundancy.
Since Shurelya's is good on him, you can definitely pick up an early Philo, even if you buy a Spirit Stone as well. It's not like extra health/mana regen are BAD on him. It also makes you feel better about giving away your blue buff. It also opens up the option to get Kindlegem early, which will make you tankier AND give you some much-wanted CDR. Whether you want the Kindlegem or the Philo first depends on who and if you are ganking early on. If you're ganking someone with high burst damage, then definitely consider the Kindlegem for a bit more survivability.
Now the hard part is filling that in for some MR if you need it. Sometimes you can get away without adding any if you're just going to be using your ult on their magic damage dealer, but it often isn't as easy as that... For this, I definitely like Bulwark. It gives you everything you want. That sometimes isn't enough though. Your other good options for full-tank Skarner for MR are Banshees, Spirit Visage, and Twin Shadows. These each have their advantages. Generally, I avoid Banshee's just because Catalyst isn't that good these days, and the shield is inconsistent. Twin Shadows adds even more initiation power along with Shurelya's and W, so it can really make some big plays. Spirit Visage will cap out your CDR, and add some more HP to the mix, making you pretty beefy- but the healing passive is mostly wasted since you generally don't want to waste mana on your E. In the end, it's a matter of preference. Oh yeah, Wit's End can also be an option.
If you decide that you don't need that last MR item, then consider a Randuin's Omen. As weird as it may sound, you can also consider building a Zephyr on him. It gives CDR, MS, and AS, all of which help Skarner do his job better. The AD you get from it is an added bonus. It's also good because you can just build the Stinger and leave it in your inventory forever just for the AS and CDR.
So all this stuff together leaves me with:
Boots (Mobility or Tabi, usually)
Spirit of the Ancient Golem
One thing that you want to remember is that Skarner's Passive makes him scale extremely well with CDR so long as you're constantly hitting something. Please please please use his passive. In case you don't know, his passive is that his melee attacks lower the cooldowns on all of his spells. You get .5 seconds for hitting minions and monsters, and 1 second for hitting champions. Always try to be hitting something. The more you use his passive, the more you can gank and initiate with your ult. That ult is most likely the reason you picked Skarner in the first place, so it only makes sense that you want to use it as much as possible. Also, CDR and his passive give him more shields too. With max CDR, and if you're always hitting someone in a teamfight, you'll get a shield every 5-6 seconds. That's a lot of extra HP.
Lastly, the change to Skarner's ult doesn't break him like people would have you believe. In case you didn't know, the change is that, if your ult is mid-cast and your target jumps out of range before they're caught, you will no longer pull them back anyway. You used to be able to pluck people from half a screen away even if they flashed or jumped, but now, if they made it past a certain range from you, it simply cancels your ult (your mana and cooldown are NOT used). That doesn't break him, it just means you have to think more about who you're going to grab, and you have to know when them escaping means that it's time to back off and wait for another opening. It means you have to be more patient.
Love Skarner, and is still one of my favorite jungle champs as he clears extremely fast. For your item build, I recommend some changes.
Sheen is always your first priority. Your Q is so spammable that this will end up being how most of your damage is done. Triforce is a long slow build, so is normally done near the end of my build if the game goes that long, but it is worthwhile, especially if you begin to snowball.
Skarner has mana challenges early on, but by late game, you are normally fine. Due to his passive, CDR is not as important as some think, imo. After Sheen, you should prioritize getting your rank 2 boots, and either Ninja Tabi or Merc Treads is ideal as you will be an off tank or initiating fights with your ult.
For your sustain, I actually have found that Randuins is the better way to go, adding armor and health, as well as a great unique. Pending how the game is going, and due to all your Q procs, I love building Wits End. You do a tremendous amount of both AD and AP damage, and that extra 42 Magic damage hurts, especially because most champs stack less MR, and with your AS boost shield, you will be adding significant damage.
From there your build will always be situational and based on how well you and the team is doing. I shoot for a combined armor / MR of about 250 - 300 to help the unique ability on it, and keep me alive through initiation. I find that you do not need to build any more AP on him then what Trinity will give normally, so focus on health/ sustain and perhaps AD pending what your team needs. If you are able to start to snowball at all, Hextech Gunblade is a fantastic item, as the increase to dps, spell vamp, and the slow from its ability will allow enemy champs to never flee without wasting a flash or ghost, and can secure an ult pull of the enemy ADC, but only buy if you are way up and getting ready to end the game and want to have fun.
Well, that's different philosophy than mine, but Skarner has a lot of viable paths and playstyles. I recall Xypherous mentioning that there is an inside joke at Riot that everything besides Crit is good for Skarner.
I strongly disagree about the CDR though. His passive doesn't replace CDR, it synergizes with it. CDR makes his passive even better. Some examples:
Lets say Rank2 ult for 120s base cooldown. Let's say 1.0 attack speed.
If you attack minions/monsters continuously (hypothetically), then you can have your ult back up in 80s.
The same situation but with 20% CDR will let you ult again after only 64 seconds.
With 40% CDR, you'll be able to ult again in ~48 seconds.
Now, obviously, these numbers don't account for travel time between camps. You aren't actually going to be attacking continuously for 64 or 48 seconds straight, but it also doesn't account for higher AS, or for attacks vs Champions (which double the effect of the passive).
My point is, taking 13/12/11s chunks off of your ult per 10% CDR is 26/24/22 less melee swings (vs Minions/monsters) it will take for your passive to refresh your ult, and no matter how you play Skarner, your ult is a MAJOR part of your kit. The more often you have it up, the more helpful you are to your team.
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