Skarner, I miss your kind

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Flandag

Senior Member

07-29-2013

1. The mobility creep has progressed further and further and further to the point where it has now finally has made Skarner nonviable ... the fix on his ultimate was also a huge turning point.

Similar champions, and by champions I mean Udyr, have been reworked so that they've been made viable again - Bear Stance given a major buff with that lunge and Tiger Stance given higher early damage and a stronger AS buff.

2. Itemization and meta-shifts have slid towards tanky-yet-still-good-damage junglers. Chief example: Jarvan IV. You still build him tanky, but Jarvan IV is one of the best go-tank-do-damage brusiers in the game, if not he best. Skarner doesn't have the damage output anymore. Yes, theoretically he still does good damage but its way too drawn out; he can't afford to chase-chase-chase-chase anymore.

Basically, I humbly suggest that Skarner get reworked in order to improve his -initial- mobility to allow him better ganks (no, relying on Flash doesn't count, go away Sona), while increasing his up-front damage. His tankiness might need to take a nerf for it but that's what he'd need.

So glad to see you guys working on him, thanks!

Hey All,

• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?

Skuttling around (yes, skuttle), spamming your Q onto an enemy, and dragging him away to their doom.

• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?

The mobility creep has made it almost impossible to gank effectively or use his ult in teamfights.

• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?

If somehow, he manages to catch you, and you don't have a dash, you're never getting away. Granted that's what makes Skarner Skarner, and it shouldn't really be taken away if you don't buff his ability to catch you... which you should....

• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?

Jarvan IV, gives his team similar if not better CC while doing more damage and providing more utility with less items.
Nocturne has a much easier time diving onto his opponents while doing more damage
Xin Zhao, for the same reasons as Nocturne
Nautilus, better CC by far and much tankier. Also does much more upfront damage, although much less sustained damage.


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Tenmar

Senior Member

07-29-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
Hey All,
I’m going to be doing some Skarner work and right here is one of the best places to start. There has been a great thread in the Champion Feedback forum (shoutout to Irish Red Cap) with a lot of good discussion on how people are feeling about Skarner’s current state.

So I’ve been doing some digging and unfortunately, poor Skarner is being picked 80% less this year than he was last year. Some of this might be from some nerfs he has received, but it may also be because newer champs are outclassing him in what he does best. Either way, I think we all agree that Skarner could benefit from a few improvements to make him more fun/viable for both Skarner players and their opponents. Keep in mind, the goal here is not "make Skarner OP." There will always have to be strengths and weaknesses to all champions.

Before we get to any of the potential changes, we need to figure out what Skarner’s strengths and weaknesses are right now. I have a few questions for you all, and you can answer these as a SKarner player or even as someone who only has experience playing against Skarner.

• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?

I have my own personal answers to these questions, but I may be only seeing one side of the coin. There are some Skarner players out there with wayyy more experience that I have, and I think there is a lot of valuable information that I may be missing. I have a feeling that once we get talking, we will come to some very useful conclusions. GOGOGO

-Scruff
Wanna currently know the most UNFUN thing about Skarner that is often overlooked? Skarner's shield/MS steroid ability. In a game with ever increasing mobility the second Skarner loses his shield health which is getting easier and easier to do to stop Skarner chasing you just by doing some damage and he instantly goes from being the pursuer to the pursued.

Another thing is that Skarner's slow is just inefficient now. Either other champs have some gap opener or some stun or snare and can now just walk away. This is mainly due to the fact that you increased everyone's base MS which made everyone who had a slow less effective. I've seen champs basically just walk away from skarner's slow spam when that is supposed to be his thing. It's the same case with Frozen Mallet but it is also just as true here.

I'd also say damage is also an issue as well. For a Fighter he really doesn't do his job that well in terms of threat due to poor itemization. As a tank he doesn't really peel well or initiates as well and doesn't really see any sort of damage increase in either case.

Honestly Skarner has A LOT of issues. It was a sound construction but your radical itemization changes and base stat changes and consistent power creep of champions just mmade Skarner into a joke.

EDIT: I'd like to add one thing not mentioned a lot. JUNGLE CLEAR TIMES! Skarner is really terrible at this now. With the changes to jungle monsters Skarner's damage is just really weak to be consistent. I mean right now Rammus can clear better than Skarner now.


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Mizukey

Junior Member

07-29-2013

1. It's really fun to just run into an enemy team and pull someone out. Late game, sitting in the enemy team and putting out AoE is really gratifying

2. Early game skarner ganks are completely lackluster. IF you can get to the enemy laner, good luck killing them as they run, flash, ability X away. Skarner's E also doesn't feel like it fits his kit. The healing just feels out of place and doesnt do much in the way of damage or healing for the mana cost.

3. Playing against a skarner as an adc or ap carry is terrifying. If he reaches you and your flash is down, enjoy death. You can build a QSS to fix that problem, but until mid/late you wont be able to.

4. Nautilus, Sejuani, Hecarim all do his job better. Skarner used to be a reliable initiator that could isolate a target. With the changes to his ultimate, that reliability is gone. A single flash gets anyone out, along with slows or stuns that were already very effective. Nautilus just clicks someone for a similar effect. Hecarim charges in in a similar manner, but his ult is now more reliable than skarner's. Sejuani is a slow machine, similar to skarner, with a better ultimate, and more damage. All 3 also have stronger early games than Skarner.


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Raloosh

Senior Member

07-29-2013

What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
I love how skarner's kit revolves around just "I am in your face. I am not getting out of your face. You are staying right here, me in your face."
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
Having to build so many mana items, and having no real defensive steroids makes it so you have to build all defense.
• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
Probably being ulted back, but that's only if he gets lucky.
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
Maybe Jarvan.


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Sty13z

Senior Member

07-29-2013

• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?

Who's Skarner?

No seriously though, I don't play much Skarner but I'd really love to so I'll answer bullets 2 and 3 as well as tell you why I don't play Skarner.

2) I played Skarner during free week, his lack of burst, range, and mobility is frustating and unfun mainly because the sum of the parts is greater than the whole... If he had mobility and a solid ranged ability, or some burst aspect paired with a gap closer he'd be a lot more enjoyable.
I believe he is heavily outclassed by most (maybe all) top lane champs: Jax lacks a ranged poke but has burst and a gap closer... Darius lacks mobility but also brings a lot to the table in other areas. Skarner simply lacks too many neccessary competitive elements neccessary to be enjoyable during laning phase (both top and jungle).

3) During laning phase, the most frustrating aspect of playing against Skarner is his lack of poke. (Trying not to sound rude or cocky) It's honestly boring and *opininion incoming* easy playing against Skarner because I know I can slowly whittle him down without retribution.
After laning ends, just knowing Skarner has his ult is very frustrating. Similar to Yorick, Skarner's ult makes him Skarner. Arguably one of the best ults in the game... I'd venture to say most avid Skarner players' favorite attribute is also the most hated attribute from the enemy's perspective.

In short, there are certain key elements all champions NEED to have to remain competitive in the current meta. Skarner does a lot of cool stuff (namely his one of a kind ult) unfortunately, his lack of burst, range, mobility, and hard cc will cause his pick rate to continually decrease as new champs integrate many (if not all) of these key elements as a staple part of their builds.


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IS1b257d358c1896fb385f1

Junior Member

07-29-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
Hey All,
• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?


-Scruff
The most fun aspect of playing skarner, for me at least, is the fact I can duel pretty much anyone, his passive is pretty unique and sinergyses pretty well with attack speed and cdr, also his ult is amazing, grabbing their adc or use it to peel, just amazing.

The most frustrating aspects of playing skarner are a few I can name, first, he's full melee with no real gapcloser, so teams that consist of poke, disengage or some form of cc can screw you, also his E is not worth taking if you're jungling at least, so you only have 3 skills in the end.

When playing against skarner, the fact that if he gets to ult me, I'll probably just die if his team is at least decent.

Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?

I would have to say Vi, after the nerf to skarner's ult, Vi with her ult can do what skarner used to do before.


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Hydroctopus

Senior Member

07-29-2013

• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
People thinking they can fight you, but your passive lets you get that shield up JUST a second before you die, and you kill them. DON'T change that passive, unless there is something really clever you can do to make it worth while, cause he needs that perma slow by that q spam with your auto attacks. I like how the q works, but I also don't. (It's also kind of annoying playing against that constant slow) Another thing is how satisfying it feels to get your ult on that super fed Draven, and pull him into your team to make that fights a 4v5.

• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
When your ult doesn't go off. And the fact that your E isn't even remotely useful, so you don't even skill it. (Seriously, change this ability please.)

• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
When I see one, it's that he can single someone out very well, but that's something he should always be able to do. If you're trying to get away, his perma slow is a bit obnoxious.

• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
Hmm... Most of the tanky junglers others have listed, (Nautilus, Jarvan, Zac, etc) can do his job much better. They offer a lot more as a tank than he can, if hes built as a tank he has to hope he can get to that high priority target, but if he can't, he was useless that fight. An example of this is when he tries to get to Ezreal, and he just keeps pressing q/e to not let him get close. Zac, Jarvan, Naut, and others can initiate with abilities from afar to GET them close, or just press q/r with Naut.



Overall, I think he needs a change on his e. I don't really want to say this, because I love Skarner, but he basically has 3 abilities, his e might as well not be there. MOST people don't even level it until they are forced to. He could use something to get him into fights, other than the speedup from w, or something that can help him out in a teamfight if he cant get to that high priority target to ult them back into his team.

EDIT: He also needs a lobster skin.


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Flana Scarlet

Senior Member

07-29-2013

• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?

Personally I think one of the most fun things about Skarner is his theme, straight up. I have both his skins and like to switch (though it is a long drought since I've mained Skarner, that was back in Season 2). He feels like a creepy-crawly in Sandscourge and an arcane construction in Earth Rune. Just wanted to say, good job on that (and maybe ask for a new skin).

Gameplay he has a few fun things going for him. He can be kinda slow to start with, but his Q destroys jungle camps, and he can very quickly devour a jungle. The same skill that gives him such insane speed is also his best tool for ganking, so it's win-win there. Exoskeleton feels good to use when you need to close gaps and to make Skarner even more of a terror in the jungle, as it's hard to lose health when you devour mobs that fast.

His ult is a point of contention for me. It's not really impressive or all that useful when it comes to dueling (I'll come back to that), but a played grab can spell certain death to anyone just like Thresh or Blitzcrank. Barreling in to your target with ult up and Exoskeleton on is a rush and making it to them and dragging the impaled target back to your team is very satisfying, as is becoming a point of difficulty for the enemy team with constant slows.


• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?

I can not stand his E. I've never felt it has a use for much outside of playing a goofball AP Skarner build (at which point it kind of makes him unkillable, if you survive to late game). The damage isn't worth leveling over Q-spam or the utility of W, and the heal isn't really that useful. At best you'll get a small little bump from Wraiths, but it's not much. By your second clear or so you won't even need any heals, Q and W keep Skarner super healthy. Leaves the skill as a low damage line-shot, which just feels really subpar in comparison to the rest of his kit. Season 2 and the random times I play him now in Season 3, I don't ever put a point into it. I'd rather have the mobility and shield of a higher level W.

Though, on Exoskeleton. The skill feels really weak right now, and it's hard ot place my finger on why. It just seems to be broken incredibly easy, and without it Skarner losses a lot of his threat. He needs to be up someone's bum to be worth fighting, otherwise he's worthless to your team. Getting there is becoming a problem. Staying there is what Skarner's all about (currently).

His ult is also something I dislike on a few levels. It feels really bad to use in a 1v1 situation. Super early game the damage can help, but as you go in it just drops off massively. His skills interact in bizarre ways as well, last time I played him. If your Q and W are up, you can use them while ulting. But if they come up as you're ulting, you can't. It's also stifling his ability to stick when you need an ult, Skarner's Q takes awhile to cycle without being able to auto, oppening with an ult results in the guy escaping in a large percentage of the time even if you drag them super far back, Skarner just can't keep up or build up anything while ulting. It just shuts out his kit.

And on his kit, it kind of feels weird that everything has an AP scaling. The only thing that has AD on it is his Q, and that gains an AP scaling on the second hit. But you can't really do anything with his scalings. If you go for AP, you get crushed. The shield is stronger, but you don't get any meaningful damage from his Q. The ult still shutting out your kit means you lose a lot of it when you ult anyways. Skarner has no real way of developing as more of a threat outside of just leveling his skills, or picking up something like Spirit of the Lizard Elder or if you're insanely fed, Trinity Force.

He's kind of bottlenecked into only building raw tank because he can't develop as a threat, which makes him fall off more and more the later the game goes. His only real hard CC is his ult. Outside of that he gets... a shield and a slow. You can't peel for anyone more than once and have an insanely hard time slowing down more than one person (since you have to maul their butt for cooldowns to keep going). Over a long period of time (which I feel is kind of Skarner's niche) with something like Trinity Force (SHEEEEN PROOOCS), he can become a serious threat, but it takes a lot of time to build up that damage. If he's done flat tank, a lot of champions can just walk around him after the ult's gone. You have to get a good pick with it or fall into irrelevance.


• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?

Two words: Perma-Slow. If Skarner is up your butt with an empowered Q, you're pretty much screwed at that point. You will never outrun him. You can't fight him, that just gives him more CDR through his passive. Xypherous said it awhile ago, it's a pretty awkward state. Skarner forces you to do the worst possible thing when he's on you while taking away a lot of your options.

A Skarner that gets ahead can pretty much stay ahead, because of the additional levels giving him more base damage and more mobility through Exoskeleton. A Skarner that falls behind becomes little more than an annoying slow-bot who can still easily get you killed in the lanning phase, if the lane players are paying attention and go in on his ganks.


• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?

I feel like there are a lot more champions now that can do Skarner's job better, for a few reasons. Some like Jarvan can build raw tank and still bring enough team disruption to stay relevent after a good ult. Jarvan comes with knock ups, an armor shread, and crater to trap people. Also has an attack speed buff for everyone when munching towers.

Volibear and Sej also get a lot of damage out of building tanky, along with percent-health skills that make it hard to ignore them at any stage of the game, regardless of items.

And then you get others like Cho'gath who just out-CC anyone and also carry an extreme bust ult.


Summery of My Lunatic Ravings:

Skarner has a great clear speed and set up to become an unholy monster in lane phase because of his kit. Being able to perma-slow someone almost guarantees kill when he can reach the target, and his ult only adds to this (when it's not locking you out of your kit randomly). He has a lot of problems staying relevant as the game goes on by way of not being to build any meaningful offense if you were to want and not getting as much out of a tank line as other junglers can. His main form of disruption is soft CC and can't stay much of a threat unless super far ahead (which isn't hard for him to do if the enemy lacks a hard disengage, but he can be super swingy).


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Iriog

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Member

07-29-2013

What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner? Learning and using his abilities to survive fights and the jungle longer. Honestly pulling someone back with your ult and having your team finish them off.
What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner? Feeling like your ult does absolutely nothing 50% of the time. Feeling outclasses by better AOE junglers...Sej and Shy. Running out of mana fast. Feeling like I need to split ad and ap.
What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner? Getting caught by his ult and pulled into the lazer.
Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why? I feel like Volibears Q is like Skarners ult, but with lower cooldown. I think Shyvana and Sejuani are way better picks than him. Shy has better clear and sej has better cc.


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RiotScruffy

Game Designer

07-29-2013
2 of 35 Riot Posts

This is crazy how much good feedback you guys have lol. I can barely keep up with the thread. I'm seeing a few things popping up in almost every post.

-Skarner's ult is AWESOME (jawesome?) and it is his defining ability
-Skarner is very mana dependent and without blue he suffers
-Skarner is very easily kited
-Getting permaslowed by Skarner is frustrating
-Skarner's E ability (Fracture) doesn't feel useful/can be somewhat clunky to use
-Other junglers (zac/j4/voli etc) are more reliable in ganking and teamfights

Am I missing anything?