Skarner, I miss your kind

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RiotScruffy

Game Designer

07-29-2013
4 of 35 Riot Posts

Ok, it seems like we are in pretty near agreement about Skarner's problems. He is definitely still a fun character, so we are not going to scrap his kit or something severe like that. I think a combination of a few good changes could really bring him back into a nice sweet spot as a viable champ.

I am going to try these changes out and do some playtesting to see how they affect him. No guarantees that these are the right changes or the ones that will end up being in the final set.

I think a really powerful change that would make Skarner's kit more clear in its usage and counterplay would be to focus the W and E abilities more for a single purpose each. W can be his defensive and gap closing ability exclusively. Inversely, E can be more focused as a brawling/jungle clearing/damaging ability.

Overall
-Overall mana costs reduced (probably looking at E first its super costly)

Q
-Hopefully removing permaslow by making the slow only occur on every other Q instead of all Qs after the first. To balance the loss in slow duration here, I want to make it a much stronger slow that decays over time but leaves gaps for people to counterplay. Hopefully this will be fun for skarner players too because they can now make some smart decisions when they want to use the new more powerful Q slow.

W
-Increase the movespeed buff so that it is closer to other similar champs like Udyr and Volibear
-Possibly make the movespeed ramp up over time so its not too powerful of an escape "get out of jail free" ability
-Lower cooldown back to 14s from 18s like it was a few patches ago
-Strengthen the shield amount/AP ratios (to compensate for the loss of heal from E)
-Remove attack speed from the W buff

E
-Instead of the heal, proccing the E mark on targets will now give skarner his attack speed buff
-Increase total damage, but split it up so that only some is up front and the rest happens when you proc the mark
-Reduce mana cost
-Look into better usability (faster projectile, faster cast, etc) may be one or all of these

R
-Fix more edge cases so that the R will reliably go off on targets once it has been cast


These are still very much work in progress, and I still want your input on how you feel about these changes. I will also keep coming back to fill you all in on how these changes feel in internal playtesting.


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Gardonazorph

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Senior Member

07-29-2013

These are just 3 things I noticed while thinking about a skarner I faced earlier this week.
1. His inability to basic attack while Ulting. Not sure if it was intended, but it essentially ruined his 1v1 potential, so counter jungling skarner was easier because during his ult, he couldn't dish out a lot of damage compared to someone who could fully utilize theirs.
2. In order for his ult to feel meaningful, you had to build a speedier build. While that may seem non-relevant, the fact that people can build merc treads or tabi on someone comparable, skarner doesn't have that option to have the same effect on his ultimate.
3. We had a hecarim on our team. These 2 are porbably the most comparable:
Hecarim's q does more and lowers its cd, while skarner's does less and also lowers cd with basic attacks.
Hecarim's speed boost may not give him a shield like skarner's, but the boost is more substatial, has a knockback and does additional damage making it feel more meaningful (combined with the fact hecarim can now jump small walls)
Hecarim heals from all damage dealt to anything around him with his heal going, while Skarner's E feels relatively clunky anyway and only heals from things he hit. It just feels like Hecarim is a better version of Skarner. Even the ult ability to push an entire team rather than just 1 seems more satasfying.


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Skip to my Lulu

Senior Member

07-29-2013

Skarner is pleased.
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SGL Mist

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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
Skarner's ult is unlike no other which makes it such a blast to play him. Just reading this thread reminded me that hes still in the game. In fact I want to play him right now.

The skills need buffs damage wise because his CD's are perfectly fine. There isnt really anything frustrating about playing against him because now that cleanse is so commonly used people could just cleanse skarner's ult which in team fights would make him like a malphite without a good ult, just slowing people.

On the top of my head I can not think of any champion that can do something similar to what skarner does in the jungle. However thresh/blitz highly outclass skarners ult considering how fast you can rail people in with their skills from a range rather than being skarner and having to walk up to an enemy and grab then and hope you make it back to your team. So basically if your skarner and you dont have flash your in a horrible position.

Now bare with me. This is something that I think would personally help skarner amazingly. What if skarner's ult had the ability to do this. Skarner would jump to an enemy champion but from a fairly short range and you would grab him and continue to do what skarner's ult does know. Just a leap added to his ult.


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Kersplakastani

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
I just started trying to play as this guy again, he could definitely use some work, but not too much of a re-work!

The most fun parts of playing Skarner seem to be his Ult and Q, I enjoy going in and grabbing someone and pulling them away while casting his Q over and over again, its a nice ability that does mixed damage (physical/magic).

One of my big issues with Skarner is his mana consumption, I feel like he needs an ability that can counteract this in some way or affects his regen, perhaps even changing his heal on fracture from scaling off of his max mana instead of AP? Because the AP ratio on that makes it feel quite useless, I do like the ability and its usage, but it feels lackluster. Also his shield feels very weak and the movement speed boost is nice but it can be kited pretty easily.

I haven't had much experience playing against Skarner.

As a jungler I feel like Zac and even Aatrox kind of outshine him, they both have a nice mix of CC and an escape ability, plus they are much better at closing gaps than Skarner.


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Elementalos

Senior Member

07-29-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
YOU'LL NEVER ESCAPE
Quote:
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
E. At no stage in the game does pressing E feel satisfying at all.. really I only ever do it when I have nothing better to do. It's just... not enjoyable. The damage isn't satisfying, the heal is just 'nice'. It doesn't wave clear, it doesn't snipe, it doesn't help him close the gap, doesn't really help him tank or burst someone down.

Changes to itemization in season 2 and season 3 made his build paths kind of dull IMO as well (as well as jungle gold loss). You could do some nifty things with hybrid-bruiser skarner or even tanky-ap skarner... and you don't really have the option to anymore.
Quote:
• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
Honestly I can't say playing against Skarner has ever really frustrated me, outside some abuse cases with his ult that were fixed a long time ago.

Yeah, being snagged by his ultimate is annoying, but I really can't say it's any moreso than any similar skill, if anything less so, given the cast range I usually feel like it's my own fault rather than Skarner being obnoxious.

Quote:
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why
Well, pretty much every "fast" jungler does their job better than Skarner now.

If I had to name any one champion though it'd be Hecarim, because he's also quick and dives on targets hard while spamming out big melee damage, he just does it more fluidly than skarner.

Udyr doesn't have that scary ult like Skarner or Hecarim do, but he does have a similar "Run at you really fast and then rip you apart" thematic to him and, again, flows a lot better than Skarner does right now.


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N49

Senior Member

07-29-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
The ability to build a wide variety of items and still get work done.
The fact that the enemy cannot escape you once you get a drop on them.

Quote:
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
Mana. If he's not jungling with a blue, he runs dry extremely quick, and there isn't really any viable buildpath for him to fix that(they are all too expensive).
All too often what would be a kill for another champion leaves Scarner resourceles against an opponent that was just an inch from death and now slowly building back his HP with potions/lifesteal.

Quote:
• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
You cannot escape, especially past 6.

Quote:
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
Pretty much anyone with CC dose Skarner's primary thing(preventing escape) better, by either having more range, or being better than him in the slot he'd occupy.
There's a ton of better toplaners, just as many better junglers, and Skarner in any other lane is a joke/cheese.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
Q
-Hopefully removing permaslow by making the slow only occur on every other Q instead of all Qs after the first. To balance the loss in slow duration here, I want to make it a much stronger slow that decays over time but leaves gaps for people to counterplay. Hopefully this will be fun for skarner players too because they can now make some smart decisions when they want to use the new more powerful Q slow.

E
-Instead of the heal, proccing the E mark on targets will now give skarner his attack speed buff
-Increase total damage, but split it up so that only some is up front and the rest happens when you proc the mark
-Reduce mana cost
-Look into better usability (faster projectile, faster cast, etc) may be one or all of these
IMO a better way to shuffle stuff would be to put the slow on E and move the heal onto Q, but make it scale with targets hit, up to 3.

That way he gets a bit more area of influence, and his slow isn't permanent anymore, but without any wonky mechanic on Q.
At the same time, his Q becomes the one stop jungle skill, allowing him to do great there, but offering less benefit in lane scenarios.


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CracatoaX

Member

07-29-2013

• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
Being able to dual anyone 1v1 or even 1v2 mid-late game. His AMAZING passive.
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
E being lackluster, getting kited/no gap closer
• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
Getting ulted with nothing you can do about it.
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
Zac, Jarvan, Vi, Sej, Better early games, longer range CC ults, gap closers.


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IS1d1292493e47b4417f0d6

Member

07-29-2013

What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
Dragging people with your ultimate
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
Going OOM too fast and E being useless.
• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
His chase
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
Better ganks pre 6, all the viable jungelrs atm aren't blue buff dependent, better itemization, tankier.


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coL Jezie

Senior Member

07-29-2013

It's just an idea, but what if the one change you gave to Skarner was to give his shield a soft-cleanse? I imagine it to be something pretty similar to Eve's w, but without the resets, because Skarner is really about that frightening initiation.