Skarner, I miss your kind

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AceHawKK

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Junior Member

07-29-2013

Hey. I'm currently a Diamond 2 top/jungle main and I used to love playing both lane and jungle Skarner in season 2, and will give some thoughts.

In season 3 I primarily play Skarner a situational jungler to synergize with heavy CC lanes or as a peeler when up against melee dive comps like tyrn/lee/j4/zed, as skarners Q and Ult absolutely wreck any chances those champs have at sticking on the adc.

That said, I feel Skarner jungler is not currently a top tier pick. A fed Skarner isn't as influential as a lot of other fed junglers and an underfarmered Skarner feels somewhat worthless other than his catching potential. He is less dynamic than many other junglers, and this means that he has to be able to do his niche role very well in order to pull his weight.

Skarner top is honestly a semicheese pick these days. If the enemy knows your kit and your limits, they will not have any trouble laning against you. His ult is amazingly strong when synergized with a strong ganking jungler, but his strong ult does not counteract Skarner's many weaknesses, such as: high mana costs, weak farming from range, very low burst dmg (though surprisingly decent sustain dmg), relatively weak sustain (this relates back to the high mana costs that it would take to spam E). I realize Skarner is primarily balanced around his Jungle and I am fine with him not being a top tier top, though I felt his top was quite well balanced in early to mid S2.


What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
I like Skarner's overall feel of being a mobility controller who makes up for his weak burst and not so flashy kit with solid soft CC and a potentially game changing hard CC. He feels very smooth once you get a couple items into your build and reach that threshold of tankyness to be able to get in the enemy's face, whether that's diving the enemy adc or denying enemy assassins.


What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
Right now, I think Skarner isn't impactful enough early. His flash+ult potential at 6 used to make up for this, but these days it tends to just force an enemy flash, and then you're stuck waiting on CDs unless you can get a nice flank. Soloq games and even competitive games are often snowballed one way or the other during those first 10 minutes of the game and if you can't catch an enemy overextending or land that flash+ult at 6, you simply have no way of matching the early game potential of the current meta junglers. And with Skarner's high mana costs, you aren't even that effective at speed clearing your own jungle, let alone invading. Skarner relies on an enemy to make a mistake in order for him to make a strong early impact and that can be a frustrating feeling when you're trying hard to match the ganks/influence of the enemy jungler but just cannot seem to make anything significant happen or even punish the enemy jungler via invading and contesting buffs.

What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
Some older champions lack the mobility that most newer champions come standard with. These champions can have an extremely hard time dealing with Skarner's constant slows and will feel pretty much shut down in every fight if the Skarner is strong and plays smart. Champs like irelia, tryndamere, ad sion, xin, and jax come to mind. These champs do have some mobility spells but if Skarner can land a procced Q after they use that spell, they're screwed.

Are there champions that do Skarners job better than he does? Why?
I don't think another champ does the exact same job as Skarner. I'd say he's the king of sustained soft CC, but in most situations it is better to have strong burst CC/burst DPS than sustained CC. Nautilus might be somewhat similar to Skarner in terms of the amount of CC he has and his ability to initiate with ult or play peeler/protect, although Naut I would consider more of a burst CC/tank. Udyr is similar, especially in bear stance, but Udyr usually takes a more aggressive early game role and plays a little more bruisery in general.


I think what could help skarner most is a rework of his E. It could refund mana in order to help out his high mana costs and allow him to clear faster. I could become a legitimate ranged spell like Shyv's recent E rework, especially if it recieved a debuff/team buff. Hell, even letting it grant vision could have its uses.

Final words. Skarner feels just as strong as ever once he gets a couple big items, but if he doesn't get to this point, he just doesn't offer the utility that meta junglers can offer when they're not having a great game. Games are being swung one way or the other earlier and earlier and Skarner's kit gives him fewer opportunities to start an early snowball than just about any jungler.


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Groxxy

Senior Member

07-29-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
To clarify, the slow will still occur on the second Q.

I am just as skeptical about any of these changes as you are, and I am thinking about all of the counterarguments very closely.

One of the biggest problems that I want to solve is the "feast or famine" that many people have mentioned. Making Skarner have more consistent engage, but some gaps in his sticking power is something that I personally want as a Skarner player.
The heal is something that I think is much bigger than people realize. it seems small but those flat amounts add up quickly. It may be worth trying to implement it into his W.

Also one thing I'd be careful of is his very short cooldowns. (with his passive)


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Condishnah

Junior Member

07-29-2013

I am a huge fan of Skarner to start off. He is my favorite champion. but i still think he is a strong pick. My thoughts on how to improve him is reduce the W cooldown or make it persist after being destroyed. I feel that Skarner has really good early game damage but his Q fall's off a lot late game. Maybe adding a tanky damage item that has ad with it and maybe attk speed should help him out. He really benefits from items that give a lot of stats overall like aegis. I love this champion but maybe also add tenacity while W is up. Thanks guys


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Love The Bomb

Junior Member

07-29-2013

What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
Running in and ulting their ADC.

What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
Mana costs and his terrible E.

What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
Nothing now, I haven't seen him except in ARAMs.

Are there champions that do Skarners job better than he does? Why?
Any jungler with a move speed buff or a gap close and any sort of CC - Zac, Sejuani, J4, Amumu... They do the same thing but usually give more utility to the team and are better initiators.


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김치 비빔밥

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Senior Member

07-29-2013

Idk for the others.. but I LOVE his Q and W factor the most!

-Gank, Land your first Q, enemy flash and you start to W to him at full speed, catch him up and land a max range clutch Q slow... OHHH THE SATISFACTION OF THE HUNT AND THAT ELECTRIC SOUND THAT YOU LANDED mhhh <3

-I hate his early game, he's absolutly useless pre-6

-Prob the feeling of getting pulled in..


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RiotScruffy

Game Designer

07-29-2013
7 of 35 Riot Posts

I'm seeing the feedback about removing the permaslow from Q. It's definitely a loss in power for Skarner, but with the goal of increasing his consistency, it could work out to his benefit. How would you feel about Skarner having a way to activate his slow right off the bat instead of delayed instead of having permaslow?


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Renzokuken19

Junior Member

07-29-2013

I'm just gonna throw in my 2c on a potential kit rework. I played Skarner quite a bit in S2, and I think this addresses some of his faults, as well as some of his overwhelming strengths. Feedback is more than welcome!

Passive: Energize - No changes needed. Skarner's passive is pretty simple, and that is fine.

Q: Crystal Slash - Active: Skarner deals physical damage to all enemies within range. If he hits any enemies, using Crystal Slash again within 5 seconds deals bonus magic damage and heals Skarner for a percentage of the damage dealt over a short period.

This shifts his sustain from his E to his Q. To compensate for the short cooldown, it is changed to a non-stacking HoT to prevent him from being an unkillable healmachine by spamming Q.

W: Crystalline Exoskeleton - Passive: Skarner gains Increased Attack Speed. Active: Skarner gains a shield that absorbs damage for 6 secs. While the shield is active, the passive effect of Crystalline Exoskeleton is doubled and Skarner gains increased movement speed. If the shield is destroyed prematurely, Skarner retains 50% of the effect of those bonuses for 2 Secs.

By moving some of the damage from the active, you reduce the weird dichotomy of having a defensive/escape tool that is also an offensive steroid/gap closer. By retaining the effects of the shield at a reduced amount when destroyed, the incentive for enemies to pop the shield to reduce Skarner's threat still exists, but still allows Skarner to capitalize on those bonuses if he is being focused.

E: Fracture - Active: Skarner fires a bolt of energy through all enemies in a line, dealing magic damage and marking them for 4 secs. If Skarner damages a marked target, they will be heavily slowed for 2.5 seconds.

Moving Skarner's slow onto Fracture makes the ability useful for early game jungle ganks and adds counterplay by making it dependent on both landing Fracture on a target and following it up with another damaging attack.

R: Impale - Active: Skarner lunges forward a short distance and strikes with his tail. The first enemy champion struck is dealt magic damage and is suppressed for 1.75 secs. For the duration, Skarner may move about freely and will drag his victim around with him. At the end of the suppression, the target takes the same damage again.

Making impale a short range dash skillshot(think Sejuani Q) adds counterplay by making it dodgeable/blockable, but increases Skarner's ability to capitalize on enemy positioning by allowing him to come over terrain. Also adds much needed utility as an emergency escape.


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Treyen

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Senior Member

07-29-2013

Skarner has an E?

Maybe you should start there instead of nerfing W and Q and calling it a fix.


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Baarich

Member

07-29-2013

His build path also feels super limited. Against ad heavy teams his build path naturally leans to it. but against double ap he get shreded


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Khristophoros

The Council

07-29-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
I'm seeing the feedback about removing the permaslow from Q. It's definitely a loss in power for Skarner, but with the goal of increasing his consistency, it could work out to his benefit. How would you feel about Skarner having a way to activate his slow right off the bat instead of delayed instead of having permaslow?
That's a buff in situations where his ultimate isn't up, but his ult can be up pretty often if he's playing right so I dunno. When he ults of course he can prime his Q so that he can slow right after his ult ends.

I personally like this kind of design. You have a powerful thing like this permaslow that normally has a condition that allows it to fail (in this case the requirement to prime it gives people the opportunity to avoid it) but using a higher cooldown ability circumvents that condition. This creates a combo design that doesn't absolutely lock the player into only using the combo and never using the abilities by themselves. The combo just makes your lower cooldown ability reliable when you use the higher cooldown ability but the lower cooldown ability is still usable by itself.