Skarner, I miss your kind

First Riot Post
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Lord Juugatsu

Member

07-30-2013

As one of the regular's on Irish Red Cap's thread, I'm very pleased to see Skarner getting some attention here.

• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
For me, there are four things in particular I liked about Skarner.
1) Giant scorpion that quickly closes in his target and drags them back to their (probably) death.
2) His versitility in build options, in the sense he can get away with building almost any item and it'll actually help. AP, AD, Tank, any kind of hybrid, tanky utility, AP/AD hybrid carry, etc. He's always melee, but he has that adaptability to work with his team in building what the team needs.
3) His permaslow. I enjoy the bit of difficulty in getting it to proc (trigger it once). I read the possible change of his Q's slows, and I'd rather have it be more difficult/require more skill to pull off a permaslow, rather than lose the permaslow, since it's pretty you can typically proc it off something else prior to getting to your target (if you can get to your target).
4) The satisfaction of ulting a target and dragging him to your team, or save a teammate by dragging a target away from whoever you're trying to save.

• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
The mobility growth of most champions make getting to the champion less about skill with Skarner and more about the enemy's lack of skill. It's so very incredibly easy to kite him or just dash away and you as a Skarner can only do so much and unless your target is just very bad and doesn't use his/her 7 sec CD dash to get away before you get your permaslow off, then it's not a matter of Skarner's power, just the enemy being bad. Skarner doesn't have any good options on playing against mobility beyond burning everything to maybe have a successful engage. If it fails, then it blows as a Skarner player.

• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
If I'm playing anything with CC, then I don't care at all about Skarner because he won't do anything. If I have no CC, then it's hard to do anything about a Skarner that gets ahead. His permaslow then tankiness or damage (depending on the build route) will end up wrecking me. That being said, I rarely see other Skarners so I'm just kind of guessing on what it'd be like.

• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
In terms of jungling, most other gap-closing junglers can half-commit for a good gank, jump in, gets some damage in, walk away, mission accomplished. Skarner needs to commit with everything for the opportunity to have a successful gank and not to waste his and his teammates' time. Even the non-gap-closing champs can have half-in ganks that go well. Skarner needs to burn too much anytime he wants the chance to get a gank, and that's something most other jungle champs don't have to do.


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The ericb1

Member

07-30-2013

Just a minor thing, I think Skarner would see a lot of help on the kitability while not pushing him over the edge of op on one simple change. If the permaslow was removed from the q, and removing the kitability was important, I feel like either a slow or even a knock-aside like on Draven's e would be great on Skarner's e. Im sure with the right percent slow, or a minor enough interrupt on his e, this would go a long way toward helping him. Obviously, making him even more of a cc bot or dueling monster could potentially be problematic, but thats why riot tests things more thoroughly before things hit live than they did when they released xin xhao.


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TutorialGames

Junior Member

07-30-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
The satisfaction issues and champion comparisons are all tied into the S3 changes. Skarner was amazing in S2; he's seen as a trollpick now. Why?

I believe the key with this is a combination of ult reliance and perception - Skarner's ult range was decreased, then the buffer was removed, then Vi was introduced with a functionally similar (read:different) ult. They both have to get into the enemy team to do this: Skarner has to run through the front line, whereas Vi is immune to CC until reaching her target. This makes Skarner feel somewhat robbed.

Early game:
Let's add a key S3 change: shoes. Skarner was a good early jungler because of movement speed advantages. Base movement speed was upped so laners don't always start boots+3. Previously, every laner invested 350g in ms, therefore Skarner's Q was much stronger, nullifying a large amount of the effective gold value those shoes had given them. Now: longswords, rejuv beads etc (plus burst-regen from pots) maintain their full gold efficiency, nullifying the terror of a lvl2 top lane Skarner gank (plus all other early game ganks).

Midgame onwards:
Changes in itemization and gold expenditure from S2 are therefore the core problem:
Consider the 'Gold Standard' itemization for junglers at the moment. SotAG -> Bulwark (soon-to-be-Locket). In S2, Shurelya's was expected by the time you got 7k gold (currently 2950 Bulwark + 2000 SotAG + 1000 Boots2/3/5).

In order for jungle Skarner to get a good initiating ult (assuming reasonable positioning), he still needs to buy items like Shurelyas. I'm aware many people will look to the support to buy Shurelyas, but so much gold is dumped directly into consumable wards that it's not as readily accessible by midgame as in S2. So what do you do: No longer buy Aegis/Bulwark, losing out on teamwide durability? Pass one of the incredible-and-efficient spirit stone items, dumping your clear speed (& dragon), sustain and power post-ult? Both of these will penalize your midgame presence. Due to this massive Shurelyas reliance, Skarner's option is to sacrifice a TON of durability for speed; which means he now explodes after getting a grab.

Conclusion / tl;dr:
The reliance on building speed items for a good initiate means he is overly stretched. His kit, not a very strict gold budget, should compensate for this need.

So what's in his kit?
  • R: Obviously his R is still borderline breaking its power allowance, Skarner's signiature skill. Its amazing as long as you can get there.
  • P: Amazing.
  • Q:
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
To clarify, the slow will still occur on the second Q. {...} Making Skarner have more consistent engage {...} is something that I personally want as a Skarner player.
Ensuring his Q maintains a self-buff mechanic, not a mark/consume effect is key; regardless of a slow spam or alternating. One of Skarner's key tools is being able to prime a Q on minions, then drop a (q)Q on the champion(s) you've caught up to. This skill is most of Skarner's ability to do everything pre-6 or after an initiate, therefore a stronger pulsing slow will serve him better in most scenarios.

Speed and durability:
  • E: Unless the shield numbers/CD on W are turned up to 11, losing the healing effect is cutting one of the keys which keeps Skarner among the high-sustain junglers and partly defines his 1v1 duelling capabilities; two of Skarner's key strengths.Increasing the healing/CD and decreasing the mana cost on this current skill would mean that Skarner could afford to spend less in durability and more in mobility. However, this would probably spiral lane Skarner's power level way out of control. His E does still have room for improvements in a sustained fight.
  • W: In an attempt to reduce his late-game kitability, the gap-closing potential needs to be here. He already has a very large MS% on his W, but this isn't currently enough to get the job done, so I believe it needs an increase at later levels. Instead of constantly adding movement speed until he runs faster than Rammus with homeguards, I believe the fix would be additionally add a secondary effect that independant of the shield. A short duration slow resist buff (akin to the relentless mastery) on spellcast.

tl;dr:
Slightly increasing the MS% of Skarner's W at later levels and adding a short slow resist buff on spellcast (independant of the shield) will allow Skarner to maintain the strengths inherent in his kit without wantonly adding power. He may then use his limited gold budget to build the necessary resistance items instead of forcing him into utility; compensating for his relative loss of power due to itemization changes in S3.


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Vanitar Agarmael

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Junior Member

07-30-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
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.
I don't particularly like this change for Q, it feels like it's going to have too much of a negative affect on skarner's ability to stay on a champion, or to lock them down (which is basically as he's good at right now). If in stead, his kit made more sense as a spam caster (which it does with his Passive) Q dropped the slow completely, but had a buff to the current damage, either by a debuff (added to E, see there) or by an increase in damage similar to what the slow has now, consecutive Q could potentially debuff the target (MR/AR shred?). This could stop the permaslow effect that he currently does, without losing the duel potential he's granted from his Q now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
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
I really like these changes, with the exception of removing the AS buff. His shield (as someone else said) is a "hit me, or get hit" mechanic that is really good for a tank/bruiser that Skarner really is. I think it would be a really good change to alter the MS component so that it works outside of the shield, so you cast your shield, gain duel power, and MS, if your shield pops, you lose the duel strength, but maintain your MS. This would allow the MS to be a shorter duration, higher burst speed boost (thinking Udyr Bear form) without taking away the uniqueness of his shield.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
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
I think that his E needs a rework, more than simple changes like this. It would be really cool to see his E become a spam ability similar to Q, Maybe shift the slow to E, so that you have some skill required to actually land the slow, and decrease the cooldown. This would allow the same kit/feel for Skarner to work better, and make you feel like you have a chance when running away from him. I'd say, keep the heal mechanic, with a lower heal value. This would also potentially allow skarner to have a debuff on the mark proc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiotScruffy View Post
R
-Fix more edge cases so that the R will reliably go off on targets once it has been cast
I don't think that skarner should have a debuff on both E and Q, but that the feel of his gameplay could be brought up to par with other champions with these changes. Changing the way that his W will be granted MS could definitely create a much better feeling about playing skarner, Right now, it feels like if your shield gets popped, you're completely at a loss, no escape, no engage. The MS component becomes the core of his kit very early in gameplay, but is much easier to counter than other similar initiations (udyr keeps speed, Jarvan has his Flag-stab combo, zac has is jump, Vi her dash, Xin his dash, etc)


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Crystal Crackle

Junior Member

07-30-2013

First, thanks for looking into Skarner, he's one of my favorite junglers, even if I'm not so good at it

What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
His unique ult mostly, there are only 4 supressions in game, but all other ones feel different given that only Urgot's one can also change the position of the enemy. Still, only Skarner can do something that combines individual displacement, good CC and free at the same time. Fighting wise, the feeling of his passive, that your attacks increase you damage, CC, healing, speed, and well, pretty much everything further gives a nice feeling, such as trying to hit the much stronger enemy just a bit further so you can try to slow and speed away.

What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
S3 changes towards his items, I feel shurelia's nerfs hit him the hardest, meanwhile, there's still that lingering feeling that if you managed to build some AS in his build it's help out a lot given his passive, in the past, I'd just get a Trinity if the game managed to go for this long, but now, you end up with IG most of times, to actually be able to keep people near.
But about Skarner himself, getting kitted is among the biggest complaint, and I'd need to agree, now if you don't manage to close in enough, you are bound to miss your target...the problem is that pretty much they all have tools to avoid being close to you unless you come from some bush.
Meanwhile, his E is just a disappointing skill, you'd be able to see many jungler Skarners (Can't tell about lane) don't get that until they are forced to, which is just sad...to know one skill is being ignored so much in favour of just getting earlier points in W.

What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
Being hit by his ultimate and instantly dying if his team ganks up on you, but then, that's one of the annoyances with hard hitting CCs. I'd say then that how his slows work would be closer to the truth, there are only two possible outcomes from the permaslow, either you can't run, and he just hits you until you die, or you manage to run and he can't make up for that (Since he can't hit the champion to get his speed back up).
Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
I see Skarner can try two jobs, either guard an MVP, or dive for theirs. For the former, I think his job is done greatly with his ult, it's usually more than enough to stop anyone who tried to dive them, unless they have CC removal. The diving atempts are where it gets tricky, Skarner has no fallback plan if he goes that way, he goes in as much as he can and either succeds or dies trying. This is where other champs are better, because their dives are either way more reliable, while still being very crippling CC wise, or just can go back to safety if needed.


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huhwhat

Senior Member

07-30-2013

I don't know if anyone else has suggested it, but why not just remove fracture as an ability, and attached the heal to his Q (with an increase in heal per level on his E, but it being a permanent passive, much like how you level up Vayne's silverbolts, or Varus's W). It removes some of his poke, but might give an excuse for more durability and strength to Skarner's W and damage/slow on Q. Or maybe attach it to his W and have it function like galio's shield a bit (but self only).

Just throwing out quick/half-baked ideas, but I'm personally of the mindset his E is lousy, and why not sacrifice it for something more interesting/key to his kit


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Benard De Vos

Member

07-30-2013

Everyone that has been suggesting the burrowing idea is brilliant. However, I like the sustain from his current E. It could use a slight buff to make it more relevant late game, though. Perhaps Skarner burrows and can mark enemies while he is underneath them (thus ensuring jungle monsters don't reset) and can proc the heal when he resurfaces? That way the heal mechanic is still around with a more cohesive (in terms of theme) skill that gives Skarner even more uniqueness.

Also, on further thought, messing with his Q will really hurt him early and make him a late game utility champion only. And that mostly just for his ultimate. Keep the Q, buff his base speed (slightly), add a burrow for ~.5-1.5 seconds on his E and have it proc a slightly increased heal, and ensure enemies cannot blink away from his ultimate. These things alone will make him more viable without hurting his current play style and increasing his cohesive kit.


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miky2008

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Junior Member

07-30-2013

Skarner has been my favourite champ for season 2 and 3. HE carried me from Silver 5, to Gold 5. I adore him and in my opinion is the most fun champ ever! I understand others may not share my same views, but this is how I view Skarner.

First and foremost, I think there are a few things that cannot be changed with Skarner - they are things that make him who he is!
1. Mobility - Skarners speed due to his shield is something I truly love about his kit. It allows him to get places, stay alive in fights, chase, kite, escape. It's an amazing ability on a melee champ.
2. His ultimate - Nothing more needs to be said. If skarner ult gets changed in anyway I'd be extremely upset and probably would not play him. The ability to outplay other champs by ulting them and dragging them into a more advantageous position is truly the bread and butter of Skarner's kit.
3. His Q - The constant slowing effect goes hand in hand with his shield ability. It allows for constant chase and utility in team fights. Without the slow, Skarner's gank and "sticking" potential plummets severely. With no true gap closers he has no chance of catching champions/ keeping up with them.

So when it comes down to it, the only appropriate changes to Skarner may be changing his E ability. The heal off it is very nice and has kept me alive through many team fights, but it provides no other benefit then a little extra damage.

If you were to change Skarner, I think it should be small changes like a buff to his E. Please don't change anything that makes Skarner "Skarner". His ult, shield, and Q are all amazing and it would be a shame to see them removed/ changed.

Thanks
p.s Skar... skar,,,, SKARNER! :3


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IICrowII

Senior Member

07-30-2013

My experiences with Skarner:

I've had much more success playing him as a tanky, laning mage rather than as a jungler. E gives him enough sustain to stay in lane (and that sustain scales with AP), and his shield and the procced Q also scale with AP. Dropping the heal on E would fundamentally change laning Skarner.

The most frustrating scenario playing against Skarner is if he gets ahead in the mid game so that his shield can't realistically be popped for the next 10-15 minutes until the ADCs and mages ramp up more, and so he becomes a super high speed unstoppable force.

The most frustrating aspect of playing as Skarner is how "win more" his kit is - if you've gotten on top of your opponent and you can stay on top of him, they're so very dead and you're unkillable thanks to your ~5 second effective cooldown on W, but otherwise you do next to nothing (unless you've built AP, in which case at least you poke and wave clear). Your passive doesn't do anything unless you're on top of the enemy (in which case it makes you a melee carry). Your Q does nothing unless you're on top of the enemy. E is only impressive if you can proc it - which means you have to get on top of your enemy. R does nothing unless you're on top of the enemy, but once you're there it's an all-in-one Blitzcrank combo. Notice a theme here?

IMO some of the craziness of his power when he gets in position could stand to be traded out for more capability to do anything at all. As is, he gets completely shut down by any escape move or CC of any sort.


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Gooner1990

Senior Member

07-30-2013

I don't mind slow procing only on every other proc, but to make it more consistent lets make it so his E and Q both mark the units. That way, his E has great utility as a range slow, or putting in the first mark, so you can slow enemy with the first Q.

I think what'll help his E consistency is scaling mana cost in terms of units marked. Right now it cost 50/55/60/65/70 Mana for 30/45/60/75/90.

How about we keep it at flat 5/8/11/14/17 mana at base, but cost extra base mana for each unit it marks, at a maximum of 25/40/55/70/85. This will give him far more early game consistency, less late game power, and also more choices. Increase the CD a bit so that the real cost comes in terms of CD, and not mana.

He can decide to only mark just one unit (probably the champion) for cheap. He can choose to mark lots of units, such as a wave, for more heal. He'll also has to pay slightly more for late game.