Skarner, I miss your kind

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Sightless66

Senior Member

08-09-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottasaurus View Post
Let me put a bit of a disclaimer here before I get started on my skarner feelings:
1: I haven't had the chance to read all of the ideas in this thread yet
2: My mains at the beginning of S3 were Trundle top and Sejuani jungle. They both got remade and I enjoy them a lot less now. Finally this week Skarner came to the top of my most played list in S3, and now I hear that he is being remade. It makes me anxious and a little frustrated, but I will try to keep that feeling out of this reply.

Now on to the good stuff:

First, I am a low Gold division player (I bounce between divisions 3 and 5 a lot). My favorite champion is Skarner, and I play him solo top about 65% of the time, and jungle when I don't get that chance. I find that Skarner is actually a quite strong top champion. For reference, here is how I play him:

I run ad marks and ms quints with typical defensive runes and 9/21 masteries. After buying a faerie charm and rejuv bead I start with e, and hang back from whoever im against for the first couple of levels. While e is often maligned, it does a great job of getting you CS against the scary darius people and terryfying rivens of the world while keeping your hp at an acceptable level.

I build towards a spirit of the elder lizard, usually picking that up around level 7 or so, and at that point I can win a fight with almost any of the opposing laners I am fighting. Another nice note about that item is that the burn effect triggers the heal on fracture. After that I go towards a trinity force since the movement speed is so great. I squeeze in a kindlegem at sometimes, and usually ninja tabi.

I find that Skarner's all in is really REALLY strong. He has great sustained damage with auto attacks and Q, mitigates a TON of damage with his shield, and gets health back from spamming E. His weakness is that if a jungler comes, its hard for him to escape. Sometimes you can melee kite with Q and get shield up to run, but more often I find its more beneficial to just throw everything at the enemy top and hope to kill him. If that works quite often I can duel the jungler (since most of them are low damage and tanky these days) with Skarner's sustain and shield. Of course, things get messy when you run out of mana,

Late game, as Skarner my job is to either pull a high priority targe, or an out of position one. I find that their adc and apc are usally pretty hard to get to in teamfights, as Skarner is pretty easy to peel off, so usually his ult is more of a wait-for-cooldowns in a 1v1 situation, or a catch-someone-out in a teamfight/standoff situation.

Despite the flak I take for my solo top Skarner at this level, I win about 55% of my games in this role. Top being my favorite role, I have tried a lot of champs up there. I rarely have felt as strong as I do at level 5-6 and higher in lane than I do with Skarner in most games.

So now to anser the questions

What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
Dueling people, winning fights with low health, high movespeed and the ability to REALLY DO SOMETHING with it. His ult is one of the most fun moves in the game...when it works. Playing an unvconventional champion in an unconventional role and killing singeds rivens and zacs in it.

His ult in particular is really fun. Ive had a lot of amazing moments of grabbing someone and getting janna/xin ulted back with them in grasp. I really like the manuever of grabbing them and pulling them back and then spinning around so the target breaks free right on top of you for MORE SLOWS. When it works, it feels really good to use.

What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
Having his ult make the cast sound but not go off. This is frustrating with any champion, but EXPECIALLY on one where after the cast happens you want to turn around and run away from the target which doesnt give you much of a chance to go after it again.

The only other thing is that his mana costs can be difficult to deal with (I buy a lot of mana potions and have only had 1 jungler so far generous enough to give me blues--that was a fun game). However, I think that Skarners prohibitive mana costs are keeping him balanced. Hes a great duelist, but he only gets 3-4 duels and a few trades out of his mana pool with sheen, so he cant just go perpetually HAM on his targets. Its a frustration that I think should stay. Perhaps a slight mana regen uptick wouldn't break him too badly.

Finally I think that fracture gets too much hate. I find it incredibly useful. The only weakness of this skill is its high mana costs. I actually max e before my ult. The damage increase on ult is small, and the duration doesn't increase. The cooldown bonus is nice, but Skarner's passive helps make that irrelevant. Before you write this off, I get E at one for solo top to last hit, then shield in case of a gank. Then I max Q, taking R at 6, finish maxing Q, then shield, then E. once E and W are maxed Skarner has incredible mitigation as well as huge sustain from fracture that is worth a lot more than he ult ranking in my experience.

What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
Can't remember the last time I played against one. I think its his permaslow and difficulty to duel. You cant get away so you have to fight him, but you cant kill him cause hes always shielded.

Are there champions that do Skarnerís job better than he does? Why?
Alright, so what is Skarner's job? Hes a baller duelist. Hes a great pickoff artist. Hes not a real initiator. So is there any champion who does a better job of isolating champions while being a survivable bruiser who can dish out high sustained damage?

Who else does this?
Nasus: catching people out with wither is a similar thing, BUT he relies heavily on the opponent screwing up for this to work.
Trundle: Pillar blocks can be huge. Requires precise placement and often additional terrain features. Can be blinked past.
Lee Sin: High skill kick backs into your team can be sweet and more effective. Lee usually has a hard time keeping this up and doing damage and being tanky in late game. Skarner does not.
Urgot?: Can only do this on theorycrafting cause i havent seen it in forever, but his kit lends itself to something similar.
Hecarim: Fast, does damage, tanky, less mana problems, can use E for similar catches, and ult to seperate teams. Probably the most similar. Very good at his job too.
Darius: Grab plus rofldariuscombo. Yeah he does this well too.
Jarvan: Seems to do less damage and die faster, but has more hard CC

I looked through the list of champions, and based on what I feel Skarners role is, these are the other ones that fit it. I would rather play Skarner for this purpose than any of the above champions. I don't feel like any of them particuarly outclass him in this manner. Some of them may beat skerner, but it doesn't mean that they are better at catching that person who got just a little too far from their team and starting a teamfight 5v4 in a flash. without wasting many resources. A lot of my Skarner games are won this way.



I don't want to see Skarner changed in a huge way. Seeing that I am 150 pages late to this thread I am pretty sure this is not going to change anything, and that's okay.

My issue is that there were specific things I liked about Sejuani's and Trundle's kits, and while the general consensus (HIMYM salute) is that the champions are stronger now, I feel like I don't do as well with them for various reasons. Seeing Skarner being worked on in a similar way just makes me nervous. Like people, I think change is scary.

Im sure I missed some things I wanted to say, so I may come back and edit it. My 2cents
I want to comment on your statement about Fracture, particularly where you say there is only one problem with it (mana costs). I would actually like to submit 3 problems with this spell, particularly as it relates to jungle Skarner and his ganks. First, as you note, the mana costs on the spell are very high. Secondly, the spell has minimal use when ganking. It requires Skarner to stop moving and cast, which can make a difference in whether a target escapes your clutches or not. Maintenance of the slow is so important that having to stop at all can be terrible for his ganking. Finally, a point in E lacks ganking utility compared to a point in the shield. A point in E gives some ranged damage, but this doesn't help Skarner with his primary goal (getting in close to apply slow). An additional point in W gives Skarner not only extra movement speed, but also extra shield strength, making it more difficult for enemies to pop his shield from range and prevent him from closing in on them.

The E needs a change, and that change has to address the issues listed above. This does not necessitate a full rework, but it should be noted that his E is currently problematic for jungle Skarner.

Additionally, when you are examining Skarner's role, you should include high defensive CC (good peel) in your analysis. The permaslow and single-target disable makes him very strong for peeling off diving frontlines and minimizing the impact of assassins in teamfights.


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oldRakdos

Senior Member

08-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sightless66 View Post
I want to comment on your statement about Fracture, particularly where you say there is only one problem with it (mana costs). I would actually like to submit 3 problems with this spell, particularly as it relates to jungle Skarner and his ganks. First, as you note, the mana costs on the spell are very high. Secondly, the spell has minimal use when ganking. It requires Skarner to stop moving and cast, which can make a difference in whether a target escapes your clutches or not. Maintenance of the slow is so important that having to stop at all can be terrible for his ganking. Finally, a point in E lacks ganking utility compared to a point in the shield. A point in E gives some ranged damage, but this doesn't help Skarner with his primary goal (getting in close to apply slow). An additional point in W gives Skarner not only extra movement speed, but also extra shield strength, making it more difficult for enemies to pop his shield from range and prevent him from closing in on them.

The E needs a change, and that change has to address the issues listed above. This does not necessitate a full rework, but it should be noted that his E is currently problematic for jungle Skarner.

Additionally, when you are examining Skarner's role, you should include high defensive CC (good peel) in your analysis. The permaslow and single-target disable makes him very strong for peeling off diving frontlines and minimizing the impact of assassins in teamfights.
In terms of gank, the only good use of the E is that can easily kill a enemy that start running in low healt or if is ignited more easy to ignite to get the kill, but in the jungle i belive i a great abilitie, because early game you dont depende so much on potions and can save so money or use it in a couple of ward and also dont let you wit the shield is a great way to fight big targets like the dragon and ancient golem or the elder lizard with low health early


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Sightless66

Senior Member

08-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldRakdos View Post
In terms of gank, the only good use of the E is that can easily kill a enemy that start running in low healt or if is ignited more easy to ignite to get the kill, but in the jungle i belive i a great abilitie, because early game you dont depende so much on potions and can save so money or use it in a couple of ward and also dont let you wit the shield is a great way to fight big targets like the dragon and ancient golem or the elder lizard with low health early
I completely disagree. The E is practically useless for jungling. Skarner's problem in the jungle is not health sustain, it's mana sustain. After your first clear, you should be able to keep yourself at nearly full health without the E, but it drains your mana to do so. Adding the E will keep Skarner at full health, but you burn so much mana that you have to end up backing earlier. The increased time you spend at base is time you could have spent clearing or doing something useful, and that greatly overrides the advantage you get by saving the 35 gold you'd spend on 1 health potion. If the mana costs weren't so obscenely high on his kit, E would be fine in the jungle (although still useless for the ganking part of the jungler role). As it currently stands, taking E in the jungle is an inefficiency. The minimal advantages are outstripped by the direct cost (mana) and the opportunity cost (not having another shield point for ganking).


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Best Glitches NA

Member

08-10-2013

The more I think of it, the more I accept the fact a ranged slow is too cliche. Back to the iteration of on next hit that also affects enemies on opposite side (cone blast?), maybe introduce a mechanic that scatters fractured crystal fragments on the ground or that stick onto enemies that have some sort of interaction with being struck again, maybe reapplying a snare again (from a basic attack or triggered by another spell) or some form of utility for his team. A thought.


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N3CR0S3

Member

08-10-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Summoner Nick View Post
So scorpions burrow right?

Can we see a gapcloser added to his kit where he burrows underground kinda like a vlad pool?(No slow? Maybe make it similar to draven's stand aside in that he travels underground in a line, and his stringer knocks anyone in the path to the side?
Just replace his e with this


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Justaco

Senior Member

08-11-2013

It might be interesting if the e would be given a short slow, and that the empowered q could increase the duration up to a cap. This would promote his style of play, but I'm not sure how that would compare to a more consistent slow.


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Best Glitches NA

Member

08-11-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justaco View Post
It might be interesting if the e would be given a short slow, and that the empowered q could increase the duration up to a cap. This would promote his style of play, but I'm not sure how that would compare to a more consistent slow.
I haven't been a huge fan of spells that are dependent on others in the kit to be optimal, it's what makes urgot (in my opinion) problematic.


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AshraNashal

Senior Member

08-12-2013

Bump for Skarner justice!


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Remni Strath

Junior Member

08-12-2013

Double bump!


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naotasan

Senior Member

08-12-2013

Skarner should get buffs on the Dominion map.

Seriously, it's his home for crying out loud.