Skarner, I miss your kind

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Muranodo

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Senior Member

08-18-2013

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Originally Posted by Sightless66 View Post
I think the question we all want to have answered right now is this: What exactly is the motivation behind removing the permaslow? Why is this mechanic clearly a target of the rework? What are the reasons why you don't want it on Skarner's kit, even though his fans do? Is it a balance reason? Is it a thematic reason? Is this necessary in order to give him more power, and if so, why? Is there anyone pressing to have permaslow removed from the kit?

What exactly is going on with this?

Aside from that, I have to reiterate some complaints we've all stated earlier. Having Skarner's Q, W, and E all provide sources of utility that Skarner will level up will leave him with less total utility in the midgame, which is Skarner's strongest point. Current Skarner can be maxed on utility by level 12-13 with Q and W, after which he can utilize that utility while scaling purely on terms of damage and tankiness from E. Changing it so that Skarner won't reach his maximum utility until level 18 weakens the most significant period of his game relative to the weaker periods, and I'm not convinced that the greater total power Skarner will possess will make up for this.

Additionally, it should be noted that you have removed a form of scaling from Skarner's kit. You have removed the heal, and therefore have also removed the AP scaling that went along with it. Will this be addressed in Skarner's other ratios? I ask because if you were just to buff the ratio of the shield, it would lead to a very high-health and hard to break shield (something I think you're unlikely to do because it would make removing his movement speed harder). Is there anywhere else you will be adding that scaling back onto his kit?

Finally, while you are reducing Skarner's mana costs, you are also redesigning him so that he will have to use all three of his basic skills. With that requirement upon him, will Skarner's mana costs still be as hefty as in the past?

If the kit ended up being like the one that is currently proposed, I wouldn't be unhappy, but I do think there are ways to improve it (and for the record, burrow is not one of those ways. Please don't do that).
I agree with the above.

I'm not against burrow as it rather fits his lore/thematic kit (oh, Skarner was discovered in the Crystal Scar and rises up out of the dirt enraged in the comic); it gives him some strong initiation. But I understand some people don't want him to turn into a more full tank looking champion; I honestly wouldn't mind it as much.


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Mimiron

Junior Member

08-18-2013

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Originally Posted by Muranodo View Post
Well, let's note a few of your thoughts:

To retain your constant slow: Buy an IBG. You didn't have to buy the item before. Now you're going to be reliant on it for a melee AoE perma-slow. If IBG gets nerfed for any reason again, you're going to end up nerfing Skarner which is a further concern considering what he's eaten already. It's pushed Frozen Mallet and Phage out already for most of the season. So wouldn't surprise me if the changes to them on the PBE aren't deemed enough to make them appealing to buy and IBG eats another nerf---and thereby Skarner too.

Well, the counter-argument is IBG isn't required. Okay. But then you get into the other change.

To otherwise slow, you now have to make a choice on not leveling up your shield or sacrificing an increased slow % as the game goes on. This is introducing more and more counter-play for a champion that got nerfed very heavily by removing his special sauce in the form of his bug fix for his ultimate. You can see a parallel between this and the Rengar rework. Remove a presently known core concept of his identity again. He's no longer "You cannot escape me as I drag you into the team; I still have a permaslow." Now he's "I don't have a perma slow in my kit; I can maybe get a few more clutch uses of his ult because it felt a bit wonky." Now let me not do anything really interesting with his E; we'll move some parts of his kit and hope it's more of a net buff than a nerf as we reallocate his power for balancing reasons.

Also, his E slow kind of reminds me of some of the logic for nerfing Olaf's Q. It now travels farther; it's a thinner projectile. I just get the same feeling there; it wasn't a good feeling really in the end. Add in the fact you'll be ganking early with this---and it's more... eh.

Add on to that it's going to put more demand on using his entire kit to achieve a similar effect as before; we know it's going to be mana intensive. Even if you reduce it. So are we going back to where Skarner is really, really, going to need the first two or so blue buffs to get ahead?

Also, it's not really giving his E skill a unique identity. It's swapping around some statistics of the kit while not even adding anything to further his theme. It seems like a sloppy job; it's overall not greatly appealing to the fans of present Skarner.

Off-kits are also popular too, so you're isolating the AP Skarner folks.

Add in the fact that feedback here doesn't really address lots of the concerned comments or address trying anything (and mentioning it) of potential skill changes for his E (burrowing---Wouldn't surprise me if a lot of Skarner fans like Sand King in DOTA/DOTA 2) like was often done in the Yorick/Xerath threads; you'll find people are clammering for the same kind of attention. Because presently it doesn't seem like it's doing much for his long term health.

A slightly better early game to lose his permaslow without investing in IBG which may not be financially feasible depending on what kind of better utility jungler he's against that may be snowballing against your team far faster due to the power of their base kit tends to put people off.
You're talking about a theoretical nerf to an item.

While I do like the idea of a burrow, Skarner is meant to work like Udyr, and I don't see anyone complaining about Udyr's current state with no real gapcloser (slight one on Bear Stance). The movespeed formula works fine if the kit works with it.

The E's mana cost is significantly reduced (so it's not much more than what we're currently working with) and you don't need early blues if you buy a couple mana pots or don't use your shield while clearing. By the time mana pots become ineffective, mana costs are much less significant (and you probably have a mana item or two). Currently I have to make the same trade-off when I jungle Evelynn. Not that big of a deal. A 50% slow is not "..eh". With the ~35%(?) slow of his Q, ganking lanes that still have both towers up will feel pretty much the same. If a gank lasts longer than 3 seconds it's probably a successful gank. Plus attacking champions is double passive CDR, so it's not off for very long.

Like the red poster said, good thing we can keep leveling Skarner's skills into late game. I think deciding between ganking CC and Skarner's gapcloser, we can easily figure out which one needs 1 point at level 4 and to leave it there for a while.

AP Skarner is a fun thing to do in normals but it's silly outside of Bronze 4 games. League isn't balanced around Normals-for-s's-&-g's. You can't have a squishy melee with so little mobility. It's different if it's a slippery Fizz or a teleporting Kassadin, dashing in, bursting a carry, and then getting the hell out of dodge. Plus, taking away the heal won't break AP Skarner.

And please don't lump all Skarner fans in the same boat. I'm a real Skarner fan. He's my favorite jungler and one of my favorite champions in the game. And Earthrune Skarner is my favorite skin in the entire game.

There seem to be three groups of people on this thread:

People who want to play AP Skarner in normals (or feed with AP Skarner in ranked)

People who just fear change in general

People who understand that this is a work in progress, nothing is final, and want to someday be able to play Skarner in ranked without feeling like they're gimping themselves by not just playing Udyr for the same playstyle. People who understand that there's no way they can make Skarner's kit any more useless than it currently is, and any work on Skarner is better than him being ignored.


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Muranodo

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08-18-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimiron View Post
You're talking about a theoretical nerf to an item.

While I do like the idea of a burrow, Skarner is meant to work like Udyr, and I don't see anyone complaining about Udyr's current state with no real gapcloser (slight one on Bear Stance). The movespeed formula works fine if the kit works with it.

The E's mana cost is significantly reduced (so it's not much more than what we're currently working with) and you don't need early blues if you buy a couple mana pots or don't use your shield while clearing. By the time mana pots become ineffective, mana costs are much less significant (and you probably have a mana item or two). Currently I have to make the same trade-off when I jungle Evelynn. Not that big of a deal. A 50% slow is not "..eh". With the ~35%(?) slow of his Q, ganking lanes that still have both towers up will feel pretty much the same. If a gank lasts longer than 3 seconds it's probably a successful gank. Plus attacking champions is double passive CDR, so it's not off for very long.

Like the red poster said, good thing we can keep leveling Skarner's skills into late game. I think deciding between ganking CC and Skarner's gapcloser, we can easily figure out which one needs 1 point at level 4 and to leave it there for a while.

AP Skarner is a fun thing to do in normals but it's silly outside of Bronze 4 games. League isn't balanced around Normals-for-s's-&-g's. You can't have a squishy melee with so little mobility. It's different if it's a slippery Fizz or a teleporting Kassadin, dashing in, bursting a carry, and then getting the hell out of dodge. Plus, taking away the heal won't break AP Skarner.

And please don't lump all Skarner fans in the same boat. I'm a real Skarner fan. He's my favorite jungler and one of my favorite champions in the game. And Earthrune Skarner is my favorite skin in the entire game.

There seem to be three groups of people on this thread:

People who want to play AP Skarner in normals (or feed with AP Skarner in ranked)

People who just fear change in general

People who understand that this is a work in progress, nothing is final, and want to someday be able to play Skarner in ranked without feeling like they're gimping themselves by not just playing Udyr for the same playstyle. People who understand that there's no way they can make Skarner's kit any more useless than it currently is, and any work on Skarner is better than him being ignored.
We're discussing a theoretical period, of course, since this is all tentative at the moment. But, it also doesn't discount you're having to buy your own power back; it had become a strong identifier with the core character. You'll find similar complaints for Viktor players who don't like how his augment passive is handled. In a sense, this is being done to Skarner with IBG being the replacement for his present Q which is being thematically split amongst two skills.

On the matter of Udyr, well, that's a point of tension I see about Skarner. The absence of an E, and it becoming such a long running joke has made what Skarner is quite different per the player. I've seen him compared to Shyvana, Mundo, Udyr, and Zac lately. At the moment, my main complaint is I still don't feel like he's been given a true E; it instead feels like they just took an easy course out. A burrow type skill would make him a stronger initiator and tie him more into the full tank category like with Zac. The contention that I see is people want him more akin to a fighter with Shyvana and Udyr coming up. Shyvana and Udyr aren't doing well at the moment, so I'm not really wishing that on Skarner. I don't think you should be either with your ranked emphasis versus normals comment.

They have niche uses; I don't see the need when concerned about Skarner's play rate to again make him even more niche.

On the matter of mana, you're comparing Jungle Evelynn with Skarner whose primarily a jungler. You're going for a niche surprise pick with Evelynn with added killing power/utility with her ability to enforce fear and cause wards to be placed just for her. Skarner doesn't have that overall utility; the matter of dealing with his mana costs is the same as it was in S2. You can do it; is it really necessary? Quite a few of the popular junglers have no mana issues at all (which is why his mana costs are being trimmed). Still, it's being gated by a combination of required skills. The slow amount isn't the "eh" part but rather the fact that slows which can be far more easily reduced this season has to be split for this need for counterplay that I don't understand---there haven't been any promised major changes to other jungler kits... so why Skarner? Again, take a gander at the popular junglers this season and how much utility they provide.

As a player, you can take the stance two ways:

Eh, those junglers are too strong; they should be nerfed even more down. See what's happening with Rengar thus far. Generally, enforcing counter play to ridiculous amounts to the point that the champion's identity suffers is not what I wish on any champion. It's why many Skarner fans have agreed that these present changes feel very cautious at the moment.

As for choosing, okay. We'll go with that. Is it truly engaging though? Not really. It's made his kit more cohesive; it could have been done in other ways other than this.

I'm not attempting to lump all Skarner fans; I can edit my OP really if I need to say "some Skarner fans." But I'd also say you shouldn't be labeling all the voices in the thread either by that logic. Your antagonism towards AP Skarner fans in particular is rather poor form for a discussion.


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Sightless66

Senior Member

08-18-2013

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Originally Posted by Muranodo View Post
I agree with the above.

I'm not against burrow as it rather fits his lore/thematic kit (oh, Skarner was discovered in the Crystal Scar and rises up out of the dirt enraged in the comic); it gives him some strong initiation. But I understand some people don't want him to turn into a more full tank looking champion; I honestly wouldn't mind it as much.
The thing is, I like Skarner as a non-gapclosing bruiser fighter, like Udyr. I don't really want to see him with a gapcloser or really hard initiation (and there isn't really any other way that a burrow has been suggested). It fits with the lore, but not with the current kit and playstyle. I don't want blink or dash mechanics on Skarner. Can't really put it any other way than that.


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Muranodo

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08-18-2013

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Originally Posted by Sightless66 View Post
The thing is, I like Skarner as a non-gapclosing bruiser fighter, like Udyr. I don't really want to see him with a gapcloser or really hard initiation (and there isn't really any other way that a burrow has been suggested). It fits with the lore, but not with the current kit and playstyle. I don't want blink or dash mechanics on Skarner. Can't really put it any other way than that.
I don't mind you personally not liking that kind of adaptation. I've tried to point out Skarner is many different things to many different people because he's been a bit of an odd beast to itemize for; it's caused people to take many different approaches to him.

I will argue that it would mesh well with his current kit and playstyle, however. Presently, Skarner functions in a I'm going to rush and chase you down manner to slow you and drag you to your doom. So he already has a bit of a dash with his shield. E just presently isn't used much due to the mana cost/limited reward. You can use it as a finisher as they dash away and for a few other scenarios; it's limited and dependent.

Burrow could be used to encourage his run and chase down style.

For instance, Skarner could mark with his E in a similar manner to what he does now. But if the target escapes, you can hit E again to consume the mark and burrow to the target. It's not a straight---dash and knock-up like with Sand King; it encourages the thrill of the chase and spamming while providing counter-play in terms of getting behind your team/using turrets, etc. It also ties into the smart use of E as a projectile which seems to be part of how it's being redesigned in the present reiteration.

Skarner already has a bit of his magical energies themed around tagging/control/staying with his prey. This would encourage it. The total distance of the gapcloser/dash could have a more limited range too if it proved troublesome in play tests.

I'm just finding E a little bit lackluster in terms of proposed change. Why taking some of the 'earth/crystal' element of Skarner and expanding that feedback loop of I'm going to stay on top of you and fight would be nice while also allowing for some slightly better and intelligent scenarios for those who want to use Skarner as a tank as well and not only as a fighter.


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Sightless66

Senior Member

08-18-2013

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Originally Posted by Muranodo View Post
I don't mind you personally not liking that kind of adaptation. I've tried to point out Skarner is many different things to many different people because he's been a bit of an odd beast to itemize for; it's caused people to take many different approaches to him.

I will argue that it would mesh well with his current kit and playstyle, however. Presently, Skarner functions in a I'm going to rush and chase you down manner to slow you and drag you to your doom. So he already has a bit of a dash with his shield. E just presently isn't used much due to the mana cost/limited reward. You can use it as a finisher as they dash away and for a few other scenarios; it's limited and dependent.

Burrow could be used to encourage his run and chase down style.

For instance, Skarner could mark with his E in a similar manner to what he does now. But if the target escapes, you can hit E again to consume the mark and burrow to the target. It's not a straight---dash and knock-up like with Sand King; it encourages the thrill of the chase and spamming while providing counter-play in terms of getting behind your team/using turrets, etc. It also ties into the smart use of E as a projectile which seems to be part of how it's being redesigned in the present reiteration.

Skarner already has a bit of his magical energies themed around tagging/control/staying with his prey. This would encourage it. The total distance of the gapcloser/dash could have a more limited range too if it proved troublesome in play tests.

I'm just finding E a little bit lackluster in terms of proposed change. Why taking some of the 'earth/crystal' element of Skarner and expanding that feedback loop of I'm going to stay on top of you and fight would be nice while also allowing for some slightly better and intelligent scenarios for those who want to use Skarner as a tank as well and not only as a fighter.
The problem is that giving a champion like Skarner a gapcloser that strong necessitates balancing him around a gapclose-ultimate. It means that you have to have him as hard initiation, because allowing him to maintain his current threat in melee combat while also allowing him greatly increased inescapability and also removing his difficulty in closing the gap will not work. He's balanced around being kitable. If you remove that, his CC, damage or tankiness have to be reduced (most likely all 3). Champions with gapclosers have to be balanced around them.

As someone who likes Skarner the way he is, I recommend keeping burrow and all other forms of gapclosers off of the table. If you want a burrow mechanic, put it on a different champion. It changes the primary focus of Skarner's kit. Not worth adding.


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Muranodo

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08-18-2013

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Originally Posted by Sightless66 View Post
The problem is that giving a champion like Skarner a gapcloser that strong necessitates balancing him around a gapclose-ultimate. It means that you have to have him as hard initiation, because allowing him to maintain his current threat in melee combat while also allowing him greatly increased inescapability and also removing his difficulty in closing the gap will not work. He's balanced around being kitable. If you remove that, his CC, damage or tankiness have to be reduced (most likely all 3). Champions with gapclosers have to be balanced around them.

As someone who likes Skarner the way he is, I recommend keeping burrow and all other forms of gapclosers off of the table. If you want a burrow mechanic, put it on a different champion. It changes the primary focus of Skarner's kit. Not worth adding.
Keep in mind what you've just stated here. It strongly necessitates balancing him around a gapclose-ultimate. That's what Skarner faced in all of season 2. Flash + Ultimate. Or just appearing with his shield speed boost + shureiya's and hitting with his ultimate after clearing quite quickly in season 2. This is why there's so much call amongst certain fans for some form of gap closer because he's always been balanced around that high of getting to the vulnerable target and having his way from that point on. It's why Vi filled his niche very early on in season 3. Then he's since been replaced with Hecarim/Jarvan IV/Zac at the moment. They also nerfed Shureiya's which also helped him to often close that gap before. He never quite worked in the way Udyr did. Udyr has much more on the demand responsiveness to skirmishes versus Skarner. It's why you cannot duel Udyr up close well whereas many people can pop Skarner's shield at present and do that too.

Junglers want to have that feeling of effectiveness and power to really make plays at present since their itemization is so limited.

He doesn't have to be hard initiation. It's basically a measure to adjust him more towards his previous glory in S2. Since he wasn't pure hard initiation then. It's adding a way to close the gap and still have sufficient counter play where summoner spells are not invalidated or strategic positioning. His ultimate is on a long cooldown already in comparison to other popular junglers. This would allow him, again, to work better within the system.

His CC is already being hit (permaslow removed---basically it's being split like Thresh's grab and flay were for their bonus damage---except it's a slow in this case) . His damage is really quite underestimated already because he can't stick; I could see that needing a potential minor tweaking. I wouldn't see how that would impact his tankiness, though. Mind you this can again be all gated my making it a more minor gap close. Not to the limited extent of Udyr's bear stance but also not to a huge radius.

So I would disagree with it not being worth adding. Because presently I'm not seeing any big changes with this which really reverts any of his previous heavy nerfs which put him out of play. There's some more damage output; he'll have sticking issues even more so by what I'm seeing (in theory).

Will it be added? Probably not. But I think a lot of the discounting is based off the immediate all gap closers are bad stigma of this season.


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Justaco

Senior Member

08-18-2013

It sounds like everyone wants to give him a gapcloser. Problem is, he already has one. It may not be a leap or a really cool burrow people are suggesting, but he has a nice speed boost (which i believe is getting buffed). I admit the burrow would be a cool thematic fit for him, but I don't think it's necessary for his kit to work.


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Sightless66

Senior Member

08-18-2013

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Originally Posted by Muranodo View Post
Keep in mind what you've just stated here. It strongly necessitates balancing him around a gapclose-ultimate. That's what Skarner faced in all of season 2. Flash + Ultimate. Or just appearing with his shield speed boost + shureiya's and hitting with his ultimate after clearing quite quickly in season 2. This is why there's so much call amongst certain fans for some form of gap closer because he's always been balanced around that high of getting to the vulnerable target and having his way from that point on. It's why Vi filled his niche very early on in season 3. Then he's since been replaced with Hecarim/Jarvan IV/Zac at the moment. They also nerfed Shureiya's which also helped him to often close that gap before. He never quite worked in the way Udyr did. Udyr has much more on the demand responsiveness to skirmishes versus Skarner. It's why you cannot duel Udyr up close well whereas many people can pop Skarner's shield at present and do that too.

Junglers want to have that feeling of effectiveness and power to really make plays at present since their itemization is so limited.

He doesn't have to be hard initiation. It's basically a measure to adjust him more towards his previous glory in S2. Since he wasn't pure hard initiation then. It's adding a way to close the gap and still have sufficient counter play where summoner spells are not invalidated or strategic positioning. His ultimate is on a long cooldown already in comparison to other popular junglers. This would allow him, again, to work better within the system.

His CC is already being hit (permaslow removed---basically it's being split like Thresh's grab and flay were for their bonus damage---except it's a slow in this case) . His damage is really quite underestimated already because he can't stick; I could see that needing a potential minor tweaking. I wouldn't see how that would impact his tankiness, though. Mind you this can again be all gated my making it a more minor gap close. Not to the limited extent of Udyr's bear stance but also not to a huge radius.

So I would disagree with it not being worth adding. Because presently I'm not seeing any big changes with this which really reverts any of his previous heavy nerfs which put him out of play. There's some more damage output; he'll have sticking issues even more so by what I'm seeing (in theory).

Will it be added? Probably not. But I think a lot of the discounting is based off the immediate all gap closers are bad stigma of this season.
"He doesn't have to be hard initiation."

If you increase his initiation range this significantly, then yes he does. You can't have a champion with the potential to initiate from this distance while also filling the other roles Skarner currently does. Don't forget that Flash will still exist. Adding this onto him will make his new initiation flash + gapcloser + ult instead of just flash + ult. You are making him more balanced towards initiation if you increase his higher potential initiation range, particularly since one of the changes that is guaranteed is making his ultimate more reliable. As also stated, this takes away a lot of the potential to kite Skarner, which will necessitate further nerfs to his CC (or nerfs to other things to make his chase weaker, like his damage).

His season 2 glory is gone not primarily because of the nerf to his ultimate, but because of every other indirect nerf Skarner has faced afterwards. The nerf to his itemization in the form of resistances nerfs / health buffs, which also buffed his competition; the nerf to his jungle and the exacerbation of his mana problems with the switch to the single-target jungle; these are the reasons why Skarner is so bad now. He's definitively weaker even disregarding his ult. Buff him in a manner that fixes those, while also fixing his ultimate. That is all that is necessary to return him to his Season 2 state, and it has the added advantage of not significantly changing his playstyle.

I get why you want him to have a gapcloser. You think it will make him more fun while also making him stronger. While I acknowledge that it will make him much stronger, I think it will completely change the character because he will have to be balanced around the additional gapcloser, and that's why I don't want it. I like Skarner how he is. Plenty of people like Skarner how he is. The solution to Skarner's problems should not be a fundamental disruption of the playstyle he currently has.

"I think a lot of the discounting is based off the immediate all gap closers are bad stigma of this season."

I discount it because I've thought about what a gap closer would mean for Skarner's balance, and I don't like the answer. It will result in a champion with a very different playstyle, and with significantly different strengths. It results in a champion based entirely around a gapcloser-flash-ult combo, with the other abilities having to be relatively weaker in compensation. This is extremely undesirable. Don't discount my opinion by trying to imply it's a simple bias. I have thought it out. If you can't believe me on that, we can't really discuss this any further.


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Mimiron

Junior Member

08-18-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muranodo View Post
We're discussing a theoretical period, of course, since this is all tentative at the moment. But, it also doesn't discount you're having to buy your own power back; it had become a strong identifier with the core character. You'll find similar complaints for Viktor players who don't like how his augment passive is handled. In a sense, this is being done to Skarner with IBG being the replacement for his present Q which is being thematically split amongst two skills.

On the matter of Udyr, well, that's a point of tension I see about Skarner. The absence of an E, and it becoming such a long running joke has made what Skarner is quite different per the player. I've seen him compared to Shyvana, Mundo, Udyr, and Zac lately. At the moment, my main complaint is I still don't feel like he's been given a true E; it instead feels like they just took an easy course out. A burrow type skill would make him a stronger initiator and tie him more into the full tank category like with Zac. The contention that I see is people want him more akin to a fighter with Shyvana and Udyr coming up. Shyvana and Udyr aren't doing well at the moment, so I'm not really wishing that on Skarner. I don't think you should be either with your ranked emphasis versus normals comment.

They have niche uses; I don't see the need when concerned about Skarner's play rate to again make him even more niche.

On the matter of mana, you're comparing Jungle Evelynn with Skarner whose primarily a jungler. You're going for a niche surprise pick with Evelynn with added killing power/utility with her ability to enforce fear and cause wards to be placed just for her. Skarner doesn't have that overall utility; the matter of dealing with his mana costs is the same as it was in S2. You can do it; is it really necessary? Quite a few of the popular junglers have no mana issues at all (which is why his mana costs are being trimmed). Still, it's being gated by a combination of required skills. The slow amount isn't the "eh" part but rather the fact that slows which can be far more easily reduced this season has to be split for this need for counterplay that I don't understand---there haven't been any promised major changes to other jungler kits... so why Skarner? Again, take a gander at the popular junglers this season and how much utility they provide.

As a player, you can take the stance two ways:

Eh, those junglers are too strong; they should be nerfed even more down. See what's happening with Rengar thus far. Generally, enforcing counter play to ridiculous amounts to the point that the champion's identity suffers is not what I wish on any champion. It's why many Skarner fans have agreed that these present changes feel very cautious at the moment.

As for choosing, okay. We'll go with that. Is it truly engaging though? Not really. It's made his kit more cohesive; it could have been done in other ways other than this.

I'm not attempting to lump all Skarner fans; I can edit my OP really if I need to say "some Skarner fans." But I'd also say you shouldn't be labeling all the voices in the thread either by that logic. Your antagonism towards AP Skarner fans in particular is rather poor form for a discussion.
I don't have antagonism towards AP Skarner fans. AP Skarner is fun. I think you're taking comments more extreme than common English comprehension allows to shut down an opposing voice to feel better without having to think about importance of changes? AP Skarner is bad outside of having fun in normals. He's very good for that, the "fun" thing. But I can't pull him out in my 5v5 ranked team games without gimping my team. Whether as a jungling bruiser or a squishy clumsy AP. Period.

I don't know what server you play on or if you've played a game at all this season, but jungle Evelynn is not a "niche surprise pick", especially with the changes to Locket and increased room for carry junglers recently. Also Udyr is doing incredibly well. Shyvana/Mundo not so much. Zac is nothing like Skarner at all.

Couple quick points then I'm done:

1. "counterplay", since the most recent iteration of Q, now only applies to E. If you can't land a skill shot sort of equivalent to Ezreal's Q, you shouldn't be playing a skill-shot champion. You miss skill shots sometimes. Part of the game. Even without IBG, once you catch up to someone, with CDR from passive AAs, there will be a small window where they aren't moving at half their movement speed. I'll take that trade off for both more power AND more fun.

2. Plenty of champs with interesting abilities where we have to choose the most obviously powerful one for the role we're filling. It'd be great if we could level up all of Udyr's stances at the same time, but life's about choices. Skarner won't be the first or the last with a seemingly difficult decision (although it only seems to be difficult because we're not used to touching E until it's the only skill we have a choice in putting points on, and even then it's just to get the flashing plus-signs out of our UI).

3. Skarner's identity is a scorpion who imprisons carries in crystal and brawls with Q stacks and fast attack speed and high movement speed for sticking power with slows. I like the idea of the attack speed being built into his main 1v1 ability and his E actually being useful. If they give him a burrow gap closer they take away his movement speed and that's what lots of people like about Skarner. There's really not as much counterplay to his new slow as red posts make it sound, based on what else they've said. You just now have to push one. more. button. to play Skarner.

I still can't understand why, with his kit being stronger but slightly reliant on skill shots (slightly as in, wait until you're in melee range like you used to have to be and you get an instant 50% slow instead of waiting for your second Q like it used to be for a 35% slow), while still ultimately the exact same mechanics but moved around (and his ult reverted to not be broken by escapes), has players throwing a fit.

I think someone with a set of jimmies left mostly unrustled needs to chime in over this one.

P.S. New E wont break AP Skarner anyway. Better kit than what AP Tristana has to work with, what's an attack speed steroid do for a burst mage? At least AP Tristana is a viable non-gimping choice in ranked.

P.P.S. I was reading some posts and wanted to expand on a point. We can establish two things: commonly, Skarner players and Riot feel that a delayed slow is weak for a jungler-pre 6. Second: Skarner needs a slow on his kit, and the current version is much much much stronger than the old. Only way they're getting away from you is with a flash and burning a summoner spell is a successful gank.

That said, give me a new version of E other than the burrow in your next post to talk about it. Skarner can't have both insane movement speed AND a gap close. That's too overpowered. I love the burrow. but I love the feel of the movement speed more. I play enough gap-close champions.