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Skarner, I miss your kind

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Senior Member


• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
Flying out of the bush with your extra movespeed from shield and flash ulting a carry into your team.
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
The fact that skarner's animation has a delay so people can flash it or if they go in fog it cancels the ult yet makes it go on cd. Much like cho gath feast. ALso his e literally does nothing unless you build alot of AP on him.
• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
I find he is only a problem in TT. He gets to build almost completely tanky with his offensive item(s) being iceborne gauntlet or lizard elder and does a substantial amount of damage in skirmishes from his aoe.
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
yes, lee sin who has aoe slow, 2 gap closers and can also peel or get a squishy to his team. Jarvan also does the same thing as skarner, aoe slow, peel and way better ganks.

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Junior Member


• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
Chasing down a fleeing enemy is always fun as is skarner's dueling and ability to collapse positioning in teamfights
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
Often times it feels like you can get kited to easily,but by the same token, its also just a hair to easy to keep someone locked down and chase them to death
• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
It is certainly how difficult it is to escape a skarner. I realize his thing is being inescapable but sometimes it feels like there is nothing you can do but sit there and die.
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
Lee Sin has a similar damage and bulkiness combined with good chasing ability. In teamfights champs like J4 have a similar AOE presence and as far as positioning goes champions like volibear, blitzcrank and thresh are often more useful with their lower cooldown grabs. Number one skarner replacement is Hecarim though. He has similar disruption and aoe fight presence but seemingly better utility.

Edit: After reading more about the prospective changes I have to say Skarner is looking to be a subpar Hecarim. The elements of his q and w mirror Hecarim's very closely.Further the skillshot slow seems very different flavor and play wise than the Skarner I know. Moving the slow to a skill-shot nuke seems like it will greatly reduce the ability of Skarner to hold a target. He is all about up close play and moving such a core component of his chase strategy to a long range attack just doesn't fit.

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Senior Member


I'd really like Scruffy to address the concerns over retaining Skarner's uniqueness. That seems to be a point that he's ignored during this discussion.

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Senior Member


i love his ability to clear jungles and single out enemies like an assassin.

i dislike how easy it is to kill him atm. he is underarmored for a crystal armored scorpion

his ability to run away if he sees you at anything under an adc's range

Jarvan Zac and Pantheon all do his job better atm

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Senior Member


Posted this as its own thread but there was a poster here who wanted to see my data, so here's the copy/paste.

A couple weeks ago I took on a pet project. There was disagreement in the Skarner mega-thread as to how the community felt about playing against Skarner. So I combed through what ended up being the first 43 pages of the thread, and logged each response in an Excel document.

First, here's the document. 777928

You'll notice that I logged responses by summoner name and page number for reference if you want to check it out.

I categorized responses under the following conditions:

1) I only logged responses formatted to answer Scruffy's Q/A format. I ignored posts that did not directly address the question at hand in order to maintain a standard for feedback. Luckily, most respondents adhered to that format.

2) I categorized responses under "Ultimate"--meaning the respondent found Skarner's ultimate frustrating to play against, "Permaslow"--same as above except in this case, Skarner's Q slow, "Other"--responses ranging from "he tanks too much" to "he does too much damage" (this section also includes a robust number of responses saying "nothing is frustrating&quot, and "AP Skarner"--which only had a couple respondents and were commenting on his sustain.

3) I made no distinction between a strongly worded response and a less passionate response.

4) If a poster mentioned more than one thing, I logged them in each category (i.e. they count as a data point for both things they identify).

5) I stopped on the page (43) where the most commonly logged category reached 100.


Now, why did I do this and what does it mean? In order to explain this to those that haven't been following the massive thread, I'll give a bullet summary of discussion in the thread, and then I'll explain why the data applies to the discussion.

  • Scruffy asks for feedback
  • Feedback is given
  • Scruffy states his intention to remove Skarner's permaslow
  • Scruffy iterates a few versions of Skarner's kit
  • He comes up with a new one with the slow moving onto Skarner's E
  • Posters (myself included) question this as a design decision
  • Other posters and scruffy defend the decision and posit that the permaslow is what makes skarner frustrating/makes him lack counterplay and decision making

That's a very brief summary, but it should be sufficient.

A couple things to keep in mind before delving into the data:

1) Scruffy has stated that Skarner feels stronger in playtests.
2) He confirms and other posters posit that the new ranged slow makes getting a Skarner ultimate off easier than it is on live (coupled with reliability fixes in the ultimate's coding).
3) The community responded in unquestionably huge numbers that the most fun about live Skarner is using his ultimate.

Here are the data points for those who couldn't be bothered to click on the Excel chart:

Ultimate: 100 unique responses.
Permaslow: 48 unique responses, including Scruffy.
Other: 48 unique responses.
AP Skarner: 3 unique responses.

For a total of 199 total unique responses logged. I believe this to be an adequate sample size, mostly given that the ratio of responses evened out about halfway through my project. I doubt that ratios would vary much if I logged another 200 unique responses.

What does it mean?

Two things are obvious right off the bat. First, the "Ultimate" category has almost exactly double the value of the next single response. Second, the "Other" category, seeing as it is split between so many different response types, shows that the Permaslow is, indeed the second most responded choice by a fair margin.


I believe that Skarner's ultimate is in a good spot in terms of counterplay. Why? Because the community overwhelmingly chose it as the most fun aspect of his kit, and less overwhelmingly chose it as the most frustrating to play against (it accounted for half of the total number of responses). I think this is the case with most well balanced ultimates. Ones that are too powerful generate more overwhelming negative sentiment (think pre-nerf Olaf). The sign of a bad ultimate in terms of counterplay is when it feels super strong for the user, and so strong that it crowds out other responses for the person on the other end. A good ultimate should feel super strong for the user, but not feel like the end of the world for the receiver.

So why do I think the currently proposed changes will be bad for Skarner in the game?

The ranged slow has been stated to make getting ultimates off easier. The permaslow has been nerfed and the ultimate's availability has been increased. I believe that this will create a scenario where Skarner's ultimate feels more overwhelmingly frustrating to play against. Now, he has only a movespeed boost outside of summoner spells to close the gap to get to the prerequisite melee. In the new version, he will have a speed boost that gets stronger, and a ranged slow that will create a larger disparity in movespeeds, meaning Skarner will more reliably be able to get into melee range. While it is a skillshot, it has been stated that the cooldown will be roughly 10 seconds, the range will be increased, and that the mana cost will be reduced. To me, this will lead to a pattern of "throw out skillshot--if hit, go in, if not, wait 6-10 seconds depending on CDR and try again". It reduces his risk of blowing everything just to get into melee, where he might not even succeed.

I know that this is a fairly long post, but I'd really like Scruffy or another Red to read it and tell me what they think about my methodology and my conclusions. I want to know where I went wrong, and how I can improve my data gathering and interpretation skills.

Bait: Xelnath (because I know he's up)

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Senior Member


I like a lot of what I see, but my main issues from how I used to play Skarner would be his losses on both permaslow and now attack speed. I can understand the loss of slow, it did show up the other skills when the ultimate was spent, though I would have prefered a diminished slow instead. However, the constant attack speed buff is not sitting well at the moment.

It was argued that this constant buff at half the power of the old buff would be rationalized because he had a long cooldown on a short duration skill. However, Skarner's kit is completely revolved around (with the exception of super tank Impalers) cooldown reduction. Sure, it only lasted 6 seconds before, and like 3 seconds in a fight, but with max cooldowns (which Skarners that actually use the passive are reliant upon... ), that cooldown was only 10.8 seconds, and diminished even more every time he attacked. He would practically perma-shield in jungle, making the passive practically constant anyways, and almost perma-shield in certain fights, too, even at a 4ish second duration, since his passive works doubly on champions. Furthermore, anyone would rather have their attack speed at the beginning of the fight to shut an enemy down rather than half that for the whole fight, when they still can't close the kill. Sure, some people dont rely on the attack speed for the passive, and play him as more of a burst champion with a Trinity Force or something, but that just means that their kit is already represented without that buff.

What I really don't get about Skarner is why Q damage was so high for a spammable like that in the first place. It completely outclasses any attempt at making Skarner have good poke, because having ranged poke, permaslow, plus melee shred was crazy OP, so the ranged poke was diminished. So, my suggestion, nerf Q damage and slow a tiny bit, buff up E a bunch, and keep attack speed on W. Make people choose between utility and power/range. Heck, with appropriate E power, Q needs hardly any, as your DPS will skyrocket enough with consistent E casts, should you get auto-attacks off. Instead, Q is so powerful, it deals 157 base damage after the first shot, and at a 3.5 sec cd... as opposed to a ranged nuke at 240 damage and at a whopping 10 second cooldown... When you have a permaslow this hard to get away from in the first place, this is a huge issue. E's AP ratio is kinder to Skarner, but not much on a spam artist such as Skarner. Q is simply where the damage AND utility is, and that's why people rush Q in hopes of contributing; it outclasses the other skills in jungle, and as we've covered, moreso in the other lanes. This new Q will make that worse.

24% attack speed seems super weak; just 2 daggers when maxed, and fully stacked. Is that really going to make up for the loss of permaslow on Q, especially since it isn't active until 3 procs? I highly doubt it. It makes jungling easier since the damage was the only aspect that helped it before, so this is actually a jungle buff. However, for characters trying for sustain, especially lane sustain, they now have to rely on a W skill that gives no offensive boost, and is only practical with loads of AP. The E skill, while weak, was at least a form of offensive sustain. Now he doesn't have any offensive form of sustain, unless you count move speed.

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Junior Member


To be honest, I always enjoyed playing Skarner as a tank/peeler. More than his signature ult, I always loved the permaslow. That's what really grabbed my attention to him. I love peeling bruisers and assassins from my squishies and Skarner is the only character that has fulfilled the role to full extent for me. The matter is that people don't know how to counterplay his permaslow. Skarner's counterplay is the same counterplay Darius has: stay away from. The difference is that Skarner has to basically hit the enemy with 2 Qs before slowing the enemy, thus creating a bigger opportunity window than Darius to not get caught. If you guys want an window of opportunity for people to get out of his slow, make it last less and be more powerful, something around 1.5-2s duration, but make it still be reappliable often. Skarner is a sustained damage champion, so a short but unsustained slow will make him have an Udyr syndrom of not being able to take down enemies before they reach a safety zone.

I have no problems with his shield and I think it works perfectly fine. Making it an steroid and a gapcloser is what makes or breaks a good skarner, and it adds depth to his kit.

His E is a great late game survival tool for late-game, it's just not as much appreciated. Using it during late-game makes you very tanky and you start to level it at the exact spot in the game where it needs to be leveled. I don't see any reasoning to change.

The ult change is nice and is the only thing that I really liked changing. It just needs to be reliable, and making it so is a good improvement for him.

Imo, Skarner's kit is great atm. The only thing I think he needs is a buff to his Ult reliability and nothing more. I believe this is the only thing that keeps him away from viability. The latest iteration posted feels like his kit was gutted and made him lose a lot of his core when I think he doesn't actually need one. I wish you reconsider at least the slow frequency from his kit, as this is what makes Skarner who he is for me.

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Senior Member


I'm fine with whatever you do to him as long as you remove the permaslow. It's a bad design and it's unsatisfying for both the player (because it weakens the rest of his kit so much) and the victim.

Speak for yourself. A majority of Skarner players love the feeling of FINNALLY being in range of someone and have them locked down with q.

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I'd say giving his E a second effect while being able to continue moving when using it would make quite an impact when giving chase. Same with lowering the cooldown on his W since it lasts for only 1/3 the time of its cooldown but if he's going for the initiation it lasts for 2 seconds max from everybody stopping him.

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Senior Member


The amount of feedback we get about our worries is simply amazingly bad.
Three weeks and only one of the many nerfs and unfitting aspects got a half assed answer.

Can’t wait to see all this on the pbe server,
as the sad proof that nothing here happens together with the players.