Skarner, I miss your kind

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Frayace

Senior Member

11-18-2013

cant wait to see the new skarner


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TryAndKeepUpPlz

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Senior Member

11-18-2013

I don't know if any reds are still monitoring this, but my roommate and I talk about Skarner a lot.

Worst part about him: mana costs on abilities. We get that they purposefully give him a low mana pool to punish poor use of Q. But the problem is that it is used for two things. It's his most reliable form of crowd control besides his ult, so you're constantly spamming it when you're ganking (like a Rengar E or Lissandra W) but it's also his ability to wave clear (lissandra has Q to do that). By putting so much emphasis on one ability it's hard to balance it. You want it to have a high mana cost to promote effective use during ganks and punish poor use, but you want a low mana cost for effective clearing. See how it's kinda counter-intuitive?

Add in the fact that he should give blue to his mid laner, and he's a very mana dependent and deprived champion.

My suggestion to fix this? Take the emphasis off of his Q. His W is primarily used to chase champions, would it then not make sense for this to be his ganking ability?

His Q is also his primary jungle clear ability, so make it primarily focus on this.

Put more emphasis on his E spell. Lower the mana cost, and make it the go to ability for jungling. I think what it should do is instead of give a flat heal, is give an increased health regen and a mana regen buff for a short amount of time. What this would do is reward skarner players in team fights who are able to accurately and consistently land their E, and keep their mana from depleting, while at the same time prevent him from completely ooming himself clearing the jungle.

Overall rework that could balance the champion:

Have Q be a standard AoE spell, lower its mana cost and remove its slowing effect.

Have W retain its bonus movement and attack speed, but add a bonus effect to the spell. While skarner has his W active, all his spells add a slowing effect to them. This will allow his E to be used as a mid-range initiation and will open up counter play opportunities for opponents - if they burst down his shield he's no longer a slowing machine (a problematic mechanic right now).

Have his E refund mana in some form either increased mana regen or refund a flat amount. This will allow Skarner players to keep their mana from depleting in the jungle, while rewarding accurate use of the skill shot in team fights to keep him from ooming in extended fights. Right now his mana pool is the only effective counter play he has, but if you make his W the source of counter play, it allows for a more enjoyable experience.

I'm afraid this post will just become another wall of unread text. But on the off chance RiotScruffy sees this I will be happy.

TL;DR - Remove slow off of Q. Add slowing buff to abilities while W is active. Refund mana on E.


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Sightless66

Senior Member

11-18-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by TryAndKeepUpPlz View Post
TL;DR - Remove slow off of Q. Add slowing buff to abilities while W is active. Refund mana on E.
This strikes me as being a fairly significant nerf to Skarner. I understand that you want to make sure Skarner's opponents have counterplay opportunities, but the problem is that you've given him very little in exchange for the loss of his permaslow. You've not only reduced his chasing potential (because popping his W would remove both his slow and his movement speed, leaving him with no potions for chasing), but you've also severely hurt his teamfighting because the shield tends to be popped almost immediately by stray abilities or attacks. In exchange to this massive reduction in his slowing potential, you have given him only two things. The first is a ranged slow, and while this is useful, it doesn't make up for the loss of any formed of sustained CC. The second is mana regen on the E, which just isn't useful enough. Skarner is perfectly capable of itemizing a spirit item and Frozen Heart to alleviate mana problems.

There is also the issue of how making the E the go-to ability for jungling severely weakens his early and midgame power. One of the key aspects of Skarner's early power is that he puts points in the same skill for both damage and for CC. This allows him to level up a skill that will not only make him a strong fighter, but will also make him harder to escape. Skarner exploits this advantage to make plays in the midgame before major teamfights happen. In your proposed rework, Skarner would level the E, and he would receive damage and sustain from it. This would help Skarner if he wanted to powerfarm the jungle endlessly, but that's not something Skarner will be useful for (there are always better championsyou could pick if you just want to powerfarm). He needs to be able to make plays early, and losing the ability to level up damage and utility simultaneously means he would have to severely delay his fighting potential.

You're too worried about Skarner's mana issues. Itemizing for some mana sustain does not hurt him as much as losing his early CC would. It should also be noted that mana costs are not counterplay: counterplay is actions that an enemy can take to overcome some aspect of your champion. In Skarner's case, his counterplay is that as a non-gapclosing melee champion, he is very vulnerable to enemy kiting and CC.

When you're thinking about Skarner, keep in mind that he already has a very high amount of counterplay. If you are insistent on adding even more counterplay to Skarner, you have to give him a way to respond to the enemy's attempts to counter him. He has to have a mechanism for keeping his utility functioning other than "hope you are tanky enough that the shield doesn't pop". It should also be noted that while counterplay is generally a good thing, giving the enemy the ability to completely remove Skarner's CC by breaking his shield vastly overtunes the reward for Skarner's opponents.

I think this idea for a rework isn't great, but it is good that you have identified mana sustain is an issue for Skarner and permaslow can be an issue for Skarner's opponents. However, you've retuned the kit way too much in favor of sustain while virtually eliminating his sustained CC. That is way too big of a paradigm shift.


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TryAndKeepUpPlz

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Senior Member

11-18-2013

@slightless66

What if his W gave a bonus shield and all said buffs, but the attack speed and movement speed buffs remained for a set amount of time regardless of if the shield was popped. Only the slowing effect would be lost. I still believe a skarner with red buff and infinite mana supply just rushes a champion and they cannot escape, there needs to be a way to counter play this. Allowing him to maintain a speed buff and if he has a red buff would allow him to still catch enemy champions, he just isn't sticky glue while doing it.

This would also help his early jungling, as it stands right now his W breaks at lvl 1 to either the blue or red buff, removing his steroid. Let him keep some of the attack speed in his early levels. For team fights W is his go to steroid, and instant survivability tool, while his E allows him to sustain prolonged fights.

Addressing the issue you raised with level E vs Q, I see your point in wanting to maintain early dmg, and it would also be useful for jungle clearing. So maintain focus on Q being his main leveled spell for pure dmg reasons, and allow the slow buff to come from his W. The E should still receive a buff to help his early game mana issues before he can itemize efficiently.

Edit: To address your concerns on power farming the jungle. I believe Skarner already does this. He is like warwick in a sense, that he tends to farm the jungle until lvl 6 then ganks with his ultimate. While adding a slow to his E could make his pre 6 ganks more viable, I still believe his core gank relies on flash ulting out of the brush.

As well, in the season 4 jungle remake, they are adding an extra camp and making jungle farmers more viable. Perhaps this is the role Skarner would fill, so it may be better to give him this sort of buff.


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Karede

Senior Member

11-18-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by TryAndKeepUpPlz View Post
@slightless66

What if his W gave a bonus shield and all said buffs, but the attack speed and movement speed buffs remained for a set amount of time regardless of if the shield was popped. Only the slowing effect would be lost. I still believe a skarner with red buff and infinite mana supply just rushes a champion and they cannot escape, there needs to be a way to counter play this. Allowing him to maintain a speed buff and if he has a red buff would allow him to still catch enemy champions, he just isn't sticky glue while doing it.

This would also help his early jungling, as it stands right now his W breaks at lvl 1 to either the blue or red buff, removing his steroid. Let him keep some of the attack speed in his early levels. For team fights W is his go to steroid, and instant survivability tool, while his E allows him to sustain prolonged fights.

Addressing the issue you raised with level E vs Q, I see your point in wanting to maintain early dmg, and it would also be useful for jungle clearing. So maintain focus on Q being his main leveled spell for pure dmg reasons, and allow the slow buff to come from his W. The E should still receive a buff to help his early game mana issues before he can itemize efficiently.

Edit: To address your concerns on power farming the jungle. I believe Skarner already does this. He is like warwick in a sense, that he tends to farm the jungle until lvl 6 then ganks with his ultimate. While adding a slow to his E could make his pre 6 ganks more viable, I still believe his core gank relies on flash ulting out of the brush.

As well, in the season 4 jungle remake, they are adding an extra camp and making jungle farmers more viable. Perhaps this is the role Skarner would fill, so it may be better to give him this sort of buff.
pop his W shield and he literally has nothing. Your idea can't work at all. The shield is nice, but is gone basically instantly when you take any damage.

I love the outside the box thinking, but you can't make the champ about his shield.

This champ is based around the counter play that "kiting him is extremely easy, unless you let him catch you!" It seriously is very, very easy to kite this champion. Pop the shield, wiggle your finger and laugh at him. If you put emphasis on a shield that is easy to pop, he becomes MORE kiteable and less useful.


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Sightless66

Senior Member

11-18-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by TryAndKeepUpPlz View Post
@slightless66What if his W gave a bonus shield and all said buffs, but the attack speed and movement speed buffs remained for a set amount of time regardless of if the shield was popped. Only the slowing effect would be lost. I still believe a skarner with red buff and infinite mana supply just rushes a champion and they cannot escape, there needs to be a way to counter play this.
There already are multiple counterplays to a Skarner running at you. You either use an escape ability to get away, you use a ranged nuke to break his shield and his MS, or you hit him with a CC. There are numerous opportunities to stop Skarner from getting onto you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TryAndKeepUpPlz View Post
This would also help his early jungling, as it stands right now his W breaks at lvl 1 to either the blue or red buff, removing his steroid. Let him keep some of the attack speed in his early levels. For team fights W is his go to steroid, and instant survivability tool, while his E allows him to sustain prolonged fights.
He doesn't need much help with the early jungle. He's more than capable of clearing it, and that is all that is necessary. Additionally, Skarner is already very good at fighting prolonged fights. You don't need to give him something to buff that. What he needs is a way to actually keep fighting the enemy, and that is what you are taking away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TryAndKeepUpPlz View Post
Addressing the issue you raised with level E vs Q, I see your point in wanting to maintain early dmg, and it would also be useful for jungle clearing. So maintain focus on Q being his main leveled spell for pure dmg reasons, and allow the slow buff to come from his W. The E should still receive a buff to help his early game mana issues before he can itemize efficiently.
You haven't quite understood the problem that I have. No matter whether you choose to level E or Q first, you have to level a skill that doesn't give you crowd control. That means that when it comes time to gank, you charge in, activate the shield, and have it instantly broken by the enemy laner (and it will be broken, because you can't make a level 1 shield strong enough to not be broken by one shot from a level 6 enemy without making Skarner's level 2 extremely overpowered), which removes all of your CC. In order to have reliable CC, I would have to level the W, but I can't do that without sacrificing massive amounts of damage. That means that in order to gank or hunt enemy junglers effectively, I need to have levels in either E or Q, and I also need levels in W. On live Skarner, you only need levels in Q to be able to hunt people down. Your change will restrict Skarner's fighting, ganking and chasing potential at early levels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TryAndKeepUpPlz View Post
Edit: To address your concerns on power farming the jungle. I believe Skarner already does this. He is like warwick in a sense, that he tends to farm the jungle until lvl 6 then ganks with his ultimate. While adding a slow to his E could make his pre 6 ganks more viable, I still believe his core gank relies on flash ulting out of the brush.
My problem with powerfarming wasn't on him farming until 6; live Skarner already does that. My problem with his powerfarming is that I think he'll be forced to do it after 6, until he has at least level 10 and 3 points in the shield. As I said before, without any reliable slow at early levels, he loses a ton of the gank potential he had.

Also, Skarner doesn't need to flash to get successful ganks. A pull into a permaslow is very good at securing kills even when enemies are close to their tower. A pity that your rework gets rid of the permaslow. That's a lot of follow-up that his ganks will lack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TryAndKeepUpPlz View Post
As well, in the season 4 jungle remake, they are adding an extra camp and making jungle farmers more viable. Perhaps this is the role Skarner would fill, so it may be better to give him this sort of buff.
Very unlikely. There are many jungle farmers who scale much better with gold than Skarner does. Skarner also tends to fall off a bit after the midgame because he's not great at teamfighting (the reason for this is because he is kited easily, not because of mana problems or durability issues). You don't want a Skarner farming towards the lategame: You want him getting 6 and then pressuring the map endlessly with his high dueling power.

The biggest problem in your rework is that you are removing points of power while adding things that fix relatively minor problems. Skarner may have mana problems, but those would be nothing compared to the loss of most of his sustained CC. You also propose letting Skarner keep his movement speed and attack speed, but in exchange, he has to lose the ability to slow when the shield is popped. That is a terrible trade-off. The movement speed and the steroid are not equal in power to a permanent CC. Skarner doesn't need to be tankier or do slightly more damage in brawls: He needs to have utility so that he can peel for carries or slow down enemy carries. You haven't given him anywhere near enough to make up for the losses. A highly kitable melee champion needs a way to ensure he stays close to opponents once he has reached them.

Look, the basic idea you are proposing is to make Skarner almost completely useless if the enemy is strong enough to pop his shield. Maintaining movement speed doesn't give any aid to his team: Having him guaranteed to move fast is much weaker than having an enemy guaranteed to move slowly.

If you are really attached to this idea, here is what I would suggest: Get rid of the mana sustain on his E. It gives minimal aid early and becomes almost completely useless late game. Just say that mana costs will be reduced on the kit and leave it at that. Find another form of utility to give Skarner that helps to make up for the massive amount of CC you are removing from him. He doesn't need sustain, or even more brawling power: He needs utility.


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LulzSec

Senior Member

11-18-2013

So taking into account the mastery changes, I still think EXP runes are ideal. The addition of another camp and the mastery updates will make up for the loss of the EXP mastery.

I guess I created this build a little late, but I think his jungle will improve with the changes. 21 offense is a more viable option for him.


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Shahamut

Senior Member

11-19-2013

So, Im reading a lot about how AS and CDR scale well for skarner and was curious: How come I don't see many if ANY players build Nashor's Tooth?

60 AP
50% Increased Attack Speed
20% Cooldown Reduction

Bonus Magic Damage on basic attacks based on AP

Thoughts?


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Karede

Senior Member

11-19-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahamut View Post
So, Im reading a lot about how AS and CDR scale well for skarner and was curious: How come I don't see many if ANY players build Nashor's Tooth?

60 AP
50% Increased Attack Speed
20% Cooldown Reduction

Bonus Magic Damage on basic attacks based on AP

Thoughts?
I am not a proponent of either CDR or attack speed if you buy an item specifically for that stat. THere are lots of items that you can get those stats in conjunction with durability or movement speed, (example: triforce, frozen heart, spirit visage). The 60 AP is a giant waste of money, unless you are top lane, I guess, and try to beef up E. Never tried it.

Gotta ask yourself what you are giving up to buy a nashor's tooth though. When in the game is that going to be the item that changes everything for you?

If you want to try an attack speed item, try Zephyr. tenacity, move speed, little damage, attack speed. Still not in love with it, but I would do that over Nashor's Tooth


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Sightless66

Senior Member

11-19-2013

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahamut View Post
So, Im reading a lot about how AS and CDR scale well for skarner and was curious: How come I don't see many if ANY players build Nashor's Tooth?

60 AP
50% Increased Attack Speed
20% Cooldown Reduction

Bonus Magic Damage on basic attacks based on AP

Thoughts?
It hasn't been used much because Nashor's requires you to have 2 things to be effective: Good amounts of AP, and the ability to auto freely. Skarner uses AP ok, but full AP Skarner tends to not be quite as good as fighter or tanky bruiser Skarner (and both of those might have enough CDR that the CDR from Nashor's doesn't work too well). It can work if you get a ton of gold, but in my experience, AP Skarner is very prone to being useless if it starts to fall behind. Unless I know for sure that I could get tons of AP, I'd rather just build tanky with AD.

Don't take my word for it though. Give it a test run and tell us your results. Theorycrafting is great, but theory testing is even better.