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Skarner, I miss your kind

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Senior Member


God Xerath my favorite Mid and skarner one of my 3 principals junglers are getting reworked.

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Senior Member


This is what I want with skarner (cloudtemplar/rapidstar vid) : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mwKwEOblOA

watch 2:05. That's why skarner was picked in the past and he isn't today

I want to be able to grab someone without him cancelling it with a flash or a little pounce

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Sun Tzu X2

Senior Member


Hey All,
I’m going to be doing some Skarner work and right here is one of the best places to start. There has been a great thread in the Champion Feedback forum (shoutout to Irish Red Cap) with a lot of good discussion on how people are feeling about Skarner’s current state.

So I’ve been doing some digging and unfortunately, poor Skarner is being picked 80% less this year than he was last year. Some of this might be from some nerfs he has received, but it may also be because newer champs are outclassing him in what he does best. Either way, I think we all agree that Skarner could benefit from a few improvements to make him more fun/viable for both Skarner players and their opponents. Keep in mind, the goal here is not "make Skarner OP." There will always have to be strengths and weaknesses to all champions.

Before we get to any of the potential changes, we need to figure out what Skarner’s strengths and weaknesses are right now. I have a few questions for you all, and you can answer these as a SKarner player or even as someone who only has experience playing against Skarner.

• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?

I have my own personal answers to these questions, but I may be only seeing one side of the coin. There are some Skarner players out there with wayyy more experience that I have, and I think there is a lot of valuable information that I may be missing. I have a feeling that once we get talking, we will come to some very useful conclusions. GOGOGO


• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
- Clearing Camps Semi fast? Ult is fun but isnt effective.

• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
- Ult isn't effective, forces you to go in deep to use it; Most champions can counter it instantly. Ult also does nearly no damage, and when you add in the rest of his kit he doesn't do any damage besides Qing someone 20-25 times. He also isn't inherently tanky, so you have to build tanky just to use ult which isn't effective.

• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
- If you get out of position that Ult will lead to a kill often.

• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
- Skarner in my opinion can be a good counter jungler but Shyvanna, Lee, Udyr, etc do that much better. His ult solo's out one team member to be killed, which a lot of champions do.

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Senior Member


Taking away his permaslow just means the enemy will have infinite kiting. With no gapcloser once skarner reaches you sticking power is pretty much all he has (since he does not hit particularly hard)

If you let yourself get caught, you already messed up. The counterplay to the permaslow is kiting and mobility. The ability to do these two things increases every patch, and skarner is already having it rough WITH the permaslow.

The issue with his playrate was the absolute gutting of his ultimate. It's too easy to escape, and damn near impossible to use in a non-warded jungle. while champions like singed and volibear can flip with normal abilities under conditions that no longer work on a skarner ULTIMATE, despite being similar spells.

Skarners whole kit does not need a rework... his E does! Make it worth investing a point into, that's all that needs to be done! Don't go overboard, skarner is very very close to being fine.

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Perhaps I am the only person here who is afraid of changes to Skarner, because his current (though almost completely overlooked) playstyle in the midlane will be removed if Fracture is changed. Skarner is the only champion I have ever bought with RP, and I bought him purely to play him mid, like these (http://www.mobafire.com/league-of-legends/build/ap-skarner-s3-this-scorpion-has-a-sting-260940#chapter8) three (http://www.lolking.net/guides/103286) guides (http://www.solomid.net/guides.php?g=47822-alphaomega4ever-skarner-build-guide) describe. Skarner needs changes, and I do look forward to an improved quality of life for our favorite scorpion. I just hate that most people think he can only be played in the jungle. Skarner is a unique and fun champion to lane with and I hope the rework preserves at least some of his functionality for us Skarner laners.

What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
His unique laning phase. He is a melee champ and pretty squishy, but he has sustain and reasonable harass with his e. An early Tear of the Goddess allows Fracture to be used frequently. Thanks to his kit he is a great roamer as well and I can usually pick up a few kills with him by helping other lanes out. It is a blast to use Skarner in skirmishes as a pseudo-on-hit mage with a Nashor's or Gunisoo's for AP and attack speed.

What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
Fracture's mana cost doesn't affect lane Skarner as much as it does jungler players. An early tear allows for frequent use, and crystal slash allows for quick tear stacking. The most frustrating part of Skarner for me is his relatively low durability in team fights. With a damage oriented build, Skarner has a very difficult time getting into melee range, and this problem is only exacerbated by the relative unreliability of his ultimate.

What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
This has already been mentioned, his perma slow is devastating on 1v1 engagements. In lane that aspect is not seen as much and Skarner is by no means invincible. One could consider his Fracture heal to be frustrating, but that is central to his kit as a melee laner and is by no means over powered (Please don't remove it). His ultimate has plenty of counterplay thanks to the S3 changes.

Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
I'm not sure there are any champions who have a playstyle quite like Skarner's. Skarner has AP DPS to rival Kayle, and cc and displacement abilities that define who he is as a champion. The problem is his complete squishiness as a melee champion makes him unsuitable for the current meta that focuses on team fights and objectives. Champions like Udyr who can deal a lot of damage at melee range and survive through it have a lot going for them over Skarner. As a midlaner Skarner is also unique in that he needs to have a jungler or another ally with him to aquire kills with his ult, and that puts him behind champions like Fizz who can 100 > 0 people because of their ultimates.

Please don't leave us Skarner laners in the dust. Until now Skarner has been unpopular and slightly underpowered in lane, but we can bear that because he is unique and fun to play. By all means, make quality of life changes to his kit, and change/remove the perma slow but when reworking Fracture, please keep in mind that many of us love its current functionality. Me and my brother both spent RP on this champion purely to play him in lane, and if his heal is removed, that money would have been wasted.

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lnput Command

Junior Member


Skarner is my least favorite champion to play not so much because he's bad, but because he's really unfun to play. He doesn't have a lot of choices for what he does. When you enter a battle, you pull R your target and hit QWE as much as possible. No choices need be made.

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Senior Member


Hi RiotScruffy
I am so glad that you have taken the time to respond to us, it shows us that all our hard effort to raise awareness for skarner was not in vain and I deeply thank you on behalf of all of us skarner players.
I am 5 hours late from when you originally posted your thread but I do hope you read this. I will respond to your questions and give you perhaps a bit more insight if you are willing to keep reading that part.
1) What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
I find many aspects of Skarner to be rewarding.
To start of I love his (Q) not just the fact that it slows but that it damages outside of his melee range, and I for one find this very useful when engaging in a one on one fight in the jungle or with an isolated player. The reason for this is that you can lock them down until your teammates arrive to secure the kill and you take minimal damage from melee champions because they are just out of melee range. His (Q) also allows for the thrill of chasing down your opponents which I find to be very entertaining.
His (W) also adds to the thrill of chasing your opponents. I always thought how cool it would look for the battle cast skarner to go into super charge mode when you activated his (W)
I find that his(R) is the best part about him it is a great initiation in a team fight and has such an impactful effect on a team fight. I have also used it to peel for an adc if I see an assassin targeting my carry and I find that very rewarding as a player to save my carry.
Finally I find that his tank like characteristics to be what draws me to him. I love how I can engage in a fight or act as bait to get the enemy to focus me rather than the adc.
In conclusion I love that he is a resilient champion with good utility and has a good impact on a team fight.
2) What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
I find that the most difficult part about playing skarner is that he has no escapes and is very easily kited. I also find that when I play a flawless game with him, i.e. good ganks, undetectable counter jungling and a decent build I have a good game regardless of whether I win or lose. However if I slip up with him once i.e. dying with him on a gank gone wrong with no means of escape or getting caught in the jungle with no means of escape. I find that it leaves me with not having enough gold to build the items I need and therefore not having enough of an impact on a team fight as the tank. In both situations I find that if I had a gap closer to escape a bad situation it would help immensely.
3) What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
Now I have not met a good skarner player that has made me rage when I play adc mostly because no one plays him anymore but if I had to use my own experiences, I would say that the enemy adc would get upset if I grabbed him because he would die before the team fight even started if he did not have cleanse or QSS. However most of the adc’s that I grab is because they are out of position and I am simply punishing them for not being aware where they are in relation to their team mates. And to add on to this when I play skarner in a ranked game most of the time I see the adc with a cleanse, flash and QSS which means they have three chances to escape my ult and that really makes me feel usless in a team fight.
4) Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
I have posted my thoughts on this question on the Irish red cap’s forum thread and here it is copy pasted
I have decided to show case my studies on our jungle Champions. This will show you all and hopefully even Riot for the future what makes a good jungle Champion. I'm Sorry for being such a stick in the mud but Skarner has the rights to a gap closer every other jungler does they also have some form of hard CC or in the worst case scenario they have a movement speed ability that can’t be destroyed. The following Champions are in alphabetical order and the order of their jungle tools being, Gap closers, hard CC and Speed boosts.

Gap Closer
Aatrox: Dark Flight (Q)
Amumu: Bandage toss (Q)
Elise: Rappel (E)
Hecarim: Devastating Charge (E) Onslaught of Shadows (R)
Jarvan IV: Demacian Standard (E) into Dragon Strike (Q) and his Cataclysm (R)
Jax: Leap Strike (Q)
Jayce: To the Skies! (Q)
Kah'Zix: Leap (E)
Lee Sin: Sonic Wave/Resonating Strike (Q)
Malphite: Unstoppable Force (R)
Moakai: Twisted advance (W)
Master Yi: Alpha Strike (Q)
Nautilus: Dredge Line (Q)
Nocturne: Paranoia (R)
Rengar: Unseen Predator (Passive)
Sejuani: Artic Assault (Q)
Shaco: Deceive (Q)
Shen: Shadow Dash (E)
Shyvana: Dragon's Decent (R)
Tryndamere: Spinning Slash (E)
Vi: Vault Breaker (Q) and Assault and Battery (R)
Warwick: Infinite Durres (R)
Xin Zhao: Audacious Charge (E)
Zac: Elastic Slingshot (E)

Hard Crowed Control
Alistar: Pulverize (Q)
Cho' Gath: Rupture (Q) and Feral Scream (W)
Fiddlesticks: Terrify (Q)
Malzahar: Nether Grasp (R)
Rammus: Puncturing Taunt (E)
Udyr: Bear Stance (E)
** I would like to point out that Skarner's Impale (R) forces him to be in a bad situation having all the focus being put on him, unlike the six champions above

Movement Speed Boost
Trundle: Frozen Domain (W)
Volibear: Rolling Thunder (Q)

As a final note we on Irish red cap’s thread have come up with two really good ideas that I hope will help in your endeavor to bring this great champion to life and here they are the first was a gap closer in the form of a digging ability that we wanted to replace (E) with but then thanks to some creative thinking from Lord Juugatsu we came to a conclusion that I feel best keeps the nostalgia of pursuing an enemy with (W) with the new digging technique we are all working on and hopping to come to fruition. This is a copy past from our thread
“I could dig that, pun not intended, but unavoidable.

Basically his current W that could turn into a gap closer if used as a follow up. It promotes skilled play, popping it near the end of the shield for maximum distance mobility or using it prior to losing the shield (which requires gauging damage or sacrificing the mobility by insta-popping the burrow).

I imagine it'd remain purely utility, not adding any damage to his kit.

Perhaps something like:

Crystalline Exoskeleton

Range: 400 (Same distance as Flash)
Cooldown: 18
Cost: 80 mana

Active: Skarner gains a shield that absorbs a certain amount of damage. The shield dissipates after 4 seconds if not already destroyed. While the shield is active, Skarner gains increased movement speed, attack speed, and can reactivate this ability to burrow a distance and pop out beneath enemies, catching them in the loose dirt to root them for a period of time.

Shield: 70 / 115 / 160 / 205 / 250 (+ 60% AP)
Attack speed: 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50%
Movement speed: 15 / 17 / 19 / 21 / 23%
Root Duration: 0.5/1.0/1.5/2.0 seconds

I increased the mana cost to 80 from 60, lowered the duration of the shield from 6 seconds to 4, and based the distance for burrow off of flash. This will allow Skarner to make a decent amount of distance quickly, so lowering the first stage duration weakens the original ability and increasing the cost, opinions wanted for numbers. Make the epicenter 350, maybe, matching his Q, so whatever you root with the burrow will also be hit by a follow up Q.”
This now leaves us all currently thinking about what to do for his (E) we have many ideas but what seems to be the most popular is this by shadowsaotome. Again this is a copy paste from our thread.
Crystal Reach

Skarner artificially extends his attack range with crystal shards; if Skarner is charged with Crystal energy, the first attack after activation steals movement speed from the target.

Mana Cost: 55/60/65/70/75
Cooldown: 21/19/17/15/13

Skarner's attack range is extended by 300 for 4/4.5/5/5.5/6 seconds, and his first attack steals 8/10/12/15/18% movement speed from the target for 4 seconds if he has a charge of Crystal Energy.

So there's the E with tweaked movement steal percentages. Here's a version that's completely different, but with the same name.

Crystal Reach


Skarner extends crystal shards that surround him. While surrounding him, they slowly restore his mana based on how many hostiles are around him. Skarner can activate the shards to focus on one target, detonating and blasting the target to him.

Active Mana Cost: 65/70/75/80/85
Active Cooldown: 30/28/26/24/22

Passive: Crystal Reach increases Skarner's mana regeneration rate by 10% plus an additional 2/4/6/8/10% per hostile target within 400 range of Skarner (this rate is halved for minions and monsters).

Active: Skarner's crystals surround a target, then after a 1 second charge-up time detonate, blasting the target towards Skarner. If Skarner has a crystal charge, the detonation also deals 50/60/70/80/90 physical damage to the target.

While on cooldown, Skarner loses the passive effect of this ability.

As much as I find this idea entertaining I for one would enjoy an ability much like sand king from DOTA2 where skarner would release a crystal shroud casing a blind effect around him much like graves but would reduce skarner’s movement speed. This would be a nice touch to his utility in a team fight, but this is up to you to decide.
As a final note I leave with you, to view at your discretion a word document of my ideas for battle cast skarner.

Once again from the bottom of our hearts I thank you on behalf of all of us who play skarner for responding to our hard work.

Thank you and have a good day

Battlecast Dkarner Presentation.docx

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with his w being moved over to a more defensive spot why not have it give him some extra tenacity when activated to curb how easily kited he is, that way he becomes this unyeilding freight train while active but it's medium cooldown allows for some counterplay.

i agree his e is in a bad place but i dont feel like moving his attack speed buff to it, just to justify using it, is the solution.

lets take a look at what we really want his e to be, a pokey ability that helps in the jungle. what if we took the slow off of his q completely and attached it to the proc on his e, clearing it up as a ganking and initiating ability, and fixing the perma-stick issue.

we could then move the attack speed buff to his q which will make it an all out offensive ability, smoothing out his damage, but allowing silences to effectively rein him in, and allow for counterplay.(ie summoner 2 feels smart for taking advantage of skarners weakpoint)

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Junior Member


• What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?

There's much to say here: among the best are speedy jungle clears, a fun ultimate, and stat modifiers. Flash-W-R was definitely one of the most fun combos in my opinion. He was a great tank to, and proper itemization made him even stronger.

• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?

Post-6 his ganks are mediocre- I blame his small AoE range for this, and (assuming the popular R-Q-W-E skill path) he only has Q and autoattacks to do damage. E is on a high cooldown and its damage is outclassed by Q. In the time that it takes to cast one E and have it come off cooldown, two Qs could have been cast. Due to this, many summoners choose to level it at later levels, prioritizing Q and W before it. In teamfights (assuming initiation has already taken place) it seems better (for me anyway) to mash Q (somewhat like Eve) and keep my attention on keeping my damage on high-value targets. E seemed troublesome to press, and the heal that it gives is hardly anything, especially in a full or more uncommonly, an off-tank build. His low range as well allows easy kiting. Apply a slow, and you've got a pretty much dead Skarner.

• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?

Taking the strengths that I've covered and switching perspectives to the opposing team, it was quite frustrating the be bound (Zyra, Morg, Ryze, of the like) and then watch a giant blue scorpion run at me and pull me towards his team. As well, the permaslow, although not very strong, was enduring and at times a very hard kick in the rear for mobile champions.

• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?

Many champions come to mind here: J4's utility is what currently makes him one of the most popular champions.

Nunu outclasses Skarner in pretty much every aspect. Skarner's sustain is close to none, and as mentioned above, the popular skill path makes it non-existent until his other skills have been maxed. Consume provides a much higher heal, does true damage, and as of late, gives a buff depending on what was consumed. Skarner's slow wasn't that strong, although it is a permaslow. Nunu's Ice Blast provides both a stronger slow, as well as an attackspeed debuff. The attackspeed buff for Skarner is as well outclassed by Blood Boil. Not much need be said here, but I'd like to mention that W provides a shield that provides to his tankiness; although it isn't much, it's something. Skarner's ult was a strong initiator however, but this can be filled by many other initiators like Hecarim's ult and the like.

Onto the topic of Hecarim, he's got pretty much what a decent jungler needs: AoE damage, stat mods, and an AoE initiate with cool effects to boot.

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What are the most fun aspects of playing Skarner?
He is very comprehensive and not hard to master, his grab give me sense of achievement.

• What are the most frustrating/unfun aspects of playing Skarner?
The only way to grab someone is to "walk" there, and a very short distance flash. but in season 3, there are so many wards around the map, remember u just gave them sight stones? and you also nerfed Oracle's Elixir, for skarner at least, now he can only use it for 4 mins. So gank is much more harder for skarner, when I "walk" through the river/bush, they just "walk" away. And the sad thing is thats all he can do. Sometimes, I can not even find a chance to use my ult after I reach lv6 for a long time.

• What are the most frustrating aspects of playing against Skarner?
May get grabed by a little mistake, and it may destroy the entire game.

• Are there champions that do Skarner’s job better than he does? Why?
I dont think so, even though playing Skarner is getting boring, but I think he is the only one who has:
good jungling ability
good counterjungle ability (can duel with lee)
not bad gank ability (in low elo at least, things are getting harder when everyone have wards and map awareness)
great cc (can be the initiator and protector)
good late game ability

J4 cannot duel or counterjungle, Zac has the same problem. Anyway, I think skarner is a very comprehensive jungler, he can do everything.

some personal idea
Now, the environment has changed, his speed is not fast enough, he was fast in S2.
I think his W need a buff, maybe decrease some shield and get some more speed. And also I think E should be changed, people dont use it at all. Maybe decrease some mana cost, or make it became a passive skill or passive and active skill like Irelia's W. And it can fix the Sustainability problem which is caused by changing his shield.

I do want the old Oracle's Elixir, but I think you wont give it to me :/