League of Legends

Skarner buffs turn LoL jungler into ultimate tank-buster in Patch 10.15

by Andrew Amos

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Skarner is receiving some big changes on League Patch 10.15 to bring the Crystal Vanguard back to Summoner’s Rift. Riot are turning him into the ultimate tank-buster with a rather unique playstyle.

Skarner hasn’t really seen the light of day much since his rework back in 2015. At best, he’s featured in the meta with the sole purpose of ulting carries away from their allies and forcing them to buy a QSS.

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His spires have been deemed too powerful, yet confusing, while the rest of his kit is relatively underwhelming to use. Riot have noted this, and as such, are looking to bring him back into the meta on Patch 10.15.

Battlecast Alpha Skarner in League of Legends
Battlecast Alpha Skarner in League of Legends
Skarner's ultimate is the only reason the champion is picked nowadays.

The goals of the Skarner buffs are to give him “stronger damage threat against fighters and tanks.” Riot are achieving this by super-charging his Q, especially against tankier enemies.

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Riot are removing some of Skarner’s AD scaling and replacing it with target max health damage. They are also increasing the buff duration of his Q, and removing the E missile speed slow.

While these changes seem insignificant, they have major impacts on Skarner’s playstyle. Stacking AD is no longer a good thing, with players being forced to branch out into either attack speed or full tank. Cinderhulk and Bloodrazor over Warrior enchant seems to be the community consensus, as well as a focus on Wit’s End and armor pen items.

However, it also gives Skarner a clear-cut identity as a tank buster. With these changes in the long run, Skarner should be a viable counterpick against tanky junglers like Sejuani and Zac.

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The changes have received some criticism, especially from current Skarner mains. Many have asked for Riot to shift power away from Skarner’s Spires, but these changes don’t touch them whatsoever.

However, Riot are still looking at making other changes. According to ‘Cogswobble,’ who works at Riot but not in gameplay, the developers are testing to see whether removing the jungler’s spires is a viable option.

“They invited me to do some playtesting where they tried out removing the spires. They basically just moved the spire passive to proc on abilities that hit champions or jungle monsters instead,” they said.

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“[Riot] still have a desire to get rid of the spires, but that if we were going to do that, it needs to be a more in-depth change than just removing them and putting the passive elsewhere, so for now, they just went with some of the other tweaks and QoL improvements.”

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Skarner is one of five champions Riot had on their hit list for “mini-reworks” heading into the tail end of Season 10. Karthus and Pyke received their updates on Patch 10.14, returning them to the mid lane and bot lane respectively.

Swain is also touted for some changes on Patch 10.15, increasing his power in both support and mid. Tahm Kench will be receiving a rework after Worlds so as to not disrupt the pro meta.