Centuries ago, there lived a race of creatures as ferocious as they were wise. The brackern were unusual beings blessed with the earth's primal magic, embodied in the form of crystals. Their kind knew of an arcane ritual to bind their life's essence to a crystal, communing with the magic embedded in it. With this power, the brackern thrived in the Odyn Valley, protecting both creatures and crystals alike. Despite attacks from those looking to claim the primal magic, it seemed that nothing could get past the brackern's defenses. Nothing, that is, until the devastation of a Rune War.
A vicious battle was fought near the Odyn Valley and the unleashed chaotic magic poisoned the crystals. The brackern began to grow sick and die, and no amount of defensive magic could reverse the effects. To avoid extinction, their only course was to hibernate underground until the wars stopped. The strongest, most intelligent brackern hibernated closer to the surface to awaken first and assess the world's condition for the return of their race. The recent mining operations and violent escalation in Kalamanda were enough to awaken the first of these vanguards. When Skarner burst to the surface, he lashed out in anger and confusion. Reason eventually won out over his anger when he realized that the agents of the League who found him were simply functionaries. Skarner was invited to the Institute of War to share the brackern's story. In return, the summoners told him about the history that his kind had slept through. Much had been done to curb the unchecked use of magic since the Rune Wars, but it was obvious that the world was not yet safe for his kind to reawaken. For now, however, there is a place where Skarner can use his power to change the world into one to which his kind could eventually return: the League of Legends.
"The humans have not yet learned to control their magic - what once was Kalamanda is now a crystal scar on the history of this world."
"My stinger brings ugly death."
"Time to fight!"
"Limb from limb!"
"I will tear them apart."
"In claw's reach."
"I'll show you monstrous."
"Fear my sting."
"On all legs."
"We think alike, summoner."
"I see the wisdom in that."
"I miss my kind."
"This world is so strange."
"We await our time."
"The battle approaches."
"The Crystal Scar is weeping."
"My stinger is ready."
"I... am... ancient! You are nothing more than an insect to me!"
"Eeaugh! Bugs are gross! Ugh!"
"Oh no! I seem to have stepped on one of my cousins!"
Announcement made in the Sneak Peek by Average Gatsby:
While designing a champion for League of Legends, it's important to ensure that your concept appeals to a broad audience. For instance, if you're out to strike a chord with the monster enthusiasts, amateur arachnologists, and horror movie buffs, it's good to also incorporate something for those of a more refined mindset. And while we're on the subject of multifaceted design, allow me to introduce Skarner, the Crystal Vanguard. One part monster, one part crystal, Skarner is sure to please whether you're wearing a button up or wielding a butcher knife.
Of course, if you're having trouble persuading everyone to agree, keeping a gigantic scorpion waiting in the wings to menace them with the threat of impalement on its massive tail isn't a bad backup plan.
Today, I wanted to give a little sneak peek into the gameplay behind Skarner, the Crystal Vanguard.
The idea behind Skarner is to get on people, stay on them, and really capture that inevitability of being run down by a predatory creature. Additionally, we wanted to avoid an instant gap closing mechanic so there's appropriate counter-play.
The primary way Skarner accomplishes this mission is through his ability Crystal Slash and his passive, Energize. Crystal Slash does a quick, point-blank AOE and empowers the ability if it hits. Empowered casts will do bonus damage and slow (making successive uses really useful for sticking to his target). His passive causes his spells to cool down faster each time he auto-attacks - a natural combination with the empowered Crystal Slash.
Properly utilizing Skarner's passive is central to his gameplay as a whole. For example, Skarner's ability Crystalline Exoskeleton puts up a shield that grants additional movement and attack speed while it's up. The bonus attack speed will help greatly decrease the cooldown time of his abilities, leading to additional Crystal Slashes or more uptime on this steroid.
Skarner's marquee ability is Impale. This ultimate causes him to skewer an opponent with his tail and drag them around for a few seconds. The positional manipulation of the ability can turn a teamfight by peeling an enemy off of a wounded ally, or dragging a greedy enemy into a tower.
Players have been asking for another monster champion for a while, so we're happy to deliver Skarner, our own weaponized arachnid."
Crystal Slash: Skarner lashes out with his claws, dealing physical damage to all nearby enemies and charging himself with Crystal Energy for several seconds if a unit is struck. If he casts Crystal Slash again while empowered by Crystal Energy, he deals bonus Magic Damage and slows all targets hit.
Crystalline Exoskeleton: Skarner gains a shield and while the shield persists his movement speed and attack speed are both increased.
Fracture: Skarner summons a blast of crystalline energy which deals damage to enemies struck and marks them. Any further damage dealt to marked targets by Skarner will allow him to consume the mark to heal himself.
Impale (Ultimate): Skarner suppresses an enemy champion and deals magic damage to it. During this time, Skarner can move freely and will drag his helpless victim around with him. When the effect ends, Skarner's target will be dealt additional damage.
Energize (Innate): Basic attacks lower the cooldowns of Skarner's abilities by 1 second against champions and 0.5 seconds against non-champions.