Skarner's current state and his future as a champion

It's been a while since Riot talked about Skarner but I feel I have to bring him up once more seeing that he still is one of my absolute favorite champions despite me no longer being able to play him in the current Jungle. Skarner has been through a lot of reworks in his time as a champion, almost as many as Ryze and that's saying something! He had: -A heal on E -Massive AS/MS boost on his W -A passive that reduced the CD's of ALL his spells when he AA'd -A passive where he applied stacks of Venom on his enemies he could proc a Stun with -A PERMASLOW on his Q And much more Simply by looking at what he HAD it's easy to see that he has always been intended as a **FIGHTER** and not a Vanguard as Riot tries to promote him as in the future. While his Title may be the "Crystal Vanguard" we're not balancing Sion as the "Undead Juggernaut" but I'm digressing. In the wake of the Juggernaut rework Skarner got a slew of changes, most of them simply revolving around his *Spires*, checkpoint-like structures he needs to control in order to get the full value of his kit since most of his MS and AS bonuses are only present in those Zones. It's a weird mechanic that shouldn't really have been added but today I'm not here to argue about his passive but about his BASE kit, or rather why Skarner never managed to be a popular/well designed champion in the entirety of his existence as a champion It's rather easy: His skills are all spammable, usually low impact and VERY binary.... The entirety of his damage comes from him effectively using {{item:3057}} , which is usually the only mandatory item in his build. His entire play style is so bloody binary that if you aren't fed or have your {{summoner:4}} up it's really easy to just avoid facing Skarner, rendering him useless. He relies on getting into Melee range and just spamming his spells without any real decision making involved. Even the "iconic" part of his kit, his Impale, is so un-intuitive and boring that it's almost sad to look at his kit. He suffers from not having any really satisfying aspects rather than maybe having lockdown for that slippery champion. he lacks agenda, he lacks meaningful counterplay or ways to OUTPLAY, he lacks DEPTH and he really should get a VGU down the line that addresses just that. ____________________________________________________________________ But how do you achieve the goal of making him interactive while still pleasing Skarner mains? Well, first of all get rid of his Spires and the notion that he should be a TANK Skarner players have always been really fond of his play style of running down the enemy as a crystal scorpion! You're this ancient creature coming for them, not some bulky tank. His motions are swift and precise, he's got a vicious combat style but with the wisdom of countless millennia. He should be a damage threat! So, which Subclass fits him best? Honestly, and please, hear me out first, it's one of a #Diver Why you'd ask? Simple! A Diver is a TANKY melee champion who dives for the enemy backline, trying to secure high priority targets and lock them down long enough to either kill them himself or make his team collapse on them. Skarner's fantasy as a champion has always been one of being the Crystal Scorpion who'll hunt you down and make you feel his sting! Ridding him off almost EVERY single one of his base skills and building him up to fit that fantasy would be the best thing one could possibly do for him as he could finally live up to his Thematic and deliver a fun, interactive and deep gameplay experience. Just imagine this, and please, keep in mind that I'm not a gameplay designer... ___________________________ It's the mid game, you're starting to group up but for some reason your ADC is trailing off in the Jungle, be it for getting that Gromp and buy his sixth IE or just to spite your jungler. Suddenly something emerges from the Jungle, breaking out in an explosion of Sand as SKARNER digs his way through the ground, lunging for your ADC. They'd scream but as soon as they'd try to retaliate he'd harden his hide and raise his massive claws to reflect incoming fire, his onslaught unable to be halted as he closes the gap. Powerful claws lash out at your ADC as you hear the sound of bones snapping, only to see the glimmer of a crystalline Stinger flashing... And then... Silence... ___________________________________ Skarner's lore already portrays this really well. Skarner is not a low-damage champion. He's the strongest of his kind, both in cunning and brawn. He can easily tear a grown human to shreds with his powerful claws, cast crystalline magic due to his Heartstone, burrow through sand. He's a real SCORPION; He's evolved to survive in the hazardous desert, with venomous stinger, durable shell and fast limbs to carry him over the scorching hot sand. He should get a kit to reflect his fantasy as a champion by giving him: A) High impact, satisfying skills B) More depth to his gameplay and ways to formulate strategies beyond just running at the enemy C) Reduce the amount of binary aspects of his kit, let him have ways to be counter played but offer a lot of ways for Skarner to make plays himself D) Let him still play similar by still making him focus on getting to high priority targets and sink his stinger into their flesh And finally, UTILIZE what you're given! He's a CRYSTAL SCORPION for crying out loud. Give him a venomous sting, give him the skittish, high damage, fast paced play style similar to a Scorpion hunting, give him a kit that reflects his Themes and modernize it to fit into current league! Skarner's main problem was never his power as he's always hovered around 52% win rate but just how unintuitive and frankly, boring, his kit can be at times. He's got so much untapped potential and he could really benefit from Riot just taking a good long look at him and finally giving him a kit to reflect the character he already is in Lore and Character!
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