i came to this conclusion when i saw that voli and fiddle will be the next vgus after pantheon, so skarner will have to wait alot for his vgu.
But something that can be done in the while is a gu update, like the one malph and wukong received: it solved some gameplay issues while preserving/expanding it.
The gu for skarner should revolve around two points:
- reworking his passive, or changing his passive so that much power isn't so gated.
(given that the spires did something good like giving him sustain, and adding something else to his gameply pattern) what i mean by changing it is that the spires hold alot of skarner's power budget, but the fact that skarner can benefit from them only in the jungle, they way everyone can contest them, and all the players ingame have to keep track of them (mindshare) is unfair.
so the changes should achieve these points:
* laning as skarner shouldn't feel like a handicap match.
Because one thing we truly miss of skarner was his ability to lane. tone down the bonuses, but make it so we can benefit of our spire bonus in lane as we can in the jungle.
* make it so contesting them is a better experience.
having the passive not only in the jungle should help with this, but essentially dominion 2.0 is really annoying, especially when the enemy team has gotten your inhibitor, and you got to clear superminions. or when you're behind and you fall even more behind because you can't hold control of them.
* less stats wasted.
right now skarner is better at being a tank than at dealing sustained damage. and 160% attack speed at lvl 18 is kinda wasted. So this is a chance to either help him at being a better tank, and change the bonuses, or he can be tweaked by being a better juggernaut, so that the extra attack speed makes sense.
- change his Q to not just be mere aoe dps.
right now his Q is just an AoE kalista aa, and it doesn't have base damage. that's good if you're building ad, but right now building ad means you're exceptionally squishy until your 3rd/4th item. so right now the most successful way to build is tank, you got good cc and good peel, and you get really tanky really soon.
so his current Q doesn't have much place on a tank.
* it could be made into a more scorpion-ish move. popular demand was a 2-time strike where the first strike he used his claws to impair, and the second strike cam from his stinger. more interesting. more skill expression.
* it's another chance to help better define skarner's identity. as a tank he doesn't need his actual Q, and it can be made into something more fitting. or he can be made into a better juggernaut, so the Q doesn't need as much changes before the vgu.
this last point is pretty important on its own, because all of the skarner updates (apart from crystal venoma skarner, god bless crystal venom skarner) tried to bring something new/solve core problems, by mainly changing one part of his kit (his passive), while leaving the rest of his kit almost intact.
This means some of skarner problems still got through his updates, because not all of his kit got adequately updated.
Sure some of the responsibility of this is of the skarner mains (me too), being affectionated to his kit and playstyle, and pushing it almost intact through the reworks.
But this has led to problems such as identity/niche crisis: the juggernaut update promised us the "premier objective controller" juggernaut. We're now stuck with a tank, whose passive gives him 40%-160% attack speed, and his Q is spammable AoE dps. and there are junglers who are better at getting objectives than him.
So here's what we can achieve with a gameplay update to skarner:
- his new/tweaked passive may be more appealing to most people who did not stuck with him because of the "pocket dominion" thing.
This translates into a more profitable champion = more skins;
- tackling his Q can be helpful to tackle the rest of his kit once the vgu time will come;
- it can be a good opportunity to give skarner a clearer niche/role by helping him more in the healthy things he does good, and defining better his weaknesses;
- can bring him up to standards with the rest of the roster. this can free up opportunities to rework other champs who need it urgently
- it won't be needed that every champion has to have a cap animation, which translates in less time and resources invested in new champs/reworks/skin