Is Skarner Inherently Weaker?

Something I got to thinking is about Skarner and his passive. It's a bit of a neat one that creates nodes in the jungles which boost Skarner's performance. This in turn means there are points of interest to fight over which can help boost the amount of interactivity between teams. However... It gives movement, attack speed, and mana regen while inside the nodes. It also activates when near an enemy stunned via Skarner's E OR when near a target he has currently ult'ed. -- This has led me to believe that Skarner is inherently WEAKER than what he could be without this passive. I'm certain when they balanced Skarner Riot had to take into consideration his abilities with them, which means they had to balance him with said passive in mind.... Yet exactly how often does a Skarner get to have this passive active? When his E is on cooldown obviously he can't have it triggered, and a significant amount of team fights occur in the Lane. It also means a "Lane Skarner" such as top or support is inherently weaker/at a disadvantage to a Jungle Skarner. Plus the Passive Buff is active on Skarner when he has someone suppressed with his ultimate. Yet when he has someone suppressed he can't auto-attack. Which means the auto-attack buff part of the passive is completely negated by what is triggering it to be active. --- Basically I'm thinking this: If they removed the passive entirely would they buff Skarner's base stats/abilities? IF the answer to that is yes then they need to change his current passive in some fashion, because right now it is useful about 20% of the time and completely useless the rest of the time. Or am I insane?
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