Look. I love Skarner, always have. Been a Skarner fanboy since his release. And then they "reworked" him, making him beyond dependent on his crystal spires. The problem is that this dependence has removed the rest of the viability of his kit, making his early ganks essentially nonviable. The proof is in the pudding; as he is, he's completely unplayable except as jungle, and he's rated as an E tier jungler. That, in and of itself, says that he should never have been left the way he is for as long as he has (years, by my recollection).
So I'm pleading with you, Riot. Please, rework him without the crystal spires mechanic. If this can't be done, make the crystal spires riskier to contest, or make them weaker, but not contestable. He's just not viable at the moment, and I miss him.