I had actually posted this a little too quickly, here is the version (for reasons of clarity) that I think would be best:
Base MS increased to 350 from 335
Passive: Crystal Spires
Skarner's presence causes a number of Crystal Spires to appear at set points on the battlefield, which can be captured by Champion icon champions who stand near them for 2 seconds. Once captured, Crystal Spires are owned until contested and the defending team can stand on the spire to prevent the opposing team from capturing it.
Capturing a crystal spire provides sight around them for 1.5 seconds upon being captured, becoming impossible to recapture for 15 seconds. (No longer grants gold)
CRYSTAL CHARGE: While within range of a Crystal Spire controlled by his team, Skarner is considered to be at maximum crystal charge stacks. Upon leaving range of a spire, Skarner's Crystal Charge stacks fall off as normal after 5 seconds.
Overcharge: While within range of a Crystal Spire controlled by his team, Skarner also regenerates 3% of his maximum mana per second.
Q: Crystal Slash________Cost: 12 mana at all ranks_______Cooldown: 3.5/3.25/3/2.75/2.5
Skarner deals physical damage to all enemies in range. As long as Skarner hits at least 1 enemy with this attack, he gains a stack of Crystal Charge. Crystal Charge stacks last up to 5 seconds and stack up to 3 times, granting Skarner increased move/attack speed. As long as he has at least one stack of Crystal Charge, this attack also deals bonus magic damage to targets hit. Hitting targets with this ability will refresh the duration of Crystal Charge.
Base Damage: 20/30/40/50/60 (+32/34/36/38/40% AD)
Magic Damage: 20/30/40/50/60 (+30%AP)
Attack Speed per stack: 12/14/16/18/20%
Max Values: 36/42/48/54/60%
Max Values: 15/18/21/24/27%
Basic attacks against non-structures reduce the cooldown of this ability by .25 seconds, increased to 1 second vs champions and epic monsters.
W: Crystalline Exoskeleton___________Cost: 50 mana_____________Cooldown: 13/12.5/12/11.5/11
ACTIVE: Skarner shields himself for up to 6 seconds, gaining bonus movement speed that accelerates by 100% over 3 seconds while the shield holds.
Shield Value: 80/120/160/200/240 (+8% max HP)(+80%AP)
Initial Speed bonus: 8/10/12/14/16% (max bonus 16/20/24/28/32%)
E: Fracture_________Cost: 50 mana__________Cooldown: 14/13/12/11/10
Skarner launches a blast of energy in the target direction, dealing magic damage to all enemies struck, slowing them for 2.5 seconds, as well as marking them with Crystal Energy for 5 seconds.
Skarner's next basic attack against a target marked with Crystallizing Sting Crystal Venom consumes the mark to deal them bonus magic damage and stun them for 1.25 seconds.
Magic Damage: 80/100/120/140/160 (+50% AP)
Slow: 50% at all ranks
Bonus Physical Damage: 30/50/70/90/110
His ult remains the same with the exception that he no longer gains spire bonus while ulting.
EDIT: WHAT DOES THIS REDISTRIBUTION OF POWER (mini-rework) ACCOMPLISH?!
I want to start by saying that the biggest problem (and the only problem I would say that crystal spires effectively addressed) for older iterations of Skarner was that he was very mana hungry in the early parts of the game. With the proposed rework:
1- Skarner is still encouraged to jungle as a PRIMARY role. The zero ramp up time on your stats and the mana regen granted by the spires will still make Skarner's primary role the jungle, as outside of them you get no mana regen and you have to ramp up your combat stats by landing Qs.
2- Skarner is not knee-capped without his spires. Having access to his primary combat stats outside of spires was a HUGE loss when we first got the juggernaut update. It only further exasperated Skarner being a feast or famine champion. Nothing feels worse than not being able to control your spires because your team is behind. With the above changes, you will still have access to those stats, just not instantaneously.
3- Skarner will still have lots of build diversity, probably more so, that are viable. Smaller health scaling in combination with a base value on shield means he can still build as the tanky ult bot that we see in pros. Better access to his steroids mean his other builds will be more viable also, giving Skarner more agency over the game than when his power was solely decided by teammates.
4- Skarner will not be HARD locked into the jungle. Many older Skarner players (like myself) flexed him into lanes, usually as a specific kind of counter to hyper mobile champions.
5- This version is FAR easier to balance, since stats are more evenly spread and not entirely locked within the passive. One of the biggest issues with trying to buff Skarner is that buffing him made him too strong inside spire zones, exponentially increasing how weak he was outside of them.
please comment and discuss and keep this on the front page. Thanks again everyone!