Riot Games showed off a new look at League of Legends’ Skarner rework this week, and from that preview, it’s shaping up to be quite the update in terms of scale and what’s being done to the champion. For starters, the origins of Skarner are being changed completely. He’s ditching his crystal gimmick in favor of one that makes him more of a monstrous champion that people are often vocal for. His ultimate, Impale, which defines the champion will now — get this — be an AOE ability that allows him to skewer multiple champions at once.
Before we get to all that, you should take a look at the new version of Skarner shown below which Riot is now gravitating towards. Gone is the crystalline exoskeleton, an exterior replaced by one that looks much more monstrous and creepy as Riot intended. Several different concepts for Skarner’s Visual and Gameplay Update were shared in the post about the champion’s rework, but this is generally the direction Riot’s taking the champ.
When looking at what worked and what didn’t in regards to Skarner, the crystal backstory was one thing to be cut. Instead of being a lonely crystal warrior, Skarner and the rest of his species, the Brackern, will instead hail from Ixtal where they exist as “Runeterra’s first earth elementalists.”
“The recipe of insect and crystal could theoretically work, but we wanted to use Skarner’s VGU as an opportunity to evolve the material, and we felt like it would be too problematic and strange to keep him focused in his crystal thematic,” Riot said. “Runeterra is a vast world that has evolved in the years since Skarner’s release, so keeping him tied to a thematic that wasn’t memorable or all that exciting didn’t seem like the right approach for his rework.”
For those fond of Skarner’s current playstyle, you’ll be happy to know that even though his backstory is changing, his core ability, Impale, is not only staying the same but is being changed to be even more of a threat to teams. He’ll soon be able to grab enemies in a cone, so a gank down bot where he has both the support and marksman in range just became that much more threatening.
“Impale is very effective, but often not satisfying to use so it’ll be receiving a small adjustment,” Riot said. The fantasy of the ability is moving from being a single target pick tool to being a teamfight tool to give it some extra ‘oomph’ and playmaking ability. Basically what I’m saying is Impale is now AoE.”
Skarner’s rework is still some time away now since Riot said it’ll be checking back with players “more regularly in the coming months,” so expect to see more info on the rework later.