Skarner’s Revamp: League Fans Have Mixed Views

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From lone warrior to schizophrenic demigod.

Story Highlights
  • For years, Skarner’s outdated kit and inconsistent lore made him the lowest pickrate champion.
  • Skarner’s revamp gave him a new lore that separates him from Hextech and the Brackern crystals, and his gameplay was reworked to be more modern and engaging.
  • Fans are appreciative of all the good, but believe some stuff might be disrespectful or cause complications with other characters.

Skarner was a champion that joined the PBE in 2011. As with other champions of the time, there wasn’t much special attention given to him. There were inconsistencies with his lore, his gameplay was clunky, and his model was awkward. For 2011, this wasn’t a problem, but Riot never updated him. In 2022, Riot officially teased not only a visual update but also a complete revamp. The revamp came out recently, and the fans have very mixed reactions.

Why Did Skarner Need A Revamp?

Skarner Revamp Concept Art
Skarner Revamp Concepts (Image by Riot)

Many factors contributed to Skarner’s eventual revamp. His kit was old and had no place in the current meta. He was a melee ranged fighter with no way to chase enemies. You built him tanky, but doing so meant he couldn’t kill enemies before they simply dashed away. If you were built for damage, enemies could burst you down before you got hold of them. He was the least-player champion for a reason.

There was also a problem with his lore. Riot’s team was unsure of what to do with him. On one hand, he was shown as a tragic, depressed victim, being the only survivor of the Brackern species; his family and friends all turned into fuel for people in Piltover. On the other, the lore showed him as a mindless monster, one meant to be defeated by the good guys. There’s also the whole deal with Seraphine being able to talk with the souls inside Hextech, but I wish to ignore Seraphine’s existence.

This inconsistency heightened further with the release of Arcane, which completely changed what Hextech was. Originally, Hextech was a technology fueled by the crystalized souls of Skarner’s dead brethren. That was the entire purpose of his character: to gain back these stolen crystals. Now, when there are no more souls to take back, what reason is there for this giant scorpion to go around hunting humans?

What Changed?

Skarner’s new lore completely separates him from all that he was before, turning him from a heroic yet depressed lone warrior to a paranoid, tyrannical monarch. He’s now one of the founding members of the Yun Tal, the force governing Ixtal. The new Skarner had his claws in every important decision made in Ixtal, including its isolation from the rest of the world.

Skarner is now paranoid and disgusted by the outside world, believing that mortals would kill their own people for the littlest of power. He hears whispers of humans wanting to take Ixtal, and he’d do anything to protect it. He now resembles characters like the Freljiodrian deities, Volibear and Ornn, or even Aatrox.

YouTube video

All his skills got reworked as well. His passive is extra damage on every third attack. The Q enhances his auto attacks with range and can work as a projectile that slows enemies. He gets a shield on his W and slows nearby enemies. His E is an extremely long-range charge when going through terrain, which also stuns enemies hit. Finally, his Q is now a longer-ranged suppressor and can target three enemies.

The Good

YouTube video

Skarner’s revamp fixes most of the plotholes I talked about earlier. There are no more souls to be had in Hextech, clearing the conflict with Arcane while also fixing Seraphine. The new skills also solve what made him bad, making him both stronger and fun to play. He has ways to slow enemies now and a dash and stun that can be used to gank. PCGamesn says about the Skarner revamp “Teamfights are now over.”

Skarner went from being the least-played champion to having everyone perma-locking him in every match. His winrate also went up to an astounding 52.2%, according to Mobalytics.

The Bad

While the revamp is positive, and I personally like it, people have issues with the direction Riot went with it. The few Skarner mains that still exist feel as if they’ve disrespected the old design by completely changing it. User Tavar226 says “The revamp feels awful,” and that it doesn’t fix any of the issues while also removing the point-and-click suppress that was his old R. With other revamps, Riot optimized and bettered the original idea without changing it. They feel that turning Skarner from a hero to a schizophrenic ruler is an insult.

Furthermore, user SpackTSO thinks such a drastic change only complicates the existing roster. With so many Piltovian characters directly tied to Hextech and the Brackern, removing the storyline is bound to have problems. Specifically, Camille’s backstory and timeline of getting her mechanical body would have to be changed. Seraphine would need another lore revamp, and pretty much every champion from PnZ would have to face slight changes.

Why I Like The Revamp

Many of the backlash is justified, but I feel like people exaggerate it. While some characters would have to be changed, it wouldn’t really need any major overhauling. In the lore, true Hextech containing Brackern souls is already rare. Clan Ferros realized that Hextech wasn’t a good business model, so most of the Hextech we find is synthetic. The only major change that’d have to be made is on Seraphine, but otherwise, I’d say they followed through on Skarner’s revamp!

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