Skarner's LoL VGU was finally revealed with some brand-new information about the scorpion on Summoner's Rift. His kit, abilties and lore were teased, giving fans hope for the jungle champion and what he's got to offer in the future.
Skarner's VGU has been one of the most anticipated reworks in a long time. The fact that he ranks as one of the most unpopular champions on the rift hasn't dissuaded the general Legaue community to band together to find out more about his rework.
On March 17, 2023 Riot released a dev blog in which they outline some of the key changes for Skarner, going over his kit, the challenges they faced, as well as what they're going to be doing with his lore.
LoL Skarner VGU: All Gameplay Changes Riot Is Making
The most important question is regarding the gameplay of the champion, since most players are going to interact with him on the rift. Lore and world building is important, but for a MOBA like League of Legends, the gameplay takes center stage.
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Riot seems to have finally found a direction for Skarner which will elevate his gameplay and make him a much better champion, while keeping him simple and fun to play for those few who did main him for a long time already.
Skarner going to kill Katarina after the VGU:
Skarner Gameplay: Crystal Spires
One of the main issues for Skarner are his Crystal Spires. One of the key reasons why he felt so bad to play was this single mechanic, since they were hard to properly balance and also forced Skarner to always play around them.
With the new identiy Riot is going for, they've decided to completely omit the Crystal Spires and make something new his main gameplay gimmick. While the spires were unique and made games different, they didn't add enough to League of Legends to make him a fun and popular champion.
Skarner Gameplay: New Ultimate
One thing players know Skarner for is his ultimate. Find a single target, pull them out and kill them. It was his single most fun ability and also what gave the champion agency. Riot decided to keep that and elevate it.
Jacob “Riot Llama” Crouch, Game Designer wrote in the dev blog:
Impale is very effective, but often not satisfying to use so it’ll be receiving a small adjustment. 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.
His improved Impale will let Skarner be a main part of any teamfight and make him a much better champion. Unfortunately, the ability is not a point-and-click anymore and will have a lower duration, but overall it seems like a good change.
Skarner VGU: How Will Riot Change His Visuals?
While working on the VGU the team has been trying to figure out how to update his visuals. The team knew they wanted to keep Skarner a scorpion, since there are few monster champions in the game, especially sentient and smart ones like Skarner.
So they quickly came to the conclusion that Skarner had to stay a scorpion, but that this identity did not match the crystals that had been ingrained in his lore for so long.
Therefore, Riot decided to remove the crystals completely, and instead focus on his scorpion aesthetic to truly bring out his monster champion aesthetic. So, Riot made some major changes to his look, also giving him three stingers instead of just one.
LoL VGU: Skarner's Lore Change
Skarner's lore has also been updated to match the new look and new abilities. While Skarner and the Brackern have called Shurima home for the last few years, it's time to sunset that, because Riot have decided to move them to a whole new region.
Skarner is going to be from Ixtal once the VGU goes live and instead of crystals, he and his Brackern brethren will be earth elementalists.
We wanted to take the chance to revisit the Brackern and reinvent what they are as a species [...] Where we landed was making the Brackern Runeterra's first earth elementalists, dating back to pre-civilization. Ancient and powerful, they're revered for their primal knowledge of earth, which they taught to the people of Runeterra long ago.
New Lore Will Affect Other Champions and Regions
With the change from Shurima to Ixtal, the general lore of the Brackern will change drastically. This means more regions and other parts of Runeterran lore will have to be adjusted as well.
Riot will likely retcon the hextech lore of Arcane into the actual League of legends lore, while some champions like Seraphine, Camille and Blitzcrank won't have any interactions with him anymore once the VGU goes live.
Skarner VGU Release
The Skarner VGU release is still a mystery. Riot have come forward with new information and elaborated on Skarner, but it seems like there is no set date for a release just yet. Hopefully Riot will be able to get their work done quickly now that they've found the direction to take Skarner in.
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