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theres not many, if any, people he counters/natureally beats that goes top normally. then you have the fact he's super easy to kite all he has to catch up to people are ms boosts, no gap closers, nothing. ganking for him is easy tho. once he hits 6 he can just pull someone with flash ult. and he can help gank mid.
i can see it not completely sucking if you play super passive and the enemy is someone who pushes. you can farm under tower somewhat? lol.
he's just not a great choice. i went against a skarner top once, cant remember who i used but he just played super passive. made no real moves or aggression, and i had a 50 CS lead on him cause i froze lane near my turret and he knew he couldnt get close. i got a huge lead just from farming and 1 kill on him. he still farmed up and got Gp10 items but if he had just jungled he woulda gottten much farther faster.
Usually what I do is hit my Q when they CS. This is why he pushes so hard. You always need wards up and you rely a lot on mana. Assuming you play it right, you force the other person to sit and wait for you to push, then flash ult them under tower for a gank kill. Otherwise you roam into your golems or ward their blue for a quick steal.
He's fine top, but sustain is mana hungry. All you need is Sheen, boots 2 and hp/armor and its like immovable beast. That said, he is WAY better jungle because I can counter jung and pressure so well. Not because he sucks top, but because he is just that much better jungle.
The snozberries taste like snozberries! LoL: dantheautomator
He's fine top. I think people just prefer jungling with him for potential presence in any lane at level 6.
He has half-decent sustain, don't listen to Shuriko about scaling, and his absorption shield lets you potentially block some harass on top of that. Start getting items and you can opt to build high damage or high defense while being effective throughout the game either way.
Anecdotal, but the last Skarner top I saw was in ranked, and he pooped on whoever was up there. It was cool.
He's too mana intensive. When he goes into the jungle, he gets the blue buff. With the blue buff he has mana, with mana he can spam Q and have offense, or spam W and have defense/movement speed. Without mana, he's crap.
Sit him in top lane and whoever he is fighting will probably be able to free farm for a good chunk of time. You can get some good ganks from Skarner + jungler after 6. But his mana issues really hurt his usefulness as a top laner.
I did feel the mana issue, though I was making my opponent back by the time I ran out so it was alright. I only used Q to fight the enemy champ. I'm considering one of/combination of blue pots/philo stone/glacial shroud to deal with it.