Skaarf build ,tips and tricks and in depth mechanics 1.5 by SharpNeedle

Skaarf build ,tips and tricks and in depth mechanics 1.5

By: SharpNeedle
Last Updated: Jun 24, 2015
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Skaarf

Build: High burst inferno skaarf

Ability Path

Fan the Flames
Heroic Perk
Spitfire
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Goop
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Dragon's Breath
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Threat Meter

Threat
Low
High
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Threat Hero Notes
1
  No Threat
2
SAW Slow and very immobile perfect shooting dummy
3
  No Threat
4
Glaive Can be easily kited , has very high base health and low shield stats burn faster , watch out for afterburn it can reposition you in a bad spot in teamfights
4
Petal Petal isn't particularly a threat but her munion can shut you in teamfights need extra skill to avoid munions
5
Celeste Skaarf has the superior range , but her ability to dash damage frequently with good CC makes her dangerous in teamfights , also watch for ult can mess you up from full health
5
Fortress The problem who is fortress paired with and try to counter that , generally his bleeding can mess your escape since you have no reliable escape mechanism
6
Ringo If he reach you he can clip those wings of yours , use your superior range , in teamfight use your high burst Just with a small help from an ally to burst him quick
6
Vox Same with ringo except for two differences , first if he reaches you it is almost impossible to escape alive , and second he has shorter range than both you and ringo
7
  No Threat
8
Koshka Assassin deadly run , when facing an assassin spitfire , goop , then try to run if not try to kite him and dance around goop for the enemy to recieve the full damage duration
9
Taka Even a deadlier assassin has huge burst specially around lv 6 you might need to invest in an early cruciable to avoid mid game destruction if he go tension bow or cp , if he go dps some health with some armor
10
  No Threat

Intro Top

So where shall we begin I have started writing this as personal way to understand my favorite hero of all time Skaarf , yet he wasn't my best I was surprised that I can do both great and terrible at the same time and the more I played him the more I come to understand he can be very powerful but does have a very complex play style and in my experience maybe the most difficult hero to master in the fold

Q & A Top

Why should I listen to you?
I am a POA bronze player made it to POA throw solo queue and I hope my in depth analyze would be of benefits to every one interested this guide is slightly advanced focusing on some in depth mechanism

General knowledge Top

First I want to discuss some general knowledge about Skaarf play style , Skaarf is both a very long and short ranged Mage at the same time who needs to switch range according to situations but generally played from a very long distance:
His A abilities Spitfire is the longest ranged ability in the game yet to come with a range of 12.5 making him an exceptional poker with a very high CR on it providing him with good burst his B ability Goop is medium range ability with a maximum range of 7.5 and his C Dragon's Breath is of a range of 10.5 now those aren't small numbers so why did I call him short ranged? The reason is the best way to use his B and C in some situations is not from maximum range to maximize the damage , you need your opponent to walk the entire flaming Goop plus sometimes using your Dragon's Breath while your opponents are on the edge might cost you to lose them which you don't want and finally the infamous heroic perk Fan the Flames now many people from the survivors of 1.4 hate this perk to an extent of someone who hate his ex after a complicated relationship XD
This perk has 5.5 range to be executed making it really short ranged now in 1.5 it is worth mentioning that it is not always worth fanning since devs confirmed a bug that apply CR only for the first stack making it a lot weaker than intended so you better be extra careful when you do that It might put you in some really terrible spots and Skaarf sadly isn't Celeste , that cutey does have a CC ability and her helio is very frequent making her able to dash damage and heal with the right build boosting survivability;

Did you know?! Top

Did you know that with exactly 134 crystal Skaarf does have a built in Aftershock ?
Let us go in depth Aftershock does give 15% max health damage every 1.5 seconds if we want to calculate the average damage per second it will be 10% per second that is exactly the maximum damage Fan the Flames currently do per second when completely fanned so it is very useful but you need to be careful of short range

Did you know that Skaarf makes an excellent siege Mage?
He can stay behind the safety of turrents and dash high damage without being reached great in defending objectives or ceasing them

Now things you need to know about Skaarf , Skaarf isn't Vox , Ringo , Celeste , Joule ..etc meaning you can't play him like other laners if you ran to a Taka when playing Vox you can kite him and best vox players can survive even with little health and get the kill , good Celeste players can CC a Taka get a nova and ult if possible with good aim also can get a kill , well sadly breaking it skaarf can't do any of this he doesn't have a CC his burst is really high but his overall dps is fairly low , Celeste helio is 1 sec cooldown Skaarf is 3 sec :(
So if the enemy reached you it could be over for you already you need extremely good positioning in team fights never get caught by enemies , good aim and map awareness and always choose the right target to hit not the closest to you it might sound a lot but believe me it is rewarding , now even if you don't like skaarf I recommend playing him if you plan on going in competitive game play in your practice because he can help you master the above mentioned skills combined;

Item break down Top

I don't generally like to go with one build in detail cause I find most players problem with skaarf isn't finding good builds but rather understanding how the builds synergies with his play style

Items breakdown?
Shatterglass : shatter glass is a great item and is recommended in most situations since he scale very well and you need all the juice for the ult in 1.5

Broken Myth : great purchase after you buy some form of crystal I would recommend at least 100 crystal before the purchase (exclude the heavy prism needed to finish BM) in order to get the maximum damage SG with BM give you lot of poking and bursting damage

Frostburn : well you don't see frustburn often but in some situations I highly recommend it , specially on him , skaarf doesn't have CC or escaping/kiting mechanism so frust burn can provide him with a kiting tool stopping some Melee heroes from wrecking him apart such as : fortress , krul

Eve of Harvest : eve is a good item on skaarf and give him some sustain , why he needs it? , first help with ult people tend to focus him when he ult with no eve he could be busted down before it even starts , even when a little bit low you can sustain yourself using your high range , you can heal good amount from lane minions , skaarf get jumped on in the cooldown of his spitfire since it is an opening if it misses or the target back out preferably don't start him with eve unless you are new to skaarf and having trouble sustaining or adapting to his play style you will find yourself mid game in able to dash good damage and starting to lose team fights

Clockwork : clockwork isn't a must but never less a good item on him , if he is going to poke he needs the extra energy sustain eve isn't enough for playing the poking part plus the cooldown is pretty nice you poke faster and goop can be casted more frequently a good play style is to take the overdrive of A and B and leave 2 points in C with this purchase

Other crystal items : well items like Alternating Current doesn't really have a great synergy with him , he does have high CR on A and B skills and he is an ability Mage , he is fragile needs distance , all those reasons and more if you like to use it you can try it on someone who relies on auto attacks like cp vox

Defensive items : generally he needs a Reflex Block for the safe usage of his ult and from there you have 2 ways to go , play it safe or aggressive;
In safe play you can go with Aegis or Crucible and probably another defensive item like metal or atlas or a fountain, NOTICE: only go second defensive item if enemy can reach you easily like taka and koshka , and it hard to stay at a distance and you are having some hard time surviving
The aggressive way: only a reflex block that could be upgraded to a crucible late game , why crucible? Probably the cheapest defensive item and most generic , plus in aggressive you are relying on a great positioning skill staying always in a hard to reach position moving along with your teammates and the fight , it also require good peeling skills on teammates side too and it give full damage potential

Boots : upgrade? Well I love high heavy damage on skaarf which leave little to invest in other utility items , but never less sometimes you have to neglect and upgrade to tier 2 boots remember skaarf lack CC and kitting / escaping tools so if you are continuously getting ganked need some extra kitting boots the way to go , but don't rely on them instead of positioning skills

Skaarf the strategic Top

Skaarf play style require a lot of map awareness to avoid incoming ganks and to find suitable positioning when fights breaks in jungle making his player a good strategic player;
in overall scout traps and flares help him having some vision and control over the map and it can also help him join fights from blind spots like behind the wall of the healing monster next to the shop if you have vision you can shoot people their while staying super safe

Tips and tricks for playing skaarf Top

From the most basic to a bit advanced:
-Use Spitfire for harassment effectively and don't miss last hits or overextended , usual combo is spitfire Goop , couple of autos

-Use your Dragon's Breath from the bushes , you can use it to initiate a team fight in either of the tribushes next to gold mine

-You can use your Dragon's Breath from the edge of team fights where people a little bit behind won't see you coming and you will be safer

-When some one like taka or koshka get the jump at you don't get back and use Dragon's Breath , high burst damage hero could burst you down before ult starts specially if you were not full healed or playing aggressive style and the 20% healing from eve of harves won't be enough , best way to defend that , Spitfire, Goop and either try to kite him if you can or try to dance around goop to make him take for most of the duration while also fanning the flames

-Before getting the broken myth you can put Goop on one or two enemies
and then ult them directly goop is a great slow that will ensure your ult won't miss they aren't going anywhere in a long time

-in some team fights don't light goop it is better for example for the Krul on your team if your opponents are slowed and light it just the moment before they get out of it to get still the damage

- Goop can stay for 10 seconds before the overdrive use it! , if you have to extend beyond the 50 lane mark line goop in front off the bush so enemies would be slowed when they get out of the bush get some last hits and get back

-use your Dragon's Breath if enemy team is trying to secure gold mine if done right you have the potential of stealing it and grabbing a kill or two

- Skaarf has a very fast objective clearing gold mine , minion mine

-if you have a Broken Myth you can take kraken quick but keep a Spitfire to last hit capture the kraken so he won't be steeled remember you have high burst

Heroes paired with skaarf Top

I really love koshka skaarf combo very good early game on koshka side compensate for his current weak early game and her ult is perfect synergy with yours , together they have extreme high burst potential

Krul , Skaarf can provide some stickiness for Krul using his Goop but harder to pull since they both don't have great early game

Fortress also synergies well with Skaarf he can help speed up his Dragon's Breath when pursuing and get a couple of extra autos for Fan the Flames

Catherine , is great with him he need some CC to pull things off catherine can peel people off him stun people for his ult and provide great utility and survivability for the team in general

Glaive , Glaive is an excellent choice he is very good with peeling using Afterburn , he is very tanky and a good glaive can afterburn someone into your ult plus the longer your team mates can stay in a fight the more fireballs you can spit plus it give you more time to position for a good ult

Taka , taka also a good choice wp taka will split the damage making countering harder plus Skaarf is a very good burst damage hero add Taka burst and you can explode somone pretty fast

Adagio , a bit harder to pull but the healing from adagio can replace the need of eve of harvest you can easily replace it with a clock work going for a build like {SG , CW , FB , BM, boots , defense}

Joule is also a good choice a close one to glaive but he has the upper hand in peeling although a stun from her could get you a clean ult

Ardan is an ok choice even though his ult can give you a great clean ult yourself it is not the same as before it is not a one hit kill ultimate and you need to think of ardan for the entire game , he has weak early game and can't peel people of you that good if someone reached you the health barrier won't save you

Number one combo is Skaarf , Glaive , Catherine : tanky team extremely good peeling very good AOE damage

Conclusion Top

Now general conclusion about how to play him , harass using Spitfire but make sure of few things first don't miss farm for harassment cause your early game has already been compromised use the window between last hits effectively , make it look unpredictable don't try to get close or move when you Spitfire just while attacking a minion harass , try to make your first play at level 6 , his level 6 is very strong usually I try to take gold mine to lure enemies and get an clear Dragon's Breath or try a gold mine steal with ult, don't overextend with Skaarf and use Goop in front off lane bushes to slow enemies when you have too , mistakes with him are deadly

Make sure to last hit correctly it could be the hardest thing while playing him he needs a lot of gold and have a hard time pushing waves early game

Use Skaarf as a sieging Mage to protect objectives while staying safe from a distance

It is better if you and your teammates don't pick up fights on enemy terms he has good burst but not very good dps his consistent damage isn't high it is replaced with range if you want more consistent damage go for Celeste otherwise play him using the range and pick fights on your term on your positioning the best team fight for Skaarf when opponents has already took few fireballs in the face making them weaker for the team fight

Skaarf is better when your team is pushing the enemy team out since you will have more vision and control and enemies will be grouped to defend turrents or other objectives easier to harass them without being able to harass back

Skaarf in the competitive play Top

Is Skaarf good for competitive play?
Skaarf is in his own spot he is good on many play levels I have seen "FooJee" play him in 1.5 in VG play lv and pull him amazingly but I still don't think he can compete in a lv of ESL or VGL since we haven't seen him almost at all in those big tournaments plus there is the bug in 1.5
My opinion he was nerfed a little bit too much , his Dragon's Breath nerfed with no increase in it is CR , he is weak prior to lv 6 since his perk is weaker than 1.3 early and Idk if that was intended he has always been a good early game fighter and probably the duration of the refresh on Fan the Flames should scale with cooldown or something cause it has been harder to fan the flame I mean by a lot harder
This fluffy flamethrower could use some love in 1.6 but who knows hope we can see him in the competitive play

If you love Skaarf make sure to try him out he is very fun to play and what is more fun than setting somone on fire right?

Some terms and a special thanks Top

SG: shatter glass, FB: frustburn, CW:cloak work , BM: broken myth , CR: crystal ratio

Message to the devs
Thank you for this great game and all your efforts with every patch , plz help this poor baby dragon make his way to competitive matches throw future updates and thank you :)

This is my first guide ever hope you guys like it if you do plz give it a thumbs up any questions I would be glad to help and special thanks to the infamous skaarf player skipper hope he can rejoin us soon :)

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